My favorite 33founders episodes are the ones when we hit it off with our guests before the interview begins, spending our time sharing personal passions rather than our work. Take the co-founders of Cover, Andrew Cove and Mark Egerman, for example, who I offended asking about the best burger in town when he’s a pescatarian.
My conversation with Christie George was no different and I was instantly drawn to her work when I learned that she’s speaking at The Lean Startup Conference this December.
As the Director of New Media Ventures, a national network of angel investors supporting media startups driving progressive change, Christie’s an advocate of the power new media can play shaping the next generation.
Her work at NMV, in addition to her co-founding position at Louder, encourages all levels of civic engagement (retweeting counts!) by indicating the significant difference a collective voice can make changing the status quo.
Driven by a passion for seeing these changes come to life, Christie works closely with startups like Upworthy, and Sum of Us to extend their impact.
The first thing she considers when adding to NMV’s portfolio is a group of founders who are fully immersed in the problem they are solving. Prioritizing the problem reflects our continuous learning from Lean Startup that in order to understand to provide a winning solution it’s vital to understand the ins and out of a customer’s pain point.
Christie cites Upworthy as a startup who came to NMV, before even having a name, with proof that people were eager to learn about meaningful stories that are often left untold.
The startup’s test run on MoveOn was a strong enough indication that having a problem to solve was the most significant indicator of future success.
Although Upworthy is the fastest growing media startup of all time, it isn’t to say that the team hasn’t overcome failures. In fact, Christie’s take on failure is the lesson that’s remained with me most since our conversation.
After working full time for six months, adapting to failure continues to be my greatest and most challenging lesson. I’m first to say that some days learning appears to be worse than the pain point itself and Christie’s advice to understand failure as a way to save yourself time in the future is the first sentiment that’s actually made me want to experiment more.
Christie encourages founders to grasp that failing is a part of their job and to recognize that customers are happy to support young startups through the experimentation process when they feel like an active part of the community.
To learn more about Christie’s mission to empower social good startups and her take on the lean methodology tune into her episode of 33founders and live stream her interview with Mitch Kapor, the founder of Lotus, at December’s Lean Startup Conference.