Johnson Cook

Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Johnson Cook - Atlanta tech investor. Entrepreneur.

Serendipity Makes You Go Faster


In a recent blog post, David Cummings shared that he didn’t anticipate how amazing, regular, and intense the serendipitous interactions would be at the Atlanta Tech Village. I can echo that surprise and share some more thoughts. It is a huge benefit of a community like the Village that can’t be overstated.

Everything happens faster for you when your day is sprinkled with unplanned interactions with high-energy people, who are all looking to help you.  It’s an energy level that I’m now completely addicted to.  In former lives, I would look forward to a day or two working from home each week. But now when a day goes by where I’m not in the ATV, I can’t help but wonder what interesting people I didn’t meet, what cool company ideas I didn’t hear, and what neat new feature a tech startup has added to their product that I won’t know about.

Building a company is all about the getting momentum on the flywheel. It really is about speed, sort of.  It is hard work and takes a ton of energy and time, but doing it in a high-motion community like ATV can compress that time.

TechStars has a motto (and a book): Do More Faster.   I get it now.   Hopefully ATV, ATDC, Hype and other Atlanta programs like this can start to turn up the volume of serendipity that happens in our city for tech startups… not just in a few specific buildings.



Category: Action, Efficiency
  • Dave Will says:

    Looks like you’re challenging the “slow down to speed up” philosophy… But I want to comment on something else. The flywheel.

    I love your perspective of embracing and feeding off of positive energy. You’re a natural at meeting new people and creating sparks. It’s a blessing and a gift you have. And it’s unfortunate it’s not natural for most people.

    The opinion I’m offering, however, is that this is only the first chapter of the story.

    What you have been describing makes me think of a 5k or 10k. It makes me think of the first year of dating a woman. And of course, it makes me miss the feeling of the start-up.

    I just ran my 40th marathon this past November. And 40 times, I’ve said, out-loud, as I cross the 20 mile mark, “the race has just begun”. This is where the work begins. This is where your mind needs to be tough. This is where you need the strong foundation that comes from months of discipline and training. And with all that, you’ll get through the finish line with record times and an amazing sense of accomplishment and pride. This is what leads to 50 mile and 100 mile races… Ideas that seem unimaginable, but they are not far out of reach.

    For me, the same is true in my marriage. I won’t deny that I don’t feel the same infatuation with Nicole that I felt the first time I held her hand or kissed her or… but with a strong and committed bond between us, a strong foundation, good values and morals, and a lot of tolerance, we have created this amazing connection that goes far beyond what either of us felt in the first year of infatuation.

    I would argue the real hard work begins at mile 20. Although sparks and infatuation and everything else that gets loins going is fun, it’s the infancy of success. What happens when the flywheel really gets going?

    February 15, 2013 at 2:01 pm
    • Johnson Cook says:

      Great comments. Thanks!

      February 16, 2013 at 3:08 pm

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *