A few weeks ago I wrote about how pleasantly surprised I was by the thanks I got from John Minnihan of Freepository for a little help that I had given him. I never expect anything specific in exchange for helping out – a simple thanks is plenty – but in this case his effort and thoughtfulness was really nice.
It happened again yesterday. A week ago, a woman named Melissa Cummings was referred to me by an old friend. She recently left Sun Microsystems (in Colorado) and is looking for a new job in the Boulder area. My friend spoke highly of her and her resume was solid so I introduced her by email to a few of my portfolio companies along with a few other people in town that I know that I thought Melissa might fit with.
I got the following note from her yesterday.
Thank you so much for your help in introducing me to the companies affiliated with you and Mobius. I really appreciate it. I have a meeting with Lee on Friday afternoon — hopefully that will lead to more discussions.
As a token of appreciation, I’ve donated $X in your name to NCWIT — you should receive the tax receipt in the mail. That’s wonderful that you are on the board — it’s an important organization.
I was blown away. Again, a thanks would have been plenty, but Melissa did some research on me, found out that I was chairman of the National Center for Women & Information Technology, went to the NCWIT website, and made an unexpected and generous donation to the organization.
It’s gestures like this that make it easy for me to keep up random days, quickly help people that are introduced to me via one degree of separation (even if there’s no obvious benefit for me), and generally pick my spirits up about human beings whenever I read too much of the newspaper and get discouraged.