Foundry Group Traditions: Gnip Exit Gift

Foundry Group has now been around for over seven years and I’ve been working with my partners for 14 years. We’ve started to develop some traditions.

One of my favorites is exit gifts. When a company has an exit that generates a return for us, we give a gift to the partner who served on the board. These gifts are generally tuned to what the partner loves such as musical stuff for Ryan and Jason, bike stuff for Seth, and art for me.  They are modest, but very thoughtful and something the partner wouldn’t have just gone out and done for himself. They are often self referential, such as the Makerbot sculpture of me created by an artist and printed on a Makerbot after Stratasys acquired MakerBot.

A few weeks ago Seth, Jason, and Ryan corralled me in our small conference room. Whenever they do this, I’m never sure if it’s going to be a happy thing or an intervention. Ryan was holding the following 2′ x 3′ framed print.

Tweets from @bfeld during the time we were investors in Gnip

To get a better sense of this masterpiece, let’s zoom in on the G and the N.

Find a tweet online and RT it for a bonus point.

This is a list of every tweet I made at @bfeld from the day of our investment in Gnip to the day that Twitter acquired Gnip. This first one is from 2/29/08.

@bfeld tweets from day 1 of the gnip investment

The last batch is from 4/14.

@bfeld tweets when Gnip was acquired by Twitter

Ryan told me that Gnip was used to generate the tweet list for the poster. And Postertext was used to print it. Thanks guys – this one made me smile a huge smile. I love this tradition.

  • Love this! What a great gift. Gnip was an awesome story to hear about and I’m really glad everything turned out well.

  • Peter Neame

    A very clever and thoughtful gift – I hadn’t a clue what Gnip does and now I find the gift even more ingenious. I’m a bit wiser now. But still wondering how one gets the solid data out of the transitory noise

  • You guys have a great relationship.

    This is thoughtful, light-spirited and fun, bravo.

    It’s going to be a little bit tricky when Return Path has its exit / IPO or whatever the outcome is, as Fred Wilson does not like gifts, ha ha!

    Oh well, he’s gonna have to get over it, won’t he?

    Anyway… I had a little insomnia and decided to read your blog for a few minutes in the middle of the night — back to sleep…

    [BTW, the IPad is *not* in the bedroom, as a reference to your book “Startup Life” :-). ]

    • Smart move on the iPad! I’m sure Fred will accept some sort of gift for his 15+ years of board service on Return Path.