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Hi, I’m Brad Feld, a managing director at the Foundry Group who lives in Boulder, Colorado. I invest in software and Internet companies around the US, run marathons and read a lot.

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founders@yourcompanyname.com

Comments (30)

Today’s “founder hint of the day” is to create an email address called founders@yourcompanyname.com and have it automatically forward to all the founders of your company.

I interact with a ton of companies every day. For the ones we have a direct investment in via Foundry Group, I know each of the founder’s names (although with 40 companies, at age 45 – almost 46, there are moments where I have to sit quietly and think hard to remember them.) For the TechStars companies, especially early in each cycle, I have trouble remembering everyone’s names until I’ve met them. And for many other companies I have an indirect investment in (via a VC fund I’m an investor in) or that I’m simply interacting with, I often can’t remember all of the founders names.

Ok – that was my own little justification. But your justification is that as a young company, you want anyone interested in you to be able to reach you. While info@yourcompanyname.com is theoretically useful, in my experience very few people actually use it because they have no idea where it actually goes. On the other hand, founders@yourcompanyname.com goes to the founders. Bingo.

We’ve been using this at TechStars for a number of years and it’s awesome. I’ve set up my own email groups for many other companies, but this morning while I was doing it for another one I realized that they should just do it. Sure – there’s a point at which the company is big enough where you probably don’t want to have this list go to all the founders, or there are founders that leave, or something else comes up, but when you are just getting started, be obsessed with all the communication coming your way and make it easy to get it.

founders@yourcompanyname.com rules.

  • http://www.alearningaday.com Rohan

    Haha. Nice tip. Thanks :)

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  • http://reecepacheco.com reecepacheco

    this one’s clutch… 

    as are many ‘secret menu’ email addresses/groups for reaching people within a company… we use a ton of them

  • Grant Carlile

    Great advice. It just makes sense. Thanks for the nugget of insider VC/Entrepreneurial gold.

  • http://www.activetheoryinc.com Alex Gourley

    Really no reason to stop there. We also route founders@ but also contact@bitgym, hello@bitgym and anything else I can think of.  There isn’t any reason not to. It’s like my friend who keeps a bottle opener in every drawer in his kitchen for guests. 

  • http://twitter.com/AdamNorrell Adam Norrell

    But wait, there’s more! If you are a founder that happens to be interested in mentoring startup noobs, this is a great way for such noobs to easily reach out to you. I’ve already done this a couple of times. One of them worked and lead to some wonderful advice, the other just bounced back. It’s always worth a shot!

  • Rich

    That’s good stuff.

  • http://twitter.com/CamiloALopez Camilo Lopez

    Awesome! Going to implement 

  • SL

    I’ve suggested the same thing for the organizations I work with. For example, a non-profit should setup president@domain.com, board@domain.com, and executive@domain.com

    There’s an added bonus that you can add/remove/change people on the redirect at any time. For example, the president of a non-profit might change ever 1-2 years so rather than having to notify everyone of the new presidents email you simply change the redirect.
    Hope that helps,

  • Christopher Knorr

    Just saw a local talk from Rich Miner of Google Ventures this morning. During the QA in answer to the question how does an entrepreneur find information on the checklist and advice of being prepared to pitch and work with a VC. Rich answered by saying go read all of the historical posts from Brad Feld and then also added Fred Wilson to the list. So, I pass on the shout out as the defacto source for how to prepare and behave.

  • Dan Salcedo

    Done and Done. Thanks Brad! :)

  • http://www.masterpapers.com research paper

    Best post ever!

  • Anonymous

    What a terrific idea! Makes sense for a lot internal early communications also!

  • http://www.feed.us RacerRick

    In my experience, firstname@companyname.com always works for small companies for biz dev stuff.

  • http://www.thestudyofsocial.com Matt Hixson

    Thanks for the suggestion – simple and effective.  Done.

  • http://twitter.com/mitmads Mads

    Yes Brad. That idea works pretty well at our company. We have a email id called hello at neemware . It is a customer facing email. Our intention is to have all of our team subscribe to it. So far it has been working well.

  • http://twitter.com/fourfourmedia Eric Goodenough

    Love this idea. Implemented.

  • http://twitter.com/setnight it’s a setNight

    “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Thanks, implemented.

  • http://techstars.org DavidCohen

    And of course, if you’re reading this and you’re interested in TechStars, you can email any portfolio company this way. It’s a good way to check references on us with any of our companies. We’ve been doing this since 2007. 

    It’s important and better than firstname@companyname.com, because when people first meet you they will sometimes not recall your name easily. but founders@ is a great standard that has really helped our mentors at TechStars over the last 6 years.

    • http://about.me/mikerowan Mike Rowan

      Perfect practice for any young, early (or later) stage company and makes perfect sense.  I implemented this the very day I saw this post from Brad.

    • http://about.me/mikisegal Miki Segal

      What a great comment David, we were trying to engage with past TS founders and found it very difficult to locate many of their email addresses – this makes it super easy! Thanks!

  • Owen Johnson

    Betaspring also follows this convention for the companies that go through our program. The convention is valuable for incoming and internal communication.

  • http://about.me/mikisegal Miki Segal

    Great tip – thanks Brad!  Creating a founders@noozify.com now

  • Anonymous

    Brad, great idea. Have incorporated for my company Good Life Beverages. The founders can be reached at founders@goodlifebev.com thanks for tip!

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