In 1891, a startup idea was born. The Quadricycle. It consisted of two bikes, lined up side by side, and powered by a gasoline engine. For over a decade, the founder of the Quadricycle iterated on it’s design, tirelessly committed to the idea that, one day, he would bring this “horseless carriage” to the masses.
This is the story of Ford Motor Company’s inception—a fledgling idea built on the optimism of its founder and his insight into an unmet need in the marketplace.
Flash forward to 2016 and we’re surrounded by startups. The only difference now is instead of Quadricycle’s, we have Quadcopters. Pivotal’s roots are in the startup world and, as we bring that “Silicon Valley State of Mind” to enterprises, it’s important to recognize what these large organizations are really looking for. In many ways, they want to behave like startups, but at scale.
I’m proud that Pivotal continues to support the startup community. Many of Pivotal’s current clients are exciting new startups. We hold product office hours across our Labs offices to mentor startups. And, in the early 2000s we enabled startup clients like Twitter and Google before they exploded into the giants you know today.
Boulder Startup Week was a wonderful opportunity for us to show our support of this community. Pivotal was a sponsor and we saw 8,450 people attend 203 events with 421 speakers at 71 venues around Boulder.
On top of sponsoring, we also hosted a multitude of events throughout the week:
- We hosted a panel discussion on “balanced teams” to a sold out group of 200 people. This included a Pivotal team of Product Management, Design, and Development.
- We hosted a panel discussion on the power of iterating at Google’s Boulder headquarters. The panel included Google (talking about Chromecast), Pivotal (talking about our process), Revolar (a Pivotal startup client talking about their product), and Matter Cycles (talking about creating custom mountain bikes).
- I held mentor office hours to advise a variety of startups.
- We hosted a party on our deck at the Pivotal Labs Boulder office.
- We led a group hike to the top of a mountain for a morning standup, complete with gourmet coffee and pastries at the summit.
It was great to see Pivots connecting with startups throughout the week and to share with Boulder what Pivotal is all about these days.
Staying authentically engaged with the startup communities across our various offices around the world is critical, in my opinion. It’s part of what makes Pivotal special.
Nothing could be more evident of how important our startup roots are than to see the the creator of the Quadricycle grow into one of the most influential companies in the world and, over 100 years later, lead an investment round of $253M with Pivotal last month. As Ford’s president and CEO, Mark Fields, put it “Our investment in Pivotal will help strengthen our ability to deliver these customer experiences at the speed of Silicon Valley.”
About the Author