December 5th marked my first year of blogging personally (I had previously been a corporate blogger for 7 years at Bazaarvoice). I began blogging primarily as a service to entrepreneurs - a form of giving back to the community that I believe is the greatest force for change. I named my blog Lucky7 as a tribute to my amazing mother, who passed away last year. My first Lucky7 post on December 5, 2012 was a revisit of my manifesto to Bootstrap Austin on March 15, 2005. Looking back, it was clear I deeply cared about the development of our entrepreneurial community in Austin. That caring - and passion - drove a year of many highs in 2013. I've been actively investing in startups since December of last year with my wife, Debra, and I formally chose this as a career a few months ago, forming Hurt Family Investments. We've made 14 startup investments so far, 9 of them Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies. I've also joined the Advisory Board of 6 additional companies, all of them SaaS. Out of the 20 startups we are involved in, 16 are headquartered in Austin.
As I continue to help more startups in Austin, I want to go on a bit of a rant. In my opinion, there is simply too much derogatory language in business - and there is no place for it. Most leadership training comes from the roots of the military, where people can die if they don't follow orders. As I always told our incredible people at Bazaarvoice, especially during the very difficult Great Recession years, we are working under an air-conditioned roof, receiving free snacks, and seeing our families at night much of the time. If we take too many of our leadership cues from the military, we don't honor the unique culture of modern-day business.