Vimeo co-founder and internet eccentric Jake Lodwick has just raised around $1.5 million from a gaggle of big name New York tech types including Chris Dixon, Lerer Ventures, David Karp, Bre Pettis and David Tisch. The interesting part is, he doesn’t have an idea for a product, at least not yet.
“I just don’t think it makes sense to have a product idea, THEN raise money, THEN build a team,” Mr. Lodwick told Betabeat over Gchat last night. “People need to trust each other and build up momentum as a team and once we have that, we can drop everything and focus on a great product idea.”
The pitch to investors was about Mr. Lodwick’s theory of the most fertile ground for big inspiration. “Most great tech companies have a ripe team before they do something great. HP, Apple, Yahoo, Google, there’s always a story about a great team or duo that was working well together and stumbled on their product.”
We asked if this would be something like betaworks, or perhaps what Kevin Rose is doing with his mobile lab, Milk. “People have asked me if it’s an incubator or a ‘labs’, and I don’t really know what to say. I don’t know exactly what those words mean, I’m just going to improvise.”
As to what kind of product ideas he wanted to play with, Mr. Lodwick was coy. “It’s called mydunks.it. It’s better than NBA jam. It’s a universal ‘like’ button for the web, but instead of ‘likes’ it’s ‘dunks.’”
We were suspicious. “Actually we’re working with some of the best cartoon-realistic animators on the web. It’s one part foursquare and four parts onesquare,” Mr. Lodwick said.
So basically, there was no idea yet, just the focus on the perfect team? “It was fun raising money with no cofounders or product ideas,” Mr Lodwick concluded. “Entrepreneurs always get distracted by fundraising, so I just did that part first.”