Foursquare’s vice president Tristan Walker, perhaps one of the company’s most public faces–along with Denveen and engineering lead Harry Heymann–just announced his departure from the company on his personal blog. That’s the second early employee to depart from Foursquare since Naveen Selvadurai was defoundered in March. Mr. Walker, who lives in Palo Alto and was Foursquare’s first employee in the Bay Area, will be headed to Silicon Valley powerhouse Andreessen Horowitz as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence.
We guessing this time around, he didn’t get the gig with an “awesome, awesome” fanboy letter to Marc Andreessen.
Always Be Hustlin'
Business development professionals still don’t have their own noun. It’s either “I do biz dev for ____” or “she’s in biz dev” or, our favorite, “they’re biz dev folks.” Maybe business… developers? Bizzy devvers? Bizzy dev bees? Hustlers-in-chief? Someone should come up with a phrase quick, because biz dev folks are increasingly visible and sought after, and more and more job listings are asking for biz dev rockstars and ninjas.
Nowhere does the business developer shine more than at the small, scrappy startup with a million users whose revenue possibilities are basically anywhere between zero and infinity. “Business Development is a mysterious title for a little discussed function or department in most larger companies. It’s also a great way for an entrepreneur or small business to have fun, create value and make money,” the marketing pundit Seth Godin wrote in 2009. “And often it’s a little guy who can be flexible enough to make things happen.”
While biz dev is still somewhat behind the scenes, some of these players are moving into the spotlight.
Class Is in Session
On the occasion of his two-year anniversary at Foursquare, Director of Business Development Tristan Walker posted the very first email he ever sent Dennis Crowley and Naveen Selvadurai–way back when he just a green b-school student going into his second year at Stanford. IA Ventures’ Ben Siscovick reblogged it, noting that:
“In it we see a young, smart and obnoxiously hungry person *will* himself into a killer opportunity. If you are outside StartupLand looking to get in, read this then read it again – this is how it is done.”
If Mr. Walker’s path to gainful start-up employment is anything to judge by, applicants need not shy away from a liberal sprinkling of exclamation points, or the word awesome, or fret over an errant capitalization or two. “I spelled foursquare “FourSquare”…capital F and capital S….TWICE! (so taboo these days)”
They also have to be willing to send eight emails before they get one (tersely-worded) response. Oh yeah, and if Dens asks if you’re ever in New York, pretend you were planning on being there the very next day, buy a ticket that night, and fly out. After that, just thirty days of working for free and, voila, life-changing job!