What does it mean to be a “philosopher entrepreneur?” Eric Paley, a Managing Partner at Founder Collective, explains that certain types of entrepreneurs approach their work with an exceptional vision for where they want their industry to go. For example, Behance co-founder Scott Belsky, who realized a vision for a massive community of creative people, excelled because of his thoughtful, introspective approach to doing business.
Eric Paley: Scott is a bit of a philosopher entrepreneur. He is so insightful. He's incredible at giving advice to entrepreneurs. And I imagine that's the way everyday he thought about his business at Behance and how he worked with his team was just a very, very deep thinker but very quick as well in processing a lot of information and giving a great insight into where to go, what to do, how to think about it. He's great and framing a problem and addressing it. In Behance he built something quite amazing, which is the largest community of creatives on the Internet. And he did that without himself actually being native to that community. But I think he was able to do that because spiritually he is a fit for that community. He understands deeply what they care about and where they're going and what was missing in that community and he was able to build that product and that experience. All the way through to the leading conference in that space, a brand that really matters to that community very deeply and a level of recognition to the top performers in that community that really was never available before. They were always a little bit hidden behind their work. And I think Behance brought them out from behind their work and made sure the world knew who they were, which was a very special aspect of what Scott accomplished.
I think Scott is a dreamer and he's also a doer, which is why he had this incredible dream of what a creative community could look like and executed it into the largest creative community on the Internet today. And I think part of what that community is about is a little bit separating the folks who are just dreamers from the folks who can follow through to incredible work. And I think Behance really rewards and recognizes those people who can actually follow through with their work, their creative livelihood and bring it out to the world to an incredible end result and make sure that those people come out from behind their work and the world knows who they are. So they've become the celebrities and I think Behance is a forum for making sure that those people get rewarded for the incredible work that they're accomplishing. Scott is an incredibly genuine person. There's a reason why so many entrepreneurs seek him out as an angel investor, as an advisor. Why so many of our own entrepreneurs in our portfolio have wanted to get Scott involved in one way or another. Why he's among the most successful angel investors I know of in this era involved at the earliest stages in two different gigantic unicorn companies. And there's something incredibly special about how genuine Scott is, how thoughtful and sincere he is in wanting to help people, in wanting to see people succeed that I think is part of the reason why so many people want to be involved in Scott's world and interact with him. We feel very lucky to be involved with Scott and I know so many people who interact with him feel that way.