Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon

“Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” is a literal translation of the Chinese idiom “臥虎藏龍” which describes a place or situation that is full of danger.  It is from a poem of the ancient Chinese poet Yu Xin‘s, which means “behind the rock in the dark probably hides a tiger, and the coiling giant root resembles a crouching dragon.” – Wikipedia

Upon moving back to Canada, I was introduced to Heather Reisman and later joined Indigo with the idea of ‘what happens when books go digital’ planted firmly in my mind.  It was a new thing for me, to work for i) a non tech company, ii) a Canadian company, iii) a company i did not start or vend into.  Newly married with a new child, and a desire to not fly 250,000 miles a year helped push me over the edge.  It was an amazing experience on so many levels, and I will always be grateful for that time.

It didn’t take long in my new environment to recognize that on many levels, my life experience up to that point – ISEF, NASA, Microsoft, Silicon Valley and a few startups with giant exits – was different.  The people who were my mentors, my models were giants in tech, and they were hyper-smart, hyper-competitive and aggressive.

I think it’s safe to say, that you don’t find that often, anywhere, let alone in a book retailer.  Which made it all the more surprising that that was the place I met my friend, Dan Galperin.  Hyper-smart, hyper-competitive and aggressive.  Unrelenting and strong.  Ready to fight, and unquestionably, to win.  He is the Tiger and the Dragon, and you want him to be on your side.

galperin_sailing

Dan was the only one to approach me, 1:1 and make it clear to me who he was — From Belarus to Israel.  A builder.  An entrepreneur.  Someone that solves hard problems.  Someone who can sail through rough seas.  Tough as nails.  A man of substance.

In my transformation of the team at Indigo, Dan rose to the top and became a partner.  When the time came to spin-out, to build a digital platform to deliver books to anyone on the planet, on any device – to compete among the best – there was no question that Dan was the right leader.

Dan built a team of hundreds of engineers that created Kobo’s platform, apps, devices and backoffice.  An extraordinary feat in and of itself.

Dan built our overseas development offices, extending our global footprint.

Dan built our partner platforms, in enterprise back offices around the globe.

Dan built a culture of delivery, pushing to deliver the unthinkable, to cross the finish line and to succeed in every mission I gave him.  Unquestionably, every time.

Dan built a team so acutely aware of the importance of delivery, that they counted the days in between a “Dan’ing” – a fearsome ritual that was performed anytime there was slipping.

Hidden behind a Zen-like calm, Dan has the intensity of the Tiger and the Dragon.  That intensity enabled us to compete, and to win with Kobo – building a world class platform, and competing with the best on the planet.  We sold Kobo 2 years after launching for hundreds of millions.  We then accelerated the business around the globe.

That wouldn’t have been possible without Dan.

——————————————————

Training, the kind when you feel your legs burning – screaming at you in fact – is often a good time to reflect and to find truth.  I went for a long ride last week with a good friend that is a VC in Palo Alto.  As we were pushing through the most intense part of the ride, when my legs were burning the most – we talked about people we knew and worked with, and agreed, that Dan Galperin is among the best there is.  And I am proud to call him my friend.

As I think about creating another global, world changing platform – there’s no one better suited for the challenge.  Today, I am thrilled to announce that Dan Galperin has joined Dan Leibu, Todd Humphrey and I as a co-founder & investor in the Everlong Project — and this is the most alive, and the most intense I have seen him in years.

Welcome to the Everlong Project Dan!

(As many people can appreciate, we now have the power of the Double Dan. 🙂  )

doubledanned

 

Meanwhile, we’ve been quiet at Everlong while we build out the company in stealth.  I look forward to sharing some more soon,

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