The Tweet That Jumpstarted My Startup Journey

How a single tweet led to me quitting my job and joining Founders Inc, one of the most exciting startup incubators in Silicon Valley.

The Tweet That Jumpstarted My Startup Journey

How a single tweet led to me quitting my job and joining Founders Inc, one of the most exciting startup incubators in Silicon Valley.

It's September 2020. My hate for the corporate 9-5 is raging inside me like a forest fire. I'm running up on four years at a big corporation that's been paying me well, but never really satisfied my inner-builder. Deep down I know I want to make the jump to work on a startup, but I was too hesitant and complacent with the job I had at the time.

I started following startup folks on Twitter to keep myself motivated and tuned into everything happening in the space. One of the best accounts I followed is @ShaanVP who I learned about on My First Million Podcast (if you haven't heard of it, check it out, the podcast is absolute gold). I'm scrolling through my timeline and I see this tweet:

Shaan tweets about hiring Johnny at 14(!!!) years old

In my head I was thinking "14 years old!? This kid sounds like a wizard! I need to meet him and read up on what he's doing now." Before you know it I was crawling down the Twitter rabbit hole that eventually led me to @_johnnydallas_. I followed Johnny on Twitter and went right into reading his timeline to learn more about him.

After about a month of following Johnny, he tweeted about a startup he's working on called Zeet! I really liked the offering and reached out to Johnny in a DM.

A DM between me and Johnny talking about Zeet
A DM between me and Johnny talking about Zeet

I absolutely loved Zeet as a platform and wanted to find a way to maybe join the Zeet team. This was the type of startup I always dreamed of joining: cool product, cooler team, super early stage.

To try and make myself useful I started looking for bugs and trying to help folks in the Zeet customer Discord. At some point I decided to dig more into Zeet to find out "who, if anyone, has invested in Zeet?"

I looked at the list of accounts that followed and noticed that @FurqanR was on the list! I opened up his timeline and started scrolling through to learn more about him. It was easy to see that Furqan was an investor; I assumed he was also an investor in Zeet given that he was followed by the Zeet Twitter account.

I didn't have any intention of reaching out to Furqan until I found this tweet:

I was super excited at the idea of working closely with Furqan and so I instantly shot him a DM after seeing that tweet. I was willing to work for free in order to prove to Furqan that I'd be a valuable addition to any team, hoping that the folks over at Zeet would notice my skills and be open to me joining their team! I read about other startup veterans taking on mentees and figured I had nothing to lose by trying to reach out and get involved. I shot my shot!

A DM between me and Furqan trying to connect for his contracting offer

That DM sparked what has now become the best year of my career working with Furqan and the entire community at Founders Inc. Furqan has taught me so much in such a short amount of time and I've had the pleasure of working with a plethora of startup veterans.

My role at Founders Inc today is something like a "Founding Engineer" plugging myself into our studio companies and providing an engineering boost when they need it. I'm spending some time building the community too and hope to one day start a company of my own.

I have a deep passion for building and the community at Founders Inc is one that I deeply resonate with. The sheer luck that a single tweet would result in me quitting my day job, joining a Silicon Valley incubator and finally chasing my dreams is the type of thing that makes you realize that anything is possible.

When I was in college the startup world seemed like this impenetrable bubble that would float high above the sky and be completely out of reach to me unless I built something amazing or knew someone who knew someone. Fast forward five years and here I am surrounded by dozens of VC backed startups and hundreds of ambitious founders, deeper in the bubble than I ever thought I'd be, all from a single tweet.

If you're interested in startups and entrepreneurship, take the dive today! Immerse yourself and reach out to people you find interesting. Don't hesitate to fire off that DM, you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Cheers.

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Ibrahim Ahmed

Founding Engineer at Founders Inc.

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