People Like Me Need People Like You

“People Like Me Need People Like You”

Someday I’ll write a book about Ancestry.com.

I’ll highlight the people who built Ancestry from the ground up–unsung heroes like Richard Stauffer and John Ivie and Jim Ericson.


I’ll also highlight those who helped Ancestry survive our financial crisis in 2000/2001. Michael Herring, one of the greatest CFOs I know made our survival possible. It was tough work, but he pulled it off.

By late 2001, we were cash flow positive again for the first time since mid-1998. The company would survive.

When I left Ancestry in early 2002, there was a big farewell party and a warm send off. The room was filled with my amazing Ancestry friends.


They gave me a leather-bound notebook which I treasure even now–filled with kind words and goodbyes.

Of all the farewell words I heard on my departure, the most powerful of all came from Michael Herring. “People like me,” he said, “need people like you.”


He, a finance guy. Me, a startup entrepreneur.


That meant the world to me.

Since then, I’ve tried to pay that comment forward.

I like to tell writers: “people like me need people like you.”

As I entrepreneur, I can’t live without content to make me better and smarter.

We all need each other. What type of people enable you to do what you do best?

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