Tuesday, October 18, 2011

100 Days of Gratitude - Day 9: Keith Yamashita

Keith Yamashita
"This is hard, isn't it?" Keith asked.

"Painful," I replied.


"To say the least."

I went to visit Keith Yamashita, co-founder of SYPartners, in 2003, when we were struggling. We had about $50 in the bank (I had no idea how we were going to make payroll the next week), the site was struggling, and I felt incredibly lonely and isolated.

Keith and I sat in the lounge of his office talking for about 45 minutes, as he tried to get his arms around our challenges.  Just having someone understand was therapeutic.  But more than that, his firm helped us out periodically over the next several years.  First Keith and his colleagues helped us change our name (from the wonky DevelopmentSpace, which I loved, to GlobalGiving, which I initially disliked intensely, but proved to be much better for users).  And then they helped us refine our strategy and vision.

The bulk of the credit for our success goes to our awesome team.  But along the way, over the last eleven years, there have been a couple of people whose encouragement and understanding kept us going at junctures when we could much more easily have given up.  Keith was one of them.  Thanks, Keith.