Sorry for my absence of late. I have failed to get into any substantial rhythm of work on this new startup. Self motivation and determination has been patchy to say the least.
Yesterday it came from an unlikely source however.
Talking to a girl –
“I think you’re all talk. I don’t think you follow through on the things you say.”
“What makes you say that?” I replied with a brave face.
“You have been talking about this idea for months, and what have you done about it?”
With a serious look of I’m in control…
“Well Rome wasn’t built in a day. I’m all over it.”
But in fairness she’s right. My focus is way off. But nothing like a pretty girl to bring up the ‘I’ll show you’ attitude.
Ahhhh the inner monologue. A torturous place.
I just woke up from a bizarre dream. So with my mind now as high as a kite, figured I may as well put my creative head to work, and get writing.
Yesterday I met a potential CTO.
Starting this new idea from scratch and with no one with me on it, the first thing I need to do is get a couple of like minded people on board. Principally I need a CFO and a CTO as co-founders. People who can get passionate about the new idea and pull all in.
I have no money for them, so I really need to sell them on the concept. And of coarse, I need to be sold on them.
I have taken to posting vague ads on Craigslist (Is it possible to find good people there?), Angel-list (?)… and I will need to get out and socialize. That last part I’m dreading as I know it takes a lot of work… and drinking!
I have nothing but equity to offer anyone so all the challenge is in-front of me.
But back to yesterday. We had arranged to meet at 3 o clock at the bar close to where I currently work. He came is looking much slicker than I thought he would, complete with very stylish shades. Something about all that made me suspect. Perhaps my suspicion was unwarranted. CTOs can dress well I presume? He was just a little too slick.
He gave me his background which I barely wrapped my mind around. He told me he had been involved in various startups. Had had raised money. His companies had been acquired. Now he was just looking to help others. Hmmmmm. Again, all possible. Maybe I have become too cynical.
I laid out my idea to him.
Now what really struck, was that without asking me questions about my business model, he went into talking about how he could definitely do it. How he had teams of people who could help. How he had an off the shelf solution. How I should put 5k into getting something together. How he new investors etc etc.
Again…I could just be being cynical. By all accounts he knew what he was talking about.
I gave him my brand new business card (which looks cool btw) and he gave me his web address. Why do successful people have such bad looking sites? In fairness, I have known genuine successful people with bad looking sites.
Today I meet a potential CFO at 5 who seems genuinely well wrapped up in the industry my concept is in, followed by a startup pitch meet and greet. I’ve been here before.
All advice welcome!
It’s crazy to think it’s been a year and a half since I was here. It took me a bit to remember my log in details.
So where did I leave you all hanging?
Well miraculously I managed to find a deal at the last minute to ensure the survival of my company. In truth it was a painful convoluted acquisition. The legal wrangling to make the deal happen took months and ultimately led to me falling out with my co-founder and best friend. It’s true what they say… don’t work with friends and family.
I didn’t even make any money out of the acquisition. I know, I know! All I got was a job and survival for what I created. Although the press we got out of the acquisition suggested I was a new millionaire. I wish!
So to boil it down. I’m ready to move on. And so perhaps it’s a good time to kick this blog back into life.
I have an idea in mind. But I am literally starting from scratch. I want to do it right from the beginning. I want to avoid all the mistakes I made in the past. And its fair to say I made a lot of mistakes.
With my last concept I bluffed my way through most of the process. So when I say I am starting from scratch I find myself wondering the answers to the most simple questions. How do I find a CFO? What is a CTO? Do I have the confidence and self drive to do it? Do I have the discipline?
The self doubt!
But here we go…
Unbelievable. I woke up yesterday morning with the mother of all hangovers having decided to drown my sorrows late into the night.
Yesterday was to be the very last day. I was planning to call an end to everything at 6pm. But we had 1 last meeting planned with a company we had met a couple of weeks prior.
I told my colleague how hungover I was. I was dying. I told him in advance that ironically, I had pulled off some other notable deals in my life hungover. Perhaps it would happen again. Hah. I’m not saying thats a great strategy for raising funds by the way.. just happens to be true.
So we went into this meeting at 10.30am. The alcohol still running through my head… more than likely dripping out of my pores. I felt physical pain… But this was the last meeting I was to ever have on this crazy startup that never wants to die. So I gave it my all. A full on, impassioned, emotional spiel. My defenses were down, but I had nothing to lose. “This is what it is, are you interested?”
On the spot they made an offer to pay off our existing investors, and crucially to fund the company to the level I want for the next couple of years.
The fact is that nobody gets rich here, this is not a Snapchat acquisition, but what this is is a deal, survival, security and a future. Personally and for the entity.
Obviously nothing has been signed yet, anything can fall through… but thats where we are.
The show goes on. Hopefully.
Will keep you posted.
Firstly, I never informed you what happened with that investor call on Saturday. It’s too ridiculous to believe.
It was an investor calling me for my take on another startup that we work with who he was about to invest in. And there I was all excited that this was our Golden Ticket moment.
I just learned that said startup has raised 300k in funding. It’s not the first startup that I have noticed and advised investors on. Perhaps there is a future career there.
We are definitely in the final countdown now. End of business tomorrow, I’m calling a halt to this madness. We have a few meetings today and tomorrow, but I see them as being pretty far fetched. I’ve had enough rejections to last a life time. I can take it mind.
I must be honest, our current investors are being a bit of a pain in the ass at this stage. They are not providing much use, their advice is contradictory… and they still want me to linger this on. I’m not sure if you can linger something on, but I’m doing it 🙂
In hindsight consider this… one of our investors was not willing to support a bridge round of funding (around 80K), but wanted us to ask for 17-20 million when we were trying to sell the company.
I’m at a stage where I’m pissed off at everyone – my investors, our non investors, the space we’re in, and myself.
Anyway… it’s not over yet.
7.14pm. We have pushed back our deadline day to salvage something to next Thursday. In my mind we are in the zone whereby if anything happens… it’s a total miracle. I am facing the reality for what the situation is more and more; I have to with the clock ticking down at the rate it is.
Really something biblical needs to happen.
Speaking of which I was just in the gym and I had a phone call. Nobody phones me in the gym… nobody phones me much in general actually. I picked up…
“Hello John, its Bob Blank (made up name). How are you?”
“Good Bob. Just in the gym. Actually on a treadmill…killing myself.”
No idea who he is.
“Look, remember we spoke a couple of weeks ago. Well one of our investors wants to talk to you. We’re closing our fund this week.”
“Yeah sure. That sounds great.”
Completely lost. Not the foggiest.
“Great. Ok, he’ll probably call you this evening.”
“Thats great Bob!!!”
Anyway, there you have it. Do you believe in miracles?
Wishful thinking. But I’ll take a call from anyone just now.
5.51pm. So my suspicions came through. Only one of our existing investors was willing to support a bridge round of investment.
Looking at Monday/ Tuesday to call a halt to this, barring a minor miracle.
I’m not writing it off. But the curtains are closing.