Tagged: startup

Last Minute Offer!

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.

Unbelievable, considering.

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.

John Startup

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Do you believe in miracles?

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.

John Startup

 

 

Day 28 of 30: Reflections

1.49pm. Met up with an old friend I used to live with. She lived through a lot of the trials and tribulations. I gave her the whole picture. Pretty much all you’ve read here… but LIVE! It’s more entertaining.

My ‘startup’ has actually been around a long time. 8 years to be honest. It was never created with business in mind, but it just kept on growing in a bizarre organic way with me nudging it uphill. Don’t get me wrong; I’ve always felt there was a business here, but its been a very slow process. I have refused to take no for an answer and constantly refused to let it die. I have been stubborn as hell in getting it to this point.

So when I told my friend that I had this impending deadline to save the day, she began reminiscing on the amount of times I had said the same thing. She reminded me of all the times I said… “that’s it, I’m giving up”… but then plowed on regardless.

She also reminded me of all the funny times over the last 8 years, the women that have broken my heart, the despairing times, and all the achievements too. She asked me how I summated it…

There is a story here. A story onto itself. The problem is that not many other people in the world really grasp it in full apart from me. Some people have parts of the tale. Others have chunks of it. But nobody has the full view of it like I do. Our current investors certainly don’t understand the passion and energy behind it all. Nor should they. I don’t think.

I told her that when you get to this level, a level where I’m meeting the biggest people in the room… I only have time to give them a very high overview, and in truth that never does the story justice. The emotion and energy is removed from it somehow.

I told her that I did understand what had been achieved, but at this point, it is where it is, and this really could be the end of the line. 

I really want to be able to summate things properly, to have good perspective on it, and to pull the story together correctly when all is said and done. But right now… its tricky.

It’s not over yet. Tuesday is D-Day in terms of bridge round possibility which would represent yet another life line on this crazy adventure. 

Will the story go on? We will know very very soon.

John Startup

Day 20 of 30: Letting People Go

6.26pm. So had to let every non essential employee go today. 3 people left. 

I came to the decision yesterday morning when I met an advisor. I asked him… what would you do in this situation. He said… I’d let go of everyone right now. He said 2 days makes all the difference. You need anything you can get back right now. 

As I walked out of that meeting, the harsh reality of it hit me. Of-coarse thats what I needed to do. We were barely affording the next month anyway. It had to be done.

I was too chicken to do it myself. I’m no good at such things. Who is? George Clooney in that movie I guess. 

The truth is that I had to take a meeting at exactly the same time as we had planned to do it. I’m not sure if that’s a good excuse… but timing did just unfortunately clash. Hmmmm… 

It’s a bad time of the year to be doing this stuff. Heartbreaking.

I walked by Michele Bachmann on the street today. She walked straight by me. I should have asked her to cough up. She was shorter than I thought.

We had a meeting with a VC today that I met at a party a few weeks back. I only thought of him a few days ago. I emailed him and he said sure he’d meet, but he warned me that they only do investments of 75K or so, but no harm telling the story eh…

On the way to the meeting I told my colleague that these guys don’t have much money, so not to get that excited.

Suffice to say the meeting was high looking over Central Park… the most spectacular view you could imagine. After I made my presentation… he reiterated that they only do investments of 75 million or higher!!!!!!!

“Did I say we were looking for 350K? I meant we needed at least 75 million!”

Felt pretty small coming out of the meeting.

So with time ticking down, I told our investor today that we needed a bridge round of funding in the region of 350K. It’s not a huge amount for these guys… but the vibes are not what they should be. I don’t have any confidence they will give it to us, so I have to make a deal happen elsewhere.

The survival of the company is paramount, this money has to be found. It will be found!

Wont it?

Gulp.

Finally, just to let people know… as some are probably getting the sense that I’m about to jump off a bridge or something…

You certainly get the blues at times, but there are also plenty of laughs. When confronted with the reality, things become clear, very fast, so you gain perspectives with that.

The anxiety comes out of thinking… what the fuck will I do next?!!! 

And money! Money anxiety is an undoubted killer.

John Startup

Day 19 of 30: Crunchbasing

8.26pm. In office space alone. It’s a little chilly.

You know things are desperate when you have taken to sending the most random people emails trying to nudge their interest. 

I’ve been on Crunchbase for the last few hours. Seeing who’s invested in who… and then randomly emailing them. Of coarse it’s hard to find the emails of the multi millionaire types, but LinkedIn is proving surprisingly useful today. You can find a lot of people, and see when they’ve looked at your page. I didn’t know people actually used LinkedIn. But they do!

I managed to get the attention of a fairly high up CEO who I hope to get on the phone in the next couple of days. Touch wood.

– 

This has become a fight for survival. Forget Series A. Forget acquisitions. It’s clear these things are not on the cards now. So my mind has been trying to work out how we might buy ourselves 6 months.

Last night I made a great offer to a CEO. I said we need 350K, and by the end of that we’ll be in proper business, having hired the exact right personal. It was a great offer… I got a little excited by it… but this morning I got the rejection response.

Yep. Things are not looking good.

I wish I didn’t believe in this fucker so much. I know we have something special. 

But the market dictates… the market dictates. All the rejections can’t be coincidence. Maybe I have bad breath?

Terrible closing line.

John Startup

Day 18 of 30: Anxiety Rising

7.35pm. Desperation is building. Need to somehow get grounded.

I’ve taken to sitting in a bar, lap top open, with a notepad, and a glass of wine… and sending biblical emails to everyone to get something to happen.

The vibes for a bridge round are not great. I’ve been doing my homework. And there is no investor lurking around just now.

I’ve got creative with my thinking. If I can buy us time we can still get this company in shape. So I need to raise about 400k to give us 6 months. I’ll take over the world with that.

I’ve just sent an email to a linchpin asking for him to invest that amount to give us the crucial time.

Time will tell.

Sorry have been so lax with these posts… it would be fair to say, my mind is currently a bit messy.

John Startup