This is my first, and hopefully not last, post on this blog. I have started this blog for three primary reasons:
I am the founder of a startup, and the internet demands that founders of startups have blogs.
The thing is, we’re a garbage company, not a social media/app/photo sharing company; we could have existed before Al Gore invented the internet. A blog doesn’t seem to provide immediately obvious benefits to us, but what the hell why not.
The startup world has become trendy. This would be good, except it seems to be centered around self congratulatory VC funded launch parties for becoming the (previously mentioned) social media/app/photo sharing flavour of the week. Fine, but, that seems to be the apparent extent of the shrinking startup world. It had crossed my mind that this was only in my head, being an introverted artistic type, but this article validated my suspicions.
You don’t hear about real problems being addressed by young, irrational entrepreneurs. And if they don’t attack these problems, or no one supports them, the problems won’t be solved. Old people won’t take the big risks on the big problems. It’s fun for your remote controlled helicopter taco delivery app to scale 10x in a week, but it must be more meaningful to develop and commercialize 10x innovations that enable the bottom of the pyramid to live better quality lives. I’m sure entrepreneurs are taking on much more difficult challenges than our company, but you don’t read about it. I want that to change.
UPDATE: Steve blank discusses smart phone startups vs everything else.
Point is, almost everything (Solyndra is mentioned as a top startup so, grain of salt, people) I read online concerning startups is focused on apps and online services. I found one blog on non-tech startups (meaning non IT/online based) but there was only one post and no content, yet, hopefully. So, in my habit of doing everything exactly the opposite of what I am told, or what everyone else is doing, I’m starting this blog to put some “non-tech” mark on the startup world, however little it may be. I poke you in the eye with my crude stick, startup world!!
The clearly articulated story of crossing the bootstrapping chasm, of transitioning from wantrepreneur to conference attending downtown loft dweller, is difficult to locate online. Search though I have, results I have not. Up with which I will not put, I have decided to do it myself.
I want to know how this occurs. What is the quantitative step by step process leading from your parent’s basement to running a startup with employees and customers? I want to see the gory details. Yet, most blogs contained little on this subject. Bootstrapping seemed to be an oft mentioned yet little detailed aspect. A founder would mention it in passing, if only to appease the startup gods, to confirm that he had in fact suffered 라면 so as to be accepted by the startup community, as though it was a rite of passage. Jump one post ahead, and the next thing you read, the founder now has an 8,000 square foot office complete with custom “Asian themed” interior design, a vegan kitchen, and macbook charging stations. All in a central downtown location! Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, how did they do this?? There’s a big part missing from this story. Beyond the questionable necessity of such extravagances (why does an online company need downtown office space?), exactly how does this occur? And don’t say “they got funding”, because that’s like answering the question “where do babies come from” with “mommy and daddy fall in love”. There’s something a little more complex, and messy, going on behind the scenes.
Thus, the final purpose of my blog is to document every detail of the fight for survival in the jungles of capitalism, from the beginning.