Ups and downs of a startup
It’s been about half a year now since I started working on AvidTap. Through this time period I’ve experienced some ups and downs associated with working for yourself. Some of these experiences further solidifies my belief that talk is pointless and action is more important.
Your Idea Will Change
Wouldn’t it be great to just think of something, implement it and off it goes to great success? Well, that’s not what happened with us. When Geoff, Kaz and I got together, we had an idea of how we’ll implement our solution. Turns out after further experiments, we had to make the painful decision to completely toss that idea out. This early setback didn’t deter us. Instead we searched for other ideas and came to our second solution. However, after some time implementing the second idea, it turned out that it was unreliable so we had to move past that too. If we spent more time we might have gotten the second idea to a reliable state, but by this time we had came up with an even better (UPDATE: patent pending) solution which should be released soon.
To everyone out there still just dreaming about your idea, better snap out of that daydream and get to work.
During the past 6 months, we applied to some accelerators but we didn’t get in. I can’t say rejection feels good, but frankly we were too busy to dwell on it.
My attitude is “I’ll show you!” when facing doubters. I think this attitude comes from being an immigrant in Canada. When I was in grade 8, my classmates thought I was stupid just because I couldn’t understand English.
It didn’t matter whether other people believe in our team and idea, what we needed to prove is to ourselves that this can work. People will jump on the success when AvidTap starts taking off. This is also why I never just talk about an idea at Microsoft. I build a prototype demonstrating that the idea can work and then pitch to people.
Of course it’s not all sad and depressing. There are many moments of joy that I enjoyed. Like getting VentureStart funding, winning best new product at Coffee Fest 2013, and hearing store owners tell us they like our product better than competitors’.
The ultimate joy will be when we’re able to massively scale this. After some experiements at our early stores, it’s great to see people start using AvidTap and use it repeatedly. 2013 will be an interesting year filled with ups and downs. To that I say “Bring It!”.