We have been doing some in-depth research (good work Nat!) on our potential market and finally see both the massive opportunity in the market and the breadth of competition we face. While the second aspect is certainly frightening it was also very reassuring; the existence of competitors who are more than just startups proves the existence of a market.
Our original hope was to find more of a “green field” with fewer competitors and hopefully therefore an easier time for our startup company to establish a presence. Unfortunately, there are not as many big “green fields” around any more and the ones that are there tend to be small and difficult to exploit.
Not having found a green field, we had to take a critical look at the market in front of us and ask the question, “Can we be successful here?” It is clear there is money to be made in this market. It appears to just be a matter of figuring out “how”. We think we know but won’t really “know” until we test it out.
Mid last week it became obvious that it was time for us to “go big or go home” and take some next steps in this process. I decided we needed to take a deep breath, jump in and start to develop the software. It is fair to say this indicates we upped our level of commitment.
There is a famous quote that I really admire:
Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: That the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” – W. H. MURRAY THE SCOTTISH HIMALAYAN EXPEDITION
I made up my mind to go ahead on Wednesday night. Thursday night I received a cryptic note from one of our advisors asking if I needed any developers. A quick phone meeting on Friday unveiled how I might be able to acquire the services of some good quality developers “real fast”. Another quick meeting on Monday and we bashed out a structure for making it work. A longer meeting on Tuesday and we kicked off the project “conceptually”. A little back-and-forth with a contract and we should be good to start in earnest on Monday.
What do I get? A “known-quantity” development team with great skills that I need (including Facebook experience!) for a very good price without the risk and complications of hiring them directly. I get them for a short term (of my choosing) but with the possibility of extending the contract if everything goes well. I also get a chance to help out a company that I advise keep the lights on until their next tranche of fundraising comes in.
It appears to be a big win for everyone. In our case, I think it is going to help us bring a product to market perhaps two months faster than it looked like a week ago and will also make it much easier to move ahead with acquiring additional investment to help us build out my vision for the company.
What did it take to make it happen? Simply deciding to “get on with it” unleashed the river of positive events.
Ain’t magic wonderful! Note to self: do this more often…