Last May, I came up with a 'great' idea. It was the classic 'wouldn't it be great if..." moment. The idea? Being that I had just married my husband and we'd completed one year of wedding planning, I wanted to create a better online service focused on that industry. Vague I know, but stay tuned, more will be reveiled. The idea lingered in my head for about a week and then I shared the idea with my husband, my living litmus test. He thought my idea was great. So I started working on putting my ideas on paper.
Fast forward two months later to July, I created a basic mock-up version of my idea, it was packed full of all kinds of juicy features and boy was I excited! With ideas and juicy-feature-packed excutive summary and mock-up ready to go, the time had come for me to actually share my idea and my plans to venture into entreprenuer land, with a few people I trusted in the Tokyo web community here. So I carefully considered who I would share my idea with and became even more excited! I realized that the relationships that I have built over the last three years as a recruiter may prove to be perfect for my new start-up dreams! I reached out to a few people I trusted and [gasp] shared my idea with them. My pitch sucked, (well, it was pretty non-existent because I hadn't prepared one) and full of cringe-worthy content. I'm still cringing :). But, the feedback was helpful and positive, and as I had hoped, very supportive.
THAT'S WHEN MY IDEA STALLED OUT.
That's when things stalled out. I wasn't sure it was such a great idea anymore and I didn't think it would actually make ANY money. So, I ceased dedicating more time to my idea and neatly filed my entreprenuer dreams and TC 50 2010 goals in the 'maybe someday when...' folder of my heart and went back to work helping start-ups and companies find talent for their own start-up operations (oh the irony!). Yeah, I shelved my idea was shelved and I intended for it to remain there, until I read Neil Patel's "My Top 10 Worst Money-Making Ideas". Thanks very much Neil for sharing this. I thought, "How cool is that? How confident is he?! He makes failure seem like no big deal at all! It was inspiring and indeed, I was INSPIRED to improve my idea.
The same week, my human litmus test asked me, "What's going on with your idea? I haven't heard you mention it in a few months. Where are you with it?" I told him, "Yeah, I shelved the ideas for a bit. It just seemed like a massive challenge for me and..." I stopped myself. "Actually, babe, thanks for asking me about it. I am planning to start working on again because I'm going to do it. Thing is, I need to improve it, a lot!" He smiled and told me to keep going, he thought I was on to something. (Boy, do I love my husband!) So I was off again!
MY IDEA HAS EVOLVED BEAUTIFULLY.
I haven't stopped going since then. I worked on it every chance I got over the Christmas holiday. From Tokyo, to Oregon, to Alabama, back to Oregon and then to Mount Bachelore, my idea has evolved beautifully. In fact, it's evolved so much, that when I met with Rob, the super-fantastic developer who has agreed to partner with me and help me with developing this, he commented on how much my idea had changed and he's on board. It's pretty cool to look at the progress and I just can't wait to see where we are next year at this time. Right now, the only thing I am 100% about is, we are moving forward with this idea, development, and launch. We're pressing forward and I can't wait to share more details about it.
Transitioning from idea phase to development phase, here are a few candid thoughts (rather questions) I've had.
1. What if this fails?
2. What if I waste my money?
3. Can I really do this?
4. What if people like my idea but think I'm the wrong person to pull it off?
5. What if people hate my idea AND think I'm the wrong person to pull it off?
6. Do I have the right network and support to make this happen?
7. Do I have enough money to make this happen?
8. Who will help me?
1. So what.
2. I'll make more.
3. 100% I am the right woman to make this a success.
4. They suck.
5. They suck even more.
7. Yes, I don't need that much.
I WAS REJECTED BY TECHSTARS.
Earlier this month, I applied to Techstart Boston. I received an e-mail of interest and I was sooooo excited! I must have replied to them within seconds of receiving their e-mail. They must have thought I was a bit crazy :). At the time of application, I was a solo-founder and didn't have a superstar developer (as I do now) and though their e-mail was positive, the last line said, "As you probably know, sole founders have a tough time getting into TechStars - though it does happen." I didn't care about that last line. I was super excited to receive an e-mail from them. (Thanks for the e-mail Shawn!)
Yesterday I received the reject e-mail from them.
No worries. I am thankful for that rejection. Really I am. I know that everything that happens is a part of something much greater than me. That e-mail and rejection has really helped me to improve my idea even more. So, we're moving full-steam ahead and I am absolutely elated about my new adventure into entreprenuerland! It's a rollerscoaster ride that I think may be a bit similar to head-hunting. They say, 'Everyday, you are one call, meeting, or e-mail, away from the best profession in the world!' I think starting my own company is waaaaay better. (And I really enjoy being a head-hunter in Tokyo!)