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The Entrepreneur thread (not an ENTP thread)

EcK

The Memes Justify the End
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Hi,

I was wondering if there were (i know there are) entrepreneurs (past, present or future) on the forum.

Could be interesting to share experiences and perhaps give advice to people with a serious itch / ongoing project and who knows, even connect and - pardon the 90ies expression - synergize :laugh:.

Go
 

Bush

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I've had two startup attempts so far.
_

The first was very short lived. Not much to say. Back in undergrad, a few of us had a pretty good idea for a service having to do with overseas communication. We invested a bit of capital and time, and then we found out that the fucking USPS already provided that service. We decided to back off.
_

On the second -- I don't want to say too much in public. But a few other folks and I conducted some research, which culminated in a piece of software and a patent filed for the idea underlying it. A particular research-oriented, for-profit network had provided raw data for us to use.

Our team decided that the idea had commercial potential. We got our shit together and lined up a very detailed short-term plan, including testimonials from organizations who pledged to purchase licenses for the software upon release, timeline for expanding the software and our suite of products, and so on. We pitched the thing and won the grand prize at a pretty well-renowned startup competition, which kickstarted our company.

We were going well for a while, but things went to hell when the network laid legal claim to part of the work -- and to the patent. Long and short, the legal implications of whether or not they had such a claim were huge, and so that needed to be resolved before we went balls-out in marketing and selling, lest our ass get bitten somewhere down the road.

They didn't have a claim on account of their particular contributions and what we had patented in particular, but the fact is meaningless unless it's officially really real legally backed up for real. And it turns out that legal fees are a total bitch. Want to communicate, negotiate, or otherwise talk with another party? If they put up a lawyer, you need to put one up as well. Want to check on the status of your own patent filing? You need a fucking lawyer to do it for you. Want to so much as breathe a wor-- well, you get the picture. In the process, legal fees ran us completely dry, because it turns out that huge networks can play the endurance game better than a startup can.

That was pretty much the factor that led to the eventual dissolution of the company, but there were others as well. A distant second is that, although we all busted ass throughout and wanted to see the thing succeed, my heart wasn't completely in it -- I (rightfully and thankfully) personally prioritized my education over the company. Among other things, it was exhausting pulling all-nighters digging through email chains to try to find evidence.
 

Tilt

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Here's a post I wrote awhile back:
Yeah.... Sort of. I own part of a business and have observed all the pitfalls and growth from the ground up. I don't regret it but it can be quite stressful at times. These are things I have learned:

1. Half the battle is learning how to communicate well with others.
2. Address issues before they become a big headache.
3. Making connections is key.. After awhile, everyone is connected... So it's good to try to be on good terms with everyone... You never know how someone will end up being useful to you in the future
4. Keep your ego in check.
5. There are probably going to be several things that you never wanted to do but will have to do for the success of the business... Not talking about illegal stuff.
6. Find people who can help balance out your weaknesses
7. Always keep learning and brainstorming so the business doesn't stagnate
8. Right location is absolutely important.
9. Fight for your vision.
10. Be proactive.
11. Don't get too sucked into other people's personal drama and do what needs to be done for the business.
12. Try to see other people's potential in how they can help out the business... Bartering of skills/services is quite useful. However, don't be afraid to fire people.
13. Find a good business lawyer to help write out airtight contracts and for legal counsel.
 

ilikeitlikethat

You're unbelievable ...
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I own a limited liability company in London.

It's a pet project of mine and I'm surprised as anyone that they let me have the name.

I've just recently moved my company to Soho too but it's currently in R&D (research and development).
Google Maps
 

entropie

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Ouh London, I have no good feeling about England for the future :)
 

EcK

The Memes Justify the End
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I own a limited liability company in London.

It's a pet project of mine and I'm surprised as anyone that they let me have the name.

I've just recently moved my company to Soho too but it's currently in R&D (research and development).
Google Maps

Nice. What does the company do ? If it's not top secret :cool:
 

EcK

The Memes Justify the End
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I've had two startup attempts so far.
_

The first was very short lived. Not much to say. Back in undergrad, a few of us had a pretty good idea for a service having to do with overseas communication. We invested a bit of capital and time, and then we found out that the fucking USPS already provided that service. We decided to back off.
_

On the second -- I don't want to say too much in public. But a few other folks and I conducted some research, which culminated in a piece of software and a patent filed for the idea underlying it. A particular research-oriented, for-profit network had provided raw data for us to use.

Our team decided that the idea had commercial potential. We got our shit together and lined up a very detailed short-term plan, including testimonials from organizations who pledged to purchase licenses for the software upon release, timeline for expanding the software and our suite of products, and so on. We pitched the thing and won the grand prize at a pretty well-renowned startup competition, which kickstarted our company.

We were going well for a while, but things went to hell when the network laid legal claim to part of the work -- and to the patent. Long and short, the legal implications of whether or not they had such a claim were huge, and so that needed to be resolved before we went balls-out in marketing and selling, lest our ass get bitten somewhere down the road.

They didn't have a claim on account of their particular contributions and what we had patented in particular, but the fact is meaningless unless it's officially really real legally backed up for real. And it turns out that legal fees are a total bitch. Want to communicate, negotiate, or otherwise talk with another party? If they put up a lawyer, you need to put one up as well. Want to check on the status of your own patent filing? You need a fucking lawyer to do it for you. Want to so much as breathe a wor-- well, you get the picture. In the process, legal fees ran us completely dry, because it turns out that huge networks can play the endurance game better than a startup can.

That was pretty much the factor that led to the eventual dissolution of the company, but there were others as well. A distant second is that, although we all busted ass throughout and wanted to see the thing succeed, my heart wasn't completely in it -- I (rightfully and thankfully) personally prioritized my education over the company. Among other things, it was exhausting pulling all-nighters digging through email chains to try to find evidence.

I've lost my first company due to that type of shenanigans. Well not exactly that but essentially got defrauded of a bunch of money + got my software source code hacked (lost hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of databases and it would have cost more than the contract values to build it back) and the cops wouldn't do shit about it (it was in the middle east) despite the mountain of proof I've supplied. Company went into debt and crashed (its a rather long billing cycles industry so without cash you're dead if you have employees)


what I've learned from it :

1) I should have all the core competences allowing me to run said operation (even if not at expert level) so I always check / have a modicum of control on the core product without needing to rely on other people - so I've taught myself programming & a bunch of other things

2) don't leave sales to someone else - esp. if that person is as smart as you are. The product should sell itself via other means or word of mouth. "sales" should only be here to bring MORE clients but not be necessary for the company to clear a profit. The time you'll save on office politics and double-think will allow you to focus on the core business.

3) don't trust other people's opinions on growth-speed. Clear all your past liabilities before growing because if something goes wrong you won't be able to steer clear of the fucking icebergs.

4) be the face of the company to your client, if you get too busy to do sales meetings it also means you hand over the power / relationship to someone else.

5) don't work with cash hungry people - no matter how smart or talented - except if they stand to lose as much as you if the company fails. they'll be the first to try to screw you if the opportunity presents itself. it's like trusting an addict not to shoot up in a room-full of drugs

6) don't hire unless you absolutly need to, pick independant workers who do it for the freedom it provides (again, stay away from ppl working 'extra hours' for extra cash, work with 'career independants') . This way each project you work on has its own budget with little to no fixed costs.

7) always trust your instincts, once you have invested too much into something your logic will always find an excuse to ignore what your guts tell you.

8) don't work anywhere where company liability is your liability.
 

Jaq

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I've lost my first company due to that type of shenanigans. Well not exactly that but essentially got defrauded of a bunch of money + got my software source code hacked (lost hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of databases and it would have cost more than the contract values to build it back) and the cops wouldn't do shit about it (it was in the middle east) despite the mountain of proof I've supplied. Company went into debt and crashed (its a rather long billing cycles industry so without cash you're dead if you have employees)


what I've learned from it :

1) I should have all the core competences allowing me to run said operation (even if not at expert level) so I always check / have a modicum of control on the core product without needing to rely on other people - so I've taught myself programming & a bunch of other things


I believe in that point so hard. That's why I'm trying to teach myself 2D art, music, and other aspects of game design.
 

SearchingforPeace

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I was just in a 3 hour business development meeting with some guys who want me to join their startup. It was fascinating. It is our second meeting.

I haven't decided if I want to join.
 
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I am an entrepreneur since 5 years now. It allows me to be a small boss in the areas I love to study.
I hate communication problems. I prefer to talk over the phone, listen peacefully, and solve problems all by myself. It is a game to me.
Maybe because I feel confortable with analysis, synthesis, organization, etc.

The big problem to me (who have always avoided constraints cautiously): why are people so fu**** complicate ?
When over the phone everything is okay. But when I am bathing in the outside world, oh lord they get so boring sometimes...

Is it an nf stuff or am I pissed off with Se ? :doh: I spend my whole life organizing my breaks :coffee:
 
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