Founder Thoughts

Alex and I always talk about how we need to write more, do some writing first thing in the morning before diving into emails, get things out of our heads onto something tangible. Yet, it still doesn’t happen as often as we would like.

But here’s a start, some raw thoughts from the week.

On taking money
We’ve gone many months without outside money. We came this far by putting in our own savings and a ridiculous amount of generous help from friends and supporters. Well, money is running out and we need to raise some. But we’ve always had a lot of hesitations when it comes to taking other people’s money. Since day 1 we’ve always wanted to learn to make money, not raise money. The idea of bootstrapping was always more appealing to us than the idea of “being funded”. At the same time, I think we are also just nervous. Nervous about the responsibility. Here’s a thought I had the other day: I probably wouldn’t be as nervous if I was borrowing the exact same amount of student loan to pay for a 2 year master degree. It would’ve felt like the most normal thing to pay a huge sum for my education as an investment, and I’ll pay it back through years of hard work afterwards. When it’s viewed that way, investing in my own startup all of a sudden feels like a much better deal. I have control over what I want out of it, and I’m learning more everyday than any degree would be able to give me. Speaking of defaulting the responsibility to someone else – “I paid you tuition so now you’re responsible to teach me everything to be successful.”

On building supporters
It’s easy to want to stay in the studio. All the work that needs to be done! Someone’s gotta do it right? Recently, I have a new found appreciation for getting out and building connections. And I don’t mean the “networking” sessions where you exchange business cards but in reality everyone just really want to talk about their own startups (us included!) I mean building deeper connections and a group of supporters in Austin, with other groups that are doing amazing work such as PeopleFund, Center 61, The Next Fest, Aunt Bertha, Urban Roots, Four Teachers, to name a few. As much as sxsw has been overwhelming, because of our active outreach lately, we have met some really great people and felt that we are much more rooted in Austin than we were two weeks ago. Starting a business is an emotional journey. Having people around who understand makes you not die.

I have thoughts on some other topics, but haven’t articulated enough to write about yet.

I feel fine. Recovering.