It's painful, shameful & liberating. I invested 7 months of my life trying to build something worthwhile. I feel like I came close - I did something I hadn't done before - designed & developed my own application, marketed it & acquired customers. Ultimately though, I could not find enough customers, fast enough. I could go on about how the model is not or was not right for a bootstrapped company - but I'd just be lying to myself. There is plenty of evidence to the contrary. I am proud of the small progress I made & I believe my lessons were well learned; be careful who you choose as a co-founder or don't choose one at all and acquire customers every single day or die. The latter is probably much more important than the former, so as a word of caution to anyone reading this, keep that in mind about your startup.
Now, that was the last 7 months, but this post is about the future...
I've agreed to take a position at 1SaleADay.com as the CTO, my official start date was October 15th, 2012. 1Sale is a startup with monstrous growth problems - a fortunate problem to have, in my opinion. However, that makes it a particularly interesting company to work for - luckily for us, we can alleviate most of these problems with the right talent. One of my foremost goals is to attract & retain talent at 1SaleADay. We're going to be hiring for the foreseeable future so if you have expertise in Ruby on Rails 2.x+, iOS, Android or Front-end development, please reach out to me.
I thought a lot about whether or not I wanted to stop working on Munchables to join 1SaleADay when the offer came through initially from my long-time friend, Chet. It really came down to three things for me:
Team: I like working with really smart, really talented people. It enriches my life & it gives a lot of meaning to the work we do together. The team at 1Sale has scaled the company to $30m+ in revenue since it's inception with only 3 programmers. That is in and of itself, quite amazing to me.
Challenges: The challenges the company faces are particularly attractive to me; I am a payments enthusiast (who doesn't like money?), a process optimization junkie & passionate lover of amazing user experience.
Growth: When 1SaleADay accepted their most recent investment, Uri Laber, the CEO of Optima Ventures said:
"1SaleADay.com has become an Internet sensation and current run rates peg the value of 1SaleADay to top $300 million in the next 1 to 2 years. This investment should send that trajectory into the $700-$800 million range."
That means that I can gain key insight into how to acquire customers on a large scale. Something I was obviously missing at Munchables.
It's been a very revealing experience to close a one person company with a handful of customers & start at a company with this much traction. I'm optimistic that the next few years will be as fulfilling as the last 41 days. I look forward to the future.