Going it alone

I, like a lot of entrepreneurial-minded individuals, struggle with staying engaged and motivated on whatever project happens to be in front of me at the moment. There have been projects in the past where I have had multiple people involved and focused on getting some kind of product out the door. Most of the time, however, it’s just me, an idea, and what I believe is perfect timing for the market I’m trying to break into.

When you are alone and have limited or no help, the pylons in the road can seem like sideways-parked cities buses. A little lethargy can feel like a motivation-robbing deep depression. A technical challenge that takes you 6 hours to work through can sometimes make you feel as though you just flushed an entire week down the toilet for little to no gain.

I don’t know what the trick is to keep going or if there’s a magic tonic I can rub on the festering sore that is my need to succeed at a start-up. All I know is that, at 41, the candle of my youthful enthusiasm is not quite as tall as it used to be and to quit now would force me to account for the many, many years of spouse-less, child-less, job-less, possession-less existence that I’ve been quietly keeping in the closet.

Onward and upward I say. It’s now or never!


Unrealistic Expectations

I’ve been having a hard time getting re-motivated or at least sustaining a level of motivation in the last week. There are some things unrelated to anything technological that have been on my mind. To help me get re-engaged with my Internet start up thing, I decided to watch some of the video clips from the “Startup Lessons Learned” conference with Eric Ries (http://bit.ly/b0OD9i). Of those I’ve focused on are the presentations by Aardvark and KISSmetrics.

It’s interesting to go back and watch these videos because they feel like really good equalizers to the exuberance we can feel for launching our first product. A few of overriding perspectives that seem to constantly pop-up are these:
Continue reading Unrealistic Expectations

Why hasn’t this been done yet?

I spend most of my day asking “Why”. Why is the sky blue? Why do otherwise smart people believe in dumb ideas? Why did someone at work make the decision to go left when it was obvious to me and everyone else that “right” was the correct direction. You could assume that by asking so many questions, a number of sort-of Well, DUH! ideas fall out of this process.

Beverage Containers

Why hasn’t a material been developed and widely adopted that allows Milk, soda, and juices to be distributed in containers with hyper-fast biodegradability (say 6 months or less)? Recycling has been around for 30 or 40 years I imagine and the technology to make materials that biodegrade at a reasonably fast rate have been around even longer. So why is it when I go to the grocery store, I’m still buying my milk in containers that take 100 years Continue reading Why hasn’t this been done yet?

Does anyone know what their “smarts” are worth?

Lost in the endless prodding of our mothers, fathers, and greatest-generation Grandparents is the notion that we should all go to college to get a good education. “Nothing will get you a job faster than a college diploma” we’ve all heard. Ok. Fine!

So you decide the career that will suit you best is that of an architect, or a nurse, or an electrical engineer. You enroll in the local Community College and start picking your classes. Almost without fail, new students scan the list of classes that an adviser and some formal-looking documents tell us are required in order to be granted a degree in some field. Cultural Art credits are required to be an electrical engineer? Wannabe nurses have to pass college algebra to help care for people? Really? Continue reading Does anyone know what their “smarts” are worth?