Today was an important day in my project. We finally got the answer to the ultimate question:
How can this project end?
As we all know there are two possible outcomes and the shareholders of FinderBase decided today what they mean:
- My project will fail. The seed funding round will not be closed if we raise less than 100,000 € (50 % of the target sum).
- My project will succeed. The seed funding round will go through.
Who wins if I succeed?
If we think only in terms of cash, the biggest winners here are the guys who have been linking to my blog. If the round fails, my project will end up on the negative side. But if the round goes through, I will get my “million dollars” and these guys will get their affiliate money. And there’s still a lot of money in the budget so anyone can help out by spreading the word.
But how could the round fail? We have the guys at GrowVC helping us out. If you want to be a part of this success story, join the seed funding mailing list and we’ll tell you more.
Today, I had the opportunity to present FinderBase to a couple of professional investors. Much of our talk was around the business potential of our service.
People tend to over-complicate the talk about money.
I will argue that there is only one right way to talk about money.
- It is not the way of worshiping the money. You shouldn’t respect big numbers more than small ones.
- It is neither the way of disrespect. You should respect the people with money just like you respect anybody else.
- The right way is the neutral way. Money is just money. Numbers on the bank.
So we opened the discussion with the obvious. I said our company is worth 1,8 M€.
Considering that FinderBase.com has only had a handful of paying customers and has less than 300 registered users, the price might sound a bit extreme.
But they listened to what I had to say.
They had good suggestions on what we’d need to do next, most of which we already had executed. They asked whether we allowed bigger investments from a single party and I told them that was negotiable.
This is the way I’d like investor meetings to go.
Neutral about money. Passionate about business.
The success of a new venture is almost entirely dependent on the commitment of the entrepreneurial team.
Let me present you the classic story of the pig and the chicken:
What can we learn from this?
In a typical case the whole team is made of chickens. That is, people who contribute to the common goal but in the end have nothing to lose.
But a team made of chickens has rarely achieved anything remarkable. People appreciate commitment and especially when the team is looking for venture funding it’s critical that they are committed.
Why on earth would the pigs commit?
If you’re the pig, you should ask yourself two questions:
- Is the ham-n-eggs business really what you want to do?
- If yes, could you get more pigs to share the responsibility?
After that it’s easier to calculate your risk and expect a reward accordingly.
Our 20,000 € application for further Tuli funding of our project was denied today.
The funny thing is that I’m not a least bit upset about this. The pros of freedom in decision making are overwhelming compared to the cons of not getting the money.
How could you fail if you turn every negative event into a success?
Obviously you can’t. People usually just want to see the negative side of things.
Every negative event has something positive in it. You just have to look for it.
I went through my list of good ideas today. It was indeed an interesting thing to do. I noticed that I had documented a lot of ideas that had already failed or pending for failure. Here are some examples:
- I had contacted altogether seven people that weren’t interested in what I’m doing. In the meantime the people that were interested had pointed me towards 13 more people that could be potentially useful contacts.
- I had discussed a total of 11 business ideas with people. Three of these were completely ignored or heavily criticized, six have potential, one is being implemented and one is already in production.
- I had 11 ideas that didn’t make it to this blog. At the same time I had 24 ideas that did.
What if I had just stopped trying after the first few failures?
It’s good that I didn’t. Success is the inevitable consequence of failing many times enough.
I’ve been saving today’s post to send a status update to all of you following my project.
As I mentioned before I was pitching an idea at the Aalto ES today. It went about as good as I expected and definitely better than the rehearsal speech on Monday.
The judges apparently liked my pitch and my idea came third out of eight. That was probably the best possible place to be at, since I got concrete help on where the drawbacks of my idea are. I will have plenty of time later to tell you more about the idea and how I’m going to make it happen.
In the pitching competition the first place was awarded to a great social media experiment called Promises where you can make a promise that your friends can see so that you have the social pressure of keeping it. I love the idea. Get the site running guys and I can come and promise to do the million before thirty.
The second place went to an idea of starting a Colombian coffee franchise in Finland. All they need is two million to start with but really I hope they pull it through.
So what now?
Now I will discuss with the Tuli people on Monday how they see how they see the market potential in what I’m doing. After that we’ll just start doing it together with the team I will be building in the next few days. It was great to see so many people who had good ideas and wanted to help me in any way they can. Thank you all, I really appreciate your expertise and love to see your ideas developed further.
What comes to this project financially, obviously so far it is on the negative side. After registering a couple of domain names, I’m now at -$21.90.