We had been raising our Series A for seven months, our burn rate was $150k, we have a $550k loan from our angels and ourselves, and with five weeks of runway left, our lead investor calls after 90 days of due diligence to say they’re out.
And just like that, in one phone call, or to be exact; 217 days, 43 flights and 81 calls/meetings, we were back at square one.
“We’re f*cked bros…”, I said to Ben and Jerd.
(How f*cked? No-money-to-pay-salary-for-57-people-f*cked. Yes, that f*cked)
The secret to achieving goals, especially the really big ones is to break it down, into small pieces, call them “milestones”, and work backwards. Step by step from where you want to be, back to where you are today.
One of the most defining stories of my life was back in 2012, when I was 22, living in Bangkok, after graduating with a bachelor of a practically useless degree that will land you a job, but pays fuck all in exchange for, well, pretty much, your soul. I said fuck it, I’ll find something else better to do.
play·book (plā′bo͝ok′) [noun]: a set of tactics frequently practiced by one in any sphere of activity.
Initially these were just bullet points in my “Simplenote” app. When I lived in New York, I read it every morning. They were my inspiration, guiding principles, hope that helped me find my way when I had no one to follow.
1. Keep it real
It’s as easy (or as hard as you want to make it) as being brutally honest with yourself. …
…Ok hold on, let me fix that; “Fastwork accidentally becomes operationally profitable” — that’s more like it.
Yeah yeah I know, most of you are already having doubts and saying, “Alright, this guy and his startup broke even, but at what scale? Not at $100 million that’s for sure. And shouldn’t he be going after the users first before trying to make money? blah blah blah so on and so forth…”
— BUT bruh, let me ask you this: “Who’s party is it?”
Mine. That’s right. My party. And I can be happy if I want to.
We didn’t intend…
Growing up I was lucky to have the freedom and support of my family to explore and try new things (pretty much do almost whatever I want). I was always up to something, and I was always having fun — that was the foundation I grew upon. Until the day came, as I’m sure it did for everyone, and I was told I had to “grow up” and start doing things that were “serious”.
Stubborn and childish as I was (and still), I ignored everyone and refused to do what the “grown ups” did, for as long as I could…
The rant below was sent to a team of four at Fastwork, on November 9th, 2015. It had been a little over two months since development began and was 3 weeks before the launch of Fastwork’s “Beta”.
Do you know why I chose to do startups? It’s not for some ego-stroking, applause or to be able to say “I have my own business”. Nor is it because “I can’t work for someone else” —
Ideas are cheap but nobody tells you what’s expensive. Product/Market Fit is expensive. And do you know how to reach product/market fit? You build, you break…
I’m trying my best!