After 10 months of working at a bootstrapped startup, I successfully managed to burn through all the cash I had saved. Call it what you will but sometimes you need to go with your gut and make business decisions that are in the best interest of yourself and your family.
First of all, it’s true what many have said about the health risks of working at a startup. Particularly as an engineer when you sit for extended periods of time. The whole experience is exhausting mentally, physically, emotionally and financially if you’re also bootstrapped. It’s easy not to worry about money too much when your parents have money and if worse came to worst, you could always move into their basement. However, there is a point where you need to draw a line. In the last year or so I’ve had a 2-3 very real/scary panic attacks, a kidney stone, and fairly noticeable weight gain. Also found out I may be developing diabetes (something my grandmother died of). It’s quite the shit show and I’m not ready to figure out the quickest way to kill myself. When running your own business you are sometimes forced to reinvent yourself and re-imagine your company. What do you want to see your business become? A clone of an existing service? An app that only you and your mom use? Or a business that is responsible for leading the industry in creativity and technical expertise? You must also ask yourself two very important questions: Do you enjoy what you do and do you really believe in the service/product you provide? I can only speak as a developer but if your days are filled with marketing meetings, you are probably not going to enjoy the gig. After deciding to move away from the startup and focus more on my own business, I now realize I am back where I started and surprisingly enough, I really enjoy the feeling (I think I’ve also instantly lost 6lbs).
TENDIGI is being re-born from the ashes of the past 10 months. A new company built from the ground up with a culture of innovation, experimentation, collaboration and execution. Just this past week we hired two new interns who are incredibly talented and driven. They will be helping with design and development efforts and they could not have joined the company at a better time. We’re currently seeking a relatively small investment to help us find a physical office. A place where we can come together regularly, host clients, brainstorm, strategize, network and execute. A sanctuary for mobile strategy and development if you will. While it may seem as a extra unnecessary expenditure, I consider this critical to the company. We are typically scattered about and having a place we can all call our HQ will ground us (in a good way). If you’re interested in helping us, please shoot me an email. Refocusing back on TENDIGI has been an eye opener. It’s been a while since I’ve felt so optimistic about anything and straying off course for 10 months was a much needed experience. While many entrepreneurs start businesses for fame and fortune others start businesses out of pure passion.