It’s been sometime since I last updated this journal of the startup, and now that I’ve restarted my blog I thought I best kick off with a catchup.
Since my last posting I was offered investment on Braqes for a large chunk of equity. As much as I got on and valued the input from these investors I didn’t want to give that much away at this point. Having said that, the investment was more in all of my plans rather than just Braqes, and I didn’t want to give that away. I was offered a lot of advice, and all of it invaluable however it seemed Braqes was sort of being bastardised – how it would be sold, service levels, costings and how I would get signups. It was becoming something that I hadn’t thought of. Pretty much similar to all the other solutions out there. I was worried that as much as it would have been my own company, I would have hated working on it and ended up resenting it.
I was offered an office, advice, accountant, legal, budget for an employee to start off and a direct line to the investors advice. Amazing, yet I didn’t think I needed all that just yet. I was advised to quit my job as this is 100% dedication, which I understand as it is their money and they need it to work – I wasn’t ready to do that. I’m loving my current job right now and it is the perfect place to be due to where this tool is going to be used. I suppose its a unique place to be as a lot of startups are born out of frustration or unhappiness in working for someone, but I’m in a good place and I think I can manage Braqes for now. I have been transparent with my employee as well, they know I’m working on it. Rather than have them bite me in the ass later.
Don’t work on it during office hours though, if anything screws up at work they could blame it on your focus. Be careful.
So I took a step back, and revisited the quote I originally received. Yes quote…not the plural. In my excitement and desperation to get things going I went with the first quote I got and that set the benchmark for the fundraising I was seeking. After putting the idea out there, on various freelancing sites – something I was afraid to due due to my idea being stolen – I had over 12 quotes. (37signals book get real states at any given time there are probably 4 people with the same idea as you – get to it) Thorough, well d0cumented quotes. 23 Skype calls later, I had selected my dev team.
Who are now developing my app at 10% of the original quote. My first potential tech partner had completely over quoted me and had offered to subsidise that quote for a chunk of the company. (which still worked out more expensive) – imagine a year later whilst the company is doing well you suddenly realise your tech partner had taken the piss out of you and was now a partner in the company.
So here I am, I have so far self funded this venture. Every penny I can spare goes into Braqes now. The hosting, the development, the APIs I need to power it, the advertising, the designing and any other costs that pop up.
Don’t let the excitement cloud your judgement – step back, run it past friends or family. You can save yourself a whole load of pain.
Braqes is now in development, I’ve seen the designs of the layouts based on my wireframes, I’ve approved them and now they are being cut up. Next step is to start implementing code and seeing if this all works…
As this starts to roll out now and I start to get learnings I’ll add that all here. For now, it’s all looking good.