When one of my coworkers asked me to take one of her old ideas and give it new life, I thought it would be a fun side project for a summer afternoon. I did not expect for it to turn into a full time job. Allow me to say this: beware the entrepreneurial spirit emboldened by market research and an air-conditioned office in summer.
It all seemed very innocuous at the beginning. I had read The Four Hour Workweek (by Tim Ferris), and felt qualified to outsource, if only I could find the right people. I spoke with a friend and we decided to go in on the idea together; coupling my self-proclaimed stubborn autodidacticism with his industry knowledge and connections. We had no idea what we were getting into. (In fact, on the Rahe Stress Scale, the combined aspects of starting a new business outweigh a jail term.)
The following months were filled with hours spent poring over market research on the stationary bike at the gym. The staff got to know me well enough that they handed me a document tray for my machine when I walked through the door. My vocabulary changed to include terms like “UX/UI,” “elevator pitch,” and “market share.” My 10 year old son gave up Lego Ninjago to watch Shark Tank with me. One day after breakfast, he asked me if I knew what my FICO score was and how it might impact my limit when I applied for a business credit line.
The development cycle was thrilling (read: purgatory). My developer was kind enough to converse with me in my native language, and so I gave him the courtesy of having the sun shine on his side of the globe during our meetings. I became nocturnal. It was only when I realized we were literally splitting pixels to finesse the aesthetic of the app that I began to wonder when it would end. Life changed the day I discovered the term “minimum viable product.”
The day we submitted the app for upload began a slow crescendo which peaked when we were approved for launch. Now it is real. The social media campaigns can begin. The links can be shared. Within a matter of days, we will be at our first trade show, demonstrating our product for the world to see. I can’t wait.