The road hasn’t been easy. It took over 16 months to bring a product to market. When we launched no one cared and 24 months after starting we had only 10 paying customers and revenues of $99 per month. We moved into my parents’ basement for 3.5 years. But despite all the evidence pointing to our failure, we carried on. Why? We loved our customers, our company and working together, and we’d discovered a passion to serve others. -Mike McDermott
Can you imagine spending a year and a half dreaming up a product, launching and then spending the next 2 years with a total of 10 customers for a net gain of $2,400 to show for it?
Most people couldn’t…..
Would you have moments of despair when your office / bedroom / home is your parents’ basement? At what point would you give up and simply say this is not working?
Most people would give up in month’s, not years….
It’s time to quit when you secretly realize you’ve been settling for mediocrity all along. It’s time to quit when the things you’re measuring aren’t improving, and you can’t find anything better to measure. -Seth Godin in an interview with Guy Kawasaki. Where would freshbooks be today had they listened to this?
It wasn’t easy. I’m sure that at some point he wanted to ditch it. Do something else. Admit failure. But he didn’t.
In a world where we expect instant success, you have to wonder how many Mike’s there are in this world these days.
Are You a “Mike”?
Here’s the thing. I know that many of you consider yourselves entrepreneurs. You have the ideas. You have the dreams. But for many of you, there is one or two things keeping you from the challenge.
It could be lack of knowledge or know how. It could be money. It could be both.
In the rare event I have someone ask me about how they can make money to fuel their dream, they rarely like my answer ; I usually tell them to get a second job and work until they can realize their dream. Because there is absolutely nothing wrong with delivering pizzas if it is a means to an end.
When it is lack of knowledge, I tell them that they should cut out time in their day to learn it so they can execute their plan. Because when push comes to shove, a couple years is a drop in the bucket to attain something real. Spending the time to learn Ruby on Rails because you want to develop useful apps that matter to your market is worth the stretch if you can scale that knowledge.
Who knows? You could wind up with a story like Mike’s……