Option 1 if you're working 10 plus hours a day including being on call 24/7. See if you can get a contractor so you can try for a few months before deciding which way to go (Will be harder to get CTO type person for a shorter duration).
This gives you some room to think about the business and where you should be prioritizing your efforts (sales, product, marketing, biz-dev).
I actually see this as an opportunity for Google to experiment with customer support. Seems that a lot of people are willing to pay for some basic level of support - so why not test that hypothesis ?
Setup a separate Customer Support organization for specific services. Staff with lower-skilled folks from cheaper locations (since cost seems to be such a huge concern). So a $X yearly plan entitles you to Y number of queries and gets you a response from customer support in N days.
For example a $20,000 per year engineer (very reasonable in lower cost locations) would require 2000 users paying 10 per year to breakeven.
Exactly. Ad revenue of newspapers slipped over 50% during that time. The whole market got eaten up and destroyed, worse than the music industry could've ever dreamed.
There is still a great bunch of journalism out there, like Vice (who actually did the original reporting) and then there are folks like this guy who wishes for days of yore. The Atlantic puts out plenty of great content from great writers who get little cash for their efforts.
The market changed drastically on this guy and he hopes he can get more PR from this free blog post than a free byline on theatlantic.com
I find myself in a very similar situation (married/mortgage/kid) building product fulltime. I intend to go on till I get some evidence of traction before I see any investors.
It sounds like your product is some sort of a marketplace where one side (sellers/businesses) will pay and the other side will come in free. If so that's one of the oldest games in town. And showing an angel that sellers will pay to sell/promote their product on your platform is not going to generate much excitement. (Sellers ALWAYS want to sell and will pay for customers if they see a particular system/channel working).
Your challenge will be to build up the user base quickly. Identify a segment (your customer's customer's perhaps) and offer some sort of an exclusive (you will have to pay for that discount most probably unless your sellers are willing to chip in)
If you do want to go the angel route immediately some options are
> local tech meetups
> cofounders lab (I've found good entrepreneurs there)
Happy to compare notes, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org
It is strangely comforting to know there are others out there in the same boat.
>> It sounds like your product is some sort of a marketplace where one side (sellers/businesses) will pay and the other side will come in free.
>> showing an angel that sellers will pay to sell/promote their product on your platform is not going to generate much excitement.
I was thinking along the same lines. The only thing that it may do is prove to them an initiative. On the flipside, it'll slow down adoption significantly.
>> Your challenge will be to build up the user base quickly.
Agreed. This is what is really motivating my interest in finding an investor now. In order for me to build up both customer bases, I'm going to need to give away the service to the restaurants and bars (paying customers) for a duration of time (I'm thinking 3 - 6 months). Once I get enough of them enrolled, I'll use gorilla marketing, social networks, and simple word of mouth to spread it amongst the buyers.
The problem I have is that pushes me out 3 or 6 months before I see any sort of revenue. On top of that, the cost of getting both user groups goes up as I attempt to expand to other nearby cities.
Thanks for all of the points man. I sent you an invite on gchat. Hit me up if you're ever in the mood to compare notes or need a wall to bounce ideas off of.
I know this is what people are saying, but is it actually true? I would imagine that if you can land a position as a technical lead in a small team within a couple of years, you'll be much better suited to lead a startup than you would be building your own products. Also some selection of business courses wouldn't hurt like marketing, business intelligence and networking.
The point of business school isn't learning, it's networking and signaling. Even within the "tech scene" if you want to work for one of those VC's, a Wharton degree and a stint at Goldman is going to go a long way.
you're forgetting that you learn about 100 other people's careers and industries, Wisdom and Insight of profs that tell you what isn't in the book, and the book knowledge, which I feel certain anyone focused full time on a startup doesn't have time for. People have been ripped off for hundreds of thousands of dollars before for simply not understanding basic accounting.