Just like when you’re driving, you can’t go in more than one direction at any one time in business. Sure, we can argue about multi-tasking and how companies have multiple products yada yada yada, but when you are allocating your personal time to a project or task, you can only work on one thing in any one instant. Eventually, when faced with multiple projects, you must choose one path and put all your effort into it. When searching for a well, digging half way down won’t get you half as much water.
I came upon such a decision last week. I was introduced to Dillon (one of the first dates I mentioned in my last post), by a long time friend, Vibhu Norby of everyme, another entrepreneur down here in the Valley who is reinventing a better address book. We met up for a pint at a local pub to discuss zapit (my energy conservation game) and social entrepreneurship. We parted company about five hours later, one friend richer, but both now in a dilemma.
Dillon and I had hit it off right away and we knew that we could work well together. Although he currently had a full time job at Intuit, he wanted to leave to start/join a startup. I was his fourth startup suitor. Two of the others offered a salary as well as equity; he had a tough decision to make. Me? My decision had fewer options, but was nonetheless just as difficult for me. The night before we met, I was having a rather dark night. I was extremely discouraged at the lack of awesome potential cofounders that I had met so far as well as some of the contractors that I had spoken with. Through the lens of my suffering I was able to see a new business, one that would help people like me find people like Dillon (spoiler alert, we’re cofounding a company together).
I was so pumped about zapit, getting such strong reviews and validation from utilities and energy service companies, who would be my customers, but not from ordinary people, who would actually be using it. Sure people loved the idea, but in a few tests I ran, interest waned really quickly without any real world interactivity. It needed some hardware.
I saw the sign in the road, and I took a left turn. I’ve left the cleanweb sector for now, but will be back eventually!
Dillon’s been focused on small business issues for the past couple of years and I’ve worked for small businesses. It was a better gelling of our skill sets and passions and not only that, it’s a product that we can launch sooner and start earning revenue almost immediately, which sounds a lot better than the uncertain cashflow from selling to the glacial purchasing departments of utilities.
A new friend and cofounder, a new business idea and a new place to live (Dillon and I will be moving into an apartment together in the next couple of weeks). I’m truly living the spirit of this blog!
“A journey is like marriage. The certain way to be wrong is to think you control it. ”