Last night I surprised myself at the Safeway checkout when the checker asked me how I was and I replied with, “oh, alive.” I quickly tried to quell the uncomfortable vibe by rambling on that I had a startup that was still in limbo, etc. etc., but I don’t think the cashier actually wanted to hear an answer to his socially polite question in the first place let alone a morbidly depressed sounding one. It was clear that the more I tried to explain, the more of a desperate bafoon I sounded like.
I spend most of my days with a look on my face that is a mixture of disenchantment and quizzical disconnection. It’s caused by this aching, yearning, and tortuous rhetoric in my head that spouts off potential explanations for why our marketplace startup has not taken off.
I mean, I dreamt up this idea almost a decade ago and have delusionally held certain that I was going to succeed. I have undoubtedly known that MyPeopleNow would become a household name and that thousands of stories would be pouring in sharing the tales of people who’s lives have been changed all because of what I created.
Am I some kind of grandiose lunatic or am I just not there yet? I always annoyingly inspire myself to press on by reminding myself of how ridiculous the founders of Airbnb must have sounded to some of the early people they told their idea to. “You think you can build a marketplace where people allow complete strangers to sleep in their homes?!? Preposterous!!!”
But Airbnb is a success as we know and I personally hosted over 300 of those complete strangers in my home and everything turned out wonderfully. I’m just trying to recreate that experience with peer-to-peer services but it has been frustratingly slow.
Nevertheless, I press on and continue to try and discover what I need to do to make it through the valley of the walking dead (startup lingo for not completely dead, but seriously not alive). And when I woke up this morning as I always do (beating my head against a proverbial rock waiting for brilliance to strike my brain), I used trusty ol’ Google to search for some answers.
I will spend the next few blog posts sharing my thoughts on what I have found and perhaps together we can discover where to go from here.