In Startuplandia the concept of “faking it until you make it” is accepted as part of the process of building a successful business.
When speaking to potential customers, partners or the press, the common wisdom is to pad your user numbers, growth trends or team size so outsiders assume that you’re larger than you really are—thus more established + less risky of a proposition.
The interesting part is that in other parts of the economy, scarcity, small batches and fewer offerings are seen as a sign of quality. Think boutique bakeries that only make a few dozen artisan croissants a day—and when they’re gone, they’re gone. Or Hermes, whose signature Birkin bags are in perpetuity (and purposefully) kept in short supply; and Bespoke Watchmakers who produce their craft in small batches and have customers waiting for years before their order is fulfilled…
But back in Startup Land, an ecosystem fueled by capital that needs to be returned in 8 to 10 years, these models are deemed “lifestyle businesses” and if not openly derided, then at minimum looked upon as not a part of the rarified air that is the world of scalable startups.
Though, the facts don’t bare this out. All of the massive companies, and household names, we now know, started as small businesses. In fact most of them started with small batches, and did things that “don’t scale”.
I’m re-reading The Four Hour Work Week after 7 years…
I remember the first time I read it, sitting on a train headed towards the town of Viterbo, Italy. Blown away would be an understatement of my reaction to reading Ferriss’ now cult classic.
Shortly thereafter I dove head first into lifestyle design and creating internet businesses. The goal being for these businesses to give me freedom: financially and location-wise.
An object in motion tends to stay in motion
One large iced green tea, one small extra-hot, hot chocolate. It’s the sweet and sour of this drink combination, the hot and cold duality of their natures that I love. I’m sitting in the same Starbuck’s that I have spent many a late night brainstorming the
It’s an unnaturally warm day in San Francisco, a pleasant breeze wafts in through an open window while the faint sound of traffic is drowned out by a oscillating fan. In the last hour, Chloe – a
When I came to San Francisco, almost a year ago today, I thought I had a decent understanding of starting a business in the internet space. I had been “working online” since I was 19, doing everything from selling jewelry on eBay to social media consulting, I look back now and blush over my deep, unsettling ignorance.
Brainstorming session at Zirtual HQ held in the kiddy-corner of our shared office space.
When I was a child my family spent some idyllic years in Mountain View, CA. We left in ’92, mere years before the internet boom began.
Recently my company, Zirtual, went through a series of changes. Everything from changing our primary business model (twice) to letting a dear member of the team go.
It’s been an incredibly difficult and eye-opening period for me and I thought I could share some of my experiences in hopes that this will help some of you down the line.
12 months can change a lot, more than I realized or expected. What I thought Zirtual would be a year ago isn’t even recognizable compared to the business it is today. We haven’t really pivoted as much as we’ve tweaked the business model like relentless crack heads.