why we fight
Eight months ago I left finance to do…something involving startups. Seven months ago, Josh and I had our first conversation. Four months ago, our customer development process told us we were onto something. Two and a half months ago, we convinced Ryan to join our crazy scheme. A few hours ago, we put our first prototype out in the wild.
I’ve never had a feeling quite like this. Putting this much time and effort into something that didn’t exist in any way, shape, or form a few short months ago, based on nothing but conviction, seems totally nuts. Leaving a lucrative career for the chance to build something you can’t even yet put into words makes no rational sense.
But it makes so much emotional sense. For the first time in my working career, I have built something over which I have real, foundational, continuing influence. Every vision, every product decision, every pitch, marketing scheme, and conversational goal came out of mine, josh, and ryan’s brains. We got a lot of help and advice, but at the end of the day, if we had decided that tutorspree should sell can-openers, we’d be selling can-openers right now. And that’s what makes all the difference. It’s not the need for control in the service of megalomania. It’s not the fact that we think what we’re doing will be very profitable. It’s the fact that we made something that didn’t exist before. Something that we think is good, that we’re proud of, that we’re pretty sure people will use, that we believed in and saw before anyone else did.
And that, for me, is the heart of being an entrepreneur. It’s not that you take on the world all by yourself (because I’m not alone). It’s that you face off against…nothing, and you have to see the possibility in it, and then do something with it. You have your idea first, and that’s worth a little. Then, you grind towards something better and better every day. And then, one day, you turn around and you have your first product.
For tutorspree, this is our “softest launch.” Really, it’s just a prototype. Not everything works yet (though it all will soon and we’d love to hear any feedback you have on it). But it’s there. And for me that’s worth so much. It’s a validation of so much of what I’ve been doing, but more than that, it’s a validation of our team. It’s evidence of what we can do. It’s fuel for what we have to do next. In short, it’s why we fight.
Now we start the real work.