Launching and promoting our #SexTech startup Blindfold hasn't been an easy journey. Mailchimp blocked our fortnightly Pillow Talk newsletter because of "strict spam filters" and Betalist refused to promote our startup because it was deemed "explicit". (I've since been in touch with Marc - more on this later.) I'm a Digital Nomad because I believe you can build an internet based company, team and product in a distributed manner from anywhere in the world. There's a…
This is why I moved to Thailand to Bootstrap my Startup
I've been consulting as a UX & Product Designer for early stage tech startups in London's "Silicon Roundabout" for 6 years. Shoreditch is an awesome place!
But, with crippling rent, tiresome commutes, terrible weather and expensive food I was forced to ask the question, is there a better way to bootstrap my own startup, Blindfold?
When I decided to embark on this new journey, I was asked the same questions over and over again! I've answered them here in the hope to inspire others thinking of doing the same!
Why did I move to Thailand?
Why specifically, Thailand?
I moved to Chiang Mai, Thailand for the following reasons:
- Cheap accommodation. I'm
..and I couldn't be more happy that I did. I didn't cry because of sadness; noone has passed away. I didn't cry because I was unhappy with something in my life. I didn't cry to get what I want. I didn't cry because I hurt myself. Nor did I cry because I wanted to cry. I think-- although this has never happened to me-- I cried because of the happiness of the moment I was experiencing…
Ideas are worthless unless you execute. I'd like to share these 10 ideas with you as I am not intending to pursue them. Give me a shout on twttr if you'd like more thoughts! If you're interested in what I am working on, check out Pillow Talk - Playtime Ideas for Busy Couples. Lnchtm Date An app for lunch dates. Select a time (12am, 1pm, 1:30pm etc). Location, and we set you up a 45…
I've recently been analysing the answer to this question and have put together a list of the pros and cons for each.
Yes to Bootstrapping
- It reduces or avoids the dilution of founders' equity.
- You become an entrepreneur to be your own boss. You keep full decision-making control.
- You don't have external obligations and expectations from investors.
- You can choose to grow your business at a pace that you want to. Most investors expect you to grow as fast as you damn well can.
- It forces you to be lean.
- It forces you to focus on revenue right from the start.
- Necessity is the mother of innovation.
- Less time is spent raising money, thus you have more time to focus on your product and customers.
- You can still choose to raise funding later when you'll likely be in an advantageous
Use your network for ideation
Your network is a great resource for insight, support and ideas.
At the end of last year I was looking for inspiration for what to build next. I created a questionnaire using Google Forms and sent out a few requests.
I asked the following questions, specifically interested in app and ecommerce ideas:
- What's your job? What industry do you work in?
- Thinking about technology in your workplace, what frustrates you? What could be improved?
- On an 'normal' day at work, what tasks do you spend time repeatedly doing?
- Do you have an amazing App idea? What would you make if you had the time/money/skills?
- Please list between 5-10 products that you have spent £100+ on in the last
This 'doing a startup thing' will become more and more common. Here's a quote I found by Paul Graham in an interview with Inc last year: There is a secular trend going on, in which launching a start-up is a more common thing to do. It used to be there were two things you could do after college: go to grad school or get a job. Soon, I think there will be three things: go to…
I've been working with early stage tech startups in London for 5+ years and during this time have explored a bunch of side projects with friends, colleagues and acquaintances. Here are 3 of them with some reflections:
- Reduce risk by ensuring there's a revenue stream from day 1. It's a business after all! If you're not doing it for the money, make sure you're extremely passionate about the social venture or charity you're building...
- Be extra careful when choosing to start a business with a friend. I lost a good friend for too long. There's a nice article on the topic here.
- If you're making something of