Tuesday, May 21, 2013

College, check. Next, Life.

It's been a crazy ride so far. It hasn't been easy and there were so many obstacles in the way. Even though it took me longer than expected I still managed to get here. Where's here? Well finishing school of course. Not only am I beside myself with excitement, I also know that I am capable of attaining my goals when I put my energy into it.

The things I've experienced along the way have made me who I am. I took time off school to work. I made money. Lots of it. Then quit to go back to school. Adjusting to a broke college lifestyle was a culture shock for me. But I knew it was necessary.

I met some great people along the way. Friends, classmates and teachers. Kind mentors who lent me a helping hand.

The team I've worked with this semester has been great. I've known them for over a year now and I'm happy to say that our friendships will continue after college. We'll all be walking to get our diplomas this Sunday and I can't wait to get cracking on this app with 110% of our time.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I'm a business consultant!

I had a meeting today at the SBDC, that's small business development center, down in Irvine. It's called TriTech and they business consult for client who have tech ideas. I wasn't there for myself though, it was for another client I'm working for. I'm helping him create a business plan and presentation so he can pitch his idea to investors to secure growth capital. This is a paying gig that I got because of a referral from one of my professors. Pretty awesome that I get to use my entrepreneurial skills and all the knowledge I learned over the years to help another entrepreneur grow his business. Sitting in on the meeting, I felt like somewhat of an expert. Mind you I was sitting around the table with 2 business veterans of over 30 years each and I knew exactly where they were going with the conversation and I even contributed valuable information during the meeting.

Anyways, the main reason I post this is to say that I can leverage the SBDC for Freshn. I never realized that there are government funded business development centers that are free! I love free!

Friday, May 10, 2013

We Nailed It!

Presented to our panel today and everyone loved it. After a loooong day creating the presentation yesterday. And waking up early to go to Reggie's apartment to practice our presentation, we killed it. The board of directors all loved our idea and gave us some great feedback. We even might have a potential investor in the idea. I'm going to meet and talk to him more in the coming weeks. He seems stoked about the prospect of a location based social network.

A great start to my weekend.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Presenting to our "Board of Directors"

We have a presentation to a mock Board of Directors this week and I'm pretty stressed out. Not that the idea isn't great but I have so much work to do! We're trying to put together our presentation and we having started yet. The team (me included) are being bombarded with deadlines in our other courses and we won't even be able to meet until our Wednesday class. I just hope we get our presentation done on time.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Committed Once and for All

Wow, I think I just finally got buy in from all members of the team. I totally understand where everyone's coming from. For me, this is my baby, my idea and even though I have my reservations about being able to create this app I still believe in it more than anyone else in my group.

Earlier in the semester, one of my team members wasn't really too thrilled about our app. Simply put, he just didn't believe it was possible. There were too many big names and other apps out there that were like ours. I mean, how do you compete with Facebook. And in my head I'm like, yeah, I totally understand. Don't you think I've realized everything you're saying. I'm way ahead of you. I've thought about the threats a million times.

I really have to consider the motivation for some of the team. To them, this could just be another class and they just want to get through it and get a grade. I can't fault them for that. I mean, if I didn't care about the idea I would be on the same page.

Anyways, I'm happy that after explaining things for like the millionth time, everyone on the team is totally committed to making this happen. Or at least to follow through on our goals for the semester.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Second Guessing

Sometimes when faced with a tough situation you start to second guess yourself. I've had a long talk with one of the group members about the doability of our app. It seems like we have mountains to climb. The research we've done suggests the app will cost at least $60k to get started. I've read some articles about apps of this caliber costing $200k. That's crazy.

With physical products there's a chance you can make a relatively inexpensive prototype to beta test or even go out and get feedback right away. I feel like our MVP, or minimum viable prototype, might be too costly to build, thus making it riskier to even attempt. Then again, I've studied cases where companies create a great big expensive product, only to have it fail miserably because they never validated their concept. This is a lesson I'd rather not learn personally. People always say, "Learn from your mistakes." I say, "Learn from others mistakes." It's much easier for you this way (and a hell of a lot less expensive).

Another area I have reservations about is the resources of the team. I'll be quite frank, we're all college students who don't have a lot of money. We have great academic experience but don't have the impressive background of an experienced business veteran. We're developing an app. Something that none of us have any technical knowledge about. And for me, I like to know or at least be familiar with everything that's going on in my company. It's hard to find a developer we can trust. And they also must be talented and know what they're doing.

I don't know.

All this second guessing is good I suppose. Too many entrepreneurs are drunk on their own Kool-aid and end up failing because they refuse to accept feedback. I guess my fear is a good thing. It keeps me grounded. I'm my own worst critic but I think it makes me a balanced person.

I know this app will work out. And even if it doesn't, I'm not one to just quit. Adapt or die they say. Well I've made it this far and I don't have any intention of stopping. Well it's 3 in the morning and brain is calling it quits. Bye for now.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Battling the Giants

Recently one of our huge competitors just released an updated version of their app. The new Foursquare app has many features that are akin to the proposed set of features that freshn will contain. At this moment, we are unsure of the next step to take. Do we move ahead as planned and try to steal market share from this giant, who reports having over 3.5 billion check-ins in the past 4 years?

It's very late in the semester for this obstacle to rear its ugly head, but it is something an entrepreneur must deal with all the time. Adapt or die!