On My Own: Starting Something Big

Well, today is my first day as a full-time employee of my own company!  Sure, I have no salary, no funding, no infrastructure, no office, and am incredibly anxious, but at least I’m doing it!

It’s been something I’ve wanted to do for years, and finally, I’m going all in.  This past Friday was my last day at my previous (and hopefully final) consulting gig, and now the only boss is ME – and my wife… 😉

Cartoon by Hugh (c) gapingvoid.com

With companies like Groupon, LivingSocial, Gilt Groupe, Zynga and others raising hundreds of millions of dollars at valuations in the billions of dollars, I became increasingly inspired.  With copycat companies and silly ideas like a license-plate social network raising millions, I became increasingly frustrated: If these marginal ideas can get off the ground, just think of how a GREAT idea would do!

So, after MUCH encouragement and prodding from my lovely, supportive wife, a lot of “that’s a great idea” from friends, and sideline co-founder support from buddy, I’m going all-in and starting my own business! Today, Monday, March 7, 2011, is day one!

I’d love to tell you all about right here, but I’ve always been jealous of the secrecy surrounding those so-called “stealth” start-ups.  (I mean, really, why can’t I know?  Why am I not allowed in your group?  Is this junior high?)  So, for a little while, it’ll be stealth – at least until we find a name for it…

Know When It's Time To Leave
Know When It's Time To Leave (c) odeisel

What I can tell you is that it’s going to be an app-based business – and let me coin that phrase right here, right now.  It’s like an online or e-commerce business, but the “online” component will be replaced by mobile apps.  So, while you may think of it as just a mobile app, it’s not.  It’s a business that’s facilitated by mobile apps.  Sure, there will be a web component, but only for support and data entry and complex activities.  The key to the idea is marketing, and that’s what I love. There’s a marketing challenge, and hopefully, this is the solution.

I can also tell you that the idea sprouted about a year ago, but has really taken hold since we’ve moved to Hawaii, where the $12 billion tourism industry is about 25% of the total economy. This is a great year to start a tourism-related business in Hawaii, since visitor spending is already up 20% this year after the worst drop in economic activity since Hawaii became a state.  I’d love to tell you more, but my boss is a real jerk and I must get back to work…

Stay tuned, and hopefully this is the start of something BIG!

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