“Sometimes, you have to lose yourself to find yourself.”
Before getting to Day 1 of building Threado, I spent over a year being in the <0 phase. Did a few consulting gigs, explored many ideas, met several founders, VCs, was lost for days (months) etc. Here are my key takeaways from those months of meandering for anyone starting out:
Get over the inertia and insecurities: “I’m waiting for a Tech co-founder”, “I need to raise first”, “Someone else has already built this” “Am I really good at this” are all internal excuses. Six questions that need your attention: Where can you add value? What problems can you relate to? Do many others face the same problem? How are they solving it today? Can a better solution exist? What’s the simplest version of the solution?
Plan for the runway: You’ll take your time to land on a path. Give yourself enough financial runway to experiment, iterate and be yourself. Buffer for a year at least (ideally 24 months+). If that’s not possible, keep doing some side projects while you plan for the runway.
Bootstrapping your startup vs raising capital: Figure out what’s the best way to move the needle. Raising capital is not the end goal so it is important to think about why you need the capital and why now? Maybe the answer is finding the right partner and raising capital but if you don’t need it now, just focus on building solutions that delight your users.
Set yourself up for serendipity: Threado would not have been possible without a strong support system. A strong support system would not have been possible if I did not open myself to connecting with people who trusted me, connecting with new people, new communities and learning from every interaction I had.
What you do with the idea matters: The earlier 7 ideas explored before Threado were great ideas too but ideas don’t become real without the effort. Show up everyday, keep shipping, and iterating!
May the force of compounding be with you.