First setback

Snakes & ladders

Back last year, I was talking to my 40 people.

That’s what you do when you have an idea for a start-up, you talk to 40 people. Can’t remember where that magic number came from, but it’s quite a good one. If you talk to 40 people about your start-up and you’re still enthusiastic at the end of it, well. You have tenacity.

I called up Mike Brown, who runs the event booking system Lil Regie. We use Lil Regie at work and I’d spoken to Mike a few times – he seemed a good pair of ears. I met him for coffee, and after two minutes discussing the day job, I hit him with indieVenue.

He got it straight away. (Everyone gets it straight away).

Turns out Mike not only runs Lil Regie, but his overwhelming passion is his conference – Webstock – a celebration of all things Web. Mike told me about StartUp Alley, an event at Webstock where startups compete (dragon’s den kind of thing, but kinder) for attention, funding, leads, lots of things a startup needs to start up.

With a fabulous start-up idea (I talked to 30 of my 40 by then and they all said it was fabulous) I knew I was on the road to being on that stage as a finalist and pitching to a rapt audience crowded into the St James Theatre. I sent in my pitch.

And now back to the title of this blog.

Didn’t happen. Didn’t even get to be a finalist.

And I almost stopped there. I took a break from talking indieVenue non-stop to random people, I concentrated on the day job, we had a holiday. I swam a lot.

But then, in February I went to Mike’s Webstock conference and I fell for the whole thing. The glamour of these cool entrepreneurs, the energy in the crowd, the talk about adaptive content and disruptive tech and the internet of things.

By the end of day two I felt pretty cutting edge, and yes, I felt disruptive. I spent my coffee breaks talking about indieVenue to randoms again. They all got it straight away (like I said, everyone does).

I watched StartUp Alley (sorry guys, indieVenue is waaaay better). Seems the judges were looking for startups that had infact, already started. The start up in my head needed a bit more corporeality . But I plucked up courage and got time with two of the judges. Anna Guenther was kind and introduced me to some contacts. Lance Wiggs was pretty direct.

“Start small. Start local, keep it basic, get an income stream, prove it works. Forget the $100,000 website. DIY. Can you code??

Lance, thank you for the advice. I can code, more or less, and getting better by the day.

I have put the $100,000 website into the Phase 2 bucket, and am just finishing my Phase 1 website. It is DIY, but it looks great.

Total cost so far, 75 bucks.