Why Keeping Your Startup Away From Sharks is so Important
Updated: Aug 9, 2019
It's Shark Week, friends. Stay safe.
First, let me explain our reason for being: Originally it was freedom, then it was money, and now it’s to save the world. How did we get there? Working for Fortune 500 companies that had real influence in the daily lives of people, then, by being frustrated by Fortune 500 company leaders who had forgotten that their business is people.
That’s when the money stopped mattering so much and the reality started to sink in that antiquated business designs were ruining the world.
Most of us would agree that big business is in charge. It runs politics, world economies, entire nations, and our lives. We work for them, we buy from them, they influence political agendas, and our planet continues to be depleted by the massive need for resources and unsustainable business practices.
Sure, we could stop buying things - but let’s face it - until money stops being “a thing,” - it ain’t gonna happen.
We changed our own agenda and started looking into where we could have the biggest impact on people’s daily lives. Through many months of trial and error, our vision became came clear: Let’s implement our knowledge of sustainable, repeatable, people-centered business design into the early stages of a start-up, so we don't have to do it after the systems and people are broken, so more businesses succeed, and we bring more money into our local economies.
Our hypothesis was this: If these systems were utilized early on, by founders who understood the long-term gains of designing an experience rather than just a product, then better decisions would be made in hiring, partnering with investors, and the product or service would be the best of its kind on the market. Not to mention what it might do as a model for other industries.
After months of research and trial and error, we discovered we were right. But let me share a thing or two we learned along the way…
What we found was that young entrepreneurs were being taken advantage of by investment firms and outside agencies. The story goes like this: Creative type has great idea. He or she needs money to quit their day job. They work long hours for the first few months to get a minimum viable product. They research funding opportunities, if their idea is good and they're the "right guy" they get money, and if it comes from an investment firm, they lose percentages of their business. Outside agencies come in, most don't know what they're doing - founder needs more money. When they need more funding to hire more people, the process repeats.
Hmmmm...I wonder why only 10% of businesses succeed past year five?
The more I kept hearing about this, the angrier I became. I asked an investor what the average percentage a founder ends up with, given multiple rounds of funding. I was told between 16% - 24%, tops. We interviewed agencies that offered one or two services (often asked to come in before they were needed) and they happily took payment. Services rendered without an inkling of understanding about what the founder needed.
Anyone else starting to think the system is completely foozed? Ask yourselves: Is your creativity and livelihood only worth 16% after all the hard work, sacrifices, and passion you’ve put into getting your product or service to market? I’ll tell you what the answer is for me - HELL NO, and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.
Get the hell out of here with your 16%!
We’ve decided it’s time for a revolution. A total redesign of how we do business. In partnership with Impact Hub Santa Barbara and Workspace Fresno, SimplyCX is offering first-time entrepreneurs a different way to enter the market. A more informed way. One supported by people who want to help their local communities, just for the fun of it. People who have business design in corporate environments and truly care about the success of others - that's how WE ALL WIN.
Starting a business is hard work. We think people who try it are brave and we want to hang out with people like that. Hell, we’re like that. And we want to be in the trenches with people like that. We offer a range of services and programs to help first-time entrepreneurs find success their first time out. We also mentor young startups for free. Why? Because we think people who attempt to buck social norms are awesome. We don't want part of your company - we want you to inspire the millions of people who are currently too scared to bring their ideas to market.
Our perfect day consists of helping people realize their dreams - their success is our success. We think it’s paramount to protect creativity, bravery, and drive. We believe that we can help young entrepreneurs make better business decisions from the very beginning, and that means having a bigger say in how they get funded, and by whom.
It also means making business healthy, fun, and sustainable, from the inside-out. We believe that if you design a business for the population you're trying to serve, you're also designing a beautiful life. You'll make informed and inspired business decisions and it will positively affect everything you do. Added bonus: if you do it right, you create happier people.
We're hosting an anti-shark event!
Please join us on August 24th at Workspace in downtown Fresno, California for the first annual Workspace Central Valley/Central Coast Startup Guide for a discussion on people-centered business design and how to win at life. It's more than just business. People's lives matter - if you get that straight from the beginning, you'll have better outcomes.