I was posed this question, by an entrepreneur during a session, two years ago.
He continued. I mean, I am an entrepreneur and I have an idea. The idea we are working on – will revolutionize the way phones are used. So, 8 months ago, I set up my company with two of my college friends. We currently have a staff of 12 people.
We have invested in the latest machines and backend support. Two months from now, we have a delivery of our first working model.
I think we are on track and should be able to sign up and pocket our first million dollars.
Fast forward a year and the entrepreneur and I bumped into each other at a digital conference.
We shook hands and talked sundry stuff. Then he enquired. – ‘Do you still do that communication strategy stuff?’
Yes – I answered. Then I was curious. Good of you, to have recollected what we deliver. What can I do for you now?
With a voice full of emotions, he responded. ‘You know, we could not present to the client in time and we took a hit on our image and brand’.
Tell me more. I encouraged.
He continued ‘Well, my partner also the director marketing, was not happy with the client’s attitude of setting up meetings at the last minute and push us for these meetings. We were generally unprepared for their questions and our presentations were midway. We were so focused on getting the product ready and marketing it, these calls and meetings were considered as intrusions.
At times, they would call us to their office while other times, they simply ‘drop’ into our office with their counter-parts. After all, they were our first buyers and had planned to invest in our company too.’
This led to several heated discussions with my other partner who is a technological wizard. He did not appreciate that the marketing director of our company ‘could not even’ schedule a meeting with appointment. This lead to arguments and a lot of dissent. Most of the time, I would end up playing the referee. To add to the fire – Our teams would witness these arguments.
At first, all these feelings and behavior did not appear serious. However, when two of our project leads quit together, stating personal reasons, the project started to take a dive. We tried a salvage act. But it was not enough – as more resignations followed. By then, we were also working on shoe string budgets – put in through our savings over the years.
He was silent thereafter. I offered him water and gently prodded him.. and then…
Then…? Then.. The director marketing found a lucrative job, He said it was the best thing to happen. so that he could contribute funds from the outside for the team to continue. You understand… things were not the same.. The equations had changed between us.
Now we meet once in a while, but he is not on the ‘partner’ list in the company. the director technical takes on a few outsourced jobs – to keep our company afloat.
Today. we are now a four-member team. I have been wanting to start over because I believe we are good and can deliver.
Will you help us.. set up all over again and achieve our dream?
Well.. What can I say? dear readers, where do you think we should start? Share your thoughts, and recommendations.
May be together, we will be able to save another start-up, entrepreneur and their dreams… What say?