Startup Life

Well, I Suppose It's Official…

… I am going full-time with my startup. In a moment, I’ll tell you what it is, but in the meantime, let’s look at how I got here:

At any given point I have probably a dozen half-finished and half-baked projects lying around. Some of these are business ideas, some of these are just projects with no intent of monetization. Invariably they take a backseat to things like paid work. What can I say, I’m a sucker for things like paying rent and eating food besides Top Ramen.

About three weeks ago, I haphazardly mentioned one of them, called Tastemob, to a friend of mine. I’d been listlessly searching for a co-founder, and had mostly decided to set the project aside and maybe get a desk job, mostly because I miss working with other people. Around the same time, a friend of mine forwarded me a job opening at a social gaming company in Manhattan.

What happened next is kind of a blur. My aforementioned friend, whose name is Katherine, started going full steam ahead with the Tastemob project, doing all viagra for women sorts of business-y things I had previously not really taken the time to do. She started getting really excited about the project, and that reignited my interest in it. Meanwhile I had an interview at the game company, and after a bit of phone tag with my references they offered me a position. In the time between the interview and the offer (barely two weeks) we had applied to a few startup incubators with Tastemob and gotten generally positive responses to the idea.

My boyfriend Chris maintains that I am the only person who would ever get upset by an offer for a job they wanted. He may be right. But faced with choosing between a job that sounded pretty good versus putting my all into a startup that might just have some legs… it was hard. I talked it over with a variety of my friends. In the end, almost everyone said to go for the startup, that I’d be plagued with “what ifs” if I didn’t. One person suggested I take the job and then just quit if the startup got funded, which is a bit too shady for me. It took me a good half hour to write the email declining the job, and probably another 10 minutes to hit “send.” I made my now business partner, Katherine, swear she really did think Tastemob was a viable product and that we were going to try our damnedest to make it work.

Now that I’ve turned down a job in favor of Tastemob, I have a distinct sense of “no going back.” Sure, I’m freelancing now anyway so it’s not as if I’ve suddenly committed to a giant decrease in pay the way quitting an existing job might. But it still brings a sense of finality to the decision.

This post has gotten a bit lengthy, so I’ll save another post for blathering on about Tastemob itself. In short, it’s a social shopping tool, meant to solve the problem of “I want to buy something but I can’t find the exact thing I’m looking for.” I built the prototype in November, and now we’re hoping to have a beta up in mid March (having not worked on it all winter). And now that I’m in it for real, it appears we’re gong to be building a real company on it.

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