How to Start a Business: Plan B
A while ago a very entrepreneurial friend of mine suggested I read a book called, “The Art of the Start” by Guy Kawasaki. This one book is responsible in no small part for the website you see today.1 Guy worked for Apple and later started an influential and innovative venture capital firm, Garage. As if that wasn’t enough, he’s a frequent lecturer, best selling author, and avid blogger.
In one of his recent articles, he talks about “Plan B for Fund Raising.” Here’s my take on Plans A and B:
Anyone who was alive during the late 90’s has heard of “Plan A.” Build a prototype, put together a PowerPoint presentation, get some venture capital, and spend venture capitalist money. You know how this story ends. The company gets bought out and everyone is rich or the company never goes anywhere and its assets are sold for scrap.
Anyone who was alive during the 70’s knows all about “Plan B.” These are the people who started businesses in their garage. I suppose we really only hear about the success “Plan B” stories. No one’s surprised when a home business doesn’t go big so no one talks about it. Plan B is where somebody believes so feverishly in their own idea they work on it nights and weekends after they come home from their day job as a barrista.
The whole reason I’m writing this blog post, indeed the reason why I have this blog and website at all, is because of “Plan B.” At its most hectic in the last year, I was working a day job, doing contract attorney and techie work for various clients, while marketing and programming these calculators. While I didn’t live with my parents, I participated in a surprisingly (and embarrassingly) large number of the activities Guy describes under Plan B.
This is NOT something I intend to do ever again. Thankfully, the hard work of building the calculators is done.3 These days my only continuing time commitment to this site is writing blog posts and answering fan mail.4