Monday, July 9th.
That’s the day my startup, Vsnap, announced that we closed a $750k angel round. Because we are finalists in the MassChallenge competition, there are literally hundreds of entrepreneurs and team members all in the same physical space here in Boston. We’re shoulder-to-shoulder with our peers, mentors and advisers on a daily basis.
So on the day the news came out, we got plenty of pats on the back and good wishes, and lots of questions about the nuances of closing investors and locking down dollars. Also loads of emails from service providers wanting us to hire them, and from people in the job market. (By the way, if you want to sell me something, try sending me a vsnap – not another email).
So why am I sharing this glimpse into startup life? I recently agreed to blog twice a month here, and share the Vsnap story and experience as we participate in MassChallenge.
At Vsnap, we want to make one-to-one communications with customers and prospects more human and more delightful. So we make it easy for you to send, receive and manage short video messages as a more personal alternative to email. The benefit is that recipients take action at a much higher rate than email recipients. Sending vsnaps helps you increase sales, satisfaction, retention and referrals. (Most vsnaps are personal and not public, but you can check out our company Twitter feed for examples of vsnaps that are in the public realm.)
Now, as days in the life go, you certainly look forward to the day when your company closes its first funding. That’s a big one. But I think most startup CEOs will tell you, by the time the news hits the web, you’re already pretty well immersed in trying to solve the next set of challenges and to capture the next set of opportunities and to engage the next group of investors and to sign the next group of customers. And so on.
It’s a pretty steep roller coaster, this startup life. And one of the things that’s funny and maybe not obvious to people who have not worn the founder hat is that the highs for you usually are not what the people around you think they are. When they see the evidence of success and stardom (omg!), you’re already past it. When they see the evidence of failure and loserdom (don’t make eye contact), you’ve already figured out how you’re going to overcome, and your shoulders are back and your chin is up and you know – know! – that you will achieve whatever it is that you started your company to achieve. And that you will change the world.
All of that is just part of the story of life in a startup – and you have to know how to navigate all those emotions. You do that by being relentless about bringing your beliefs to life through your company and your producrts, executing one task at a time, then another and another and another.
Hats off to the startuppers reading this. It’s hard work. Keep going. It matters.
I look forward to sharing my experiences, and I hope people find them helpful. If you want to connect with me directly, or tell me I’m an idiot, I’m @davemacboston on Twitter. Or you can reach me at dave (at) vsnap (dot) com.