a bug´s life… or my first entrepreneurial steps
A late New Year’s resolution: today I start blogging!
Within the last months i was many times very close to writing the first blog-post of my new blog series. But as usual, there was always something „more important“ popping-up.
But now, I officialially start blogging! And here are some reasons why I’ve decided to start writing:
- Almost exactly three years ago Paul and I founded CONDA. A lot happened since then – good and bad stuff – which I want to share with you.
- Over the last three years during talks, discussion, face-to-face conversations and in emails (I think you’ve got it :-P) I was asked a lot of questions about CONDA, entrepreneurship, myself and other surrounding stuff. And I’ll try to answer as many questions as I can remember.
- Last but not least, I hope I can motivate a few more people to start their own business. I’ll try to show you, that it is no rocket science and that it could be one of your key triggers for a happy life. And for sure, I’ll also talk about the shady sides of an entrepreneurial life. But I am sick of all the bad news, so I’ll try to make you all feel better!
I am going to write at least two blog posts a month for sure. And here we go with my article number one:
There is one question people ask me very often: „How did you come up with the idea of CONDA?“ And my answer is always the same: „It wasn’t my idea!“.
In addition, I have not stolen the idea. However, let’s start at the beginning…
I already did my first entrepreneurial steps almost right after finishing school when a former classmate and I decided to start our own business, dealing with artificial intelligence and speech recognition. He was the sw-architect and developer and I was responsible for marketing and sales. We were young, had no real idea what we were doing but we were motivated as hell. Long story short: we failed but learned a lot! (I’ll tell you the whole story another time, it’s to long for one article.)
So I finished my bachelor and master degree, worked during and after that time as an IT-consultant and decided to move into management consultancy – but deep in my heart, I knew that I wouldn’t get old there (once you’ve smelled entrepreneurial air, you can’t get enough).
Then, during the first half of 2012, suddenly Paul appeared on stage. At that time he was working as a tax consultant. We met at an event and started some chitchat about work. After a while, Paul started to talk about an idea he had and asked if I am interested to maybe work with him on that.
Let me give you a few more insights about the relationship of Paul and me at this time. It wasn´t the first time we met. The first time I met Paul was years ago at the first (or second?) Startup Live Vienna – both of us were participants and both of us won with our teams. After the event, we met several times on some random events. So basically, we didn’t know each other very well, but I got interested, especially because the only thing Paul mentioned about his idea was “Crowdfunding” and: “If you want more details, you have to sign a non-disclosure agreement!”. As you can see, our relationship was built on trust from the very beginning. However, I decided to move on, signed the NDA and got more details from Paul. Honestly, at that time I didn’t even know that crowdfunding exists!
With the new insights from Paul, I told him that I am going to do some research and think about it. I had already booked a four weeks trip to Bali for the upcoming summer, so my personal goal was to have my final decision after my vacation.
Here is how my checklist for this decision looked like:
- There is a demand for “Crowdfunding” – check
- I think I could work with Paul and he has additional skills to mine – check
- I am sick of working for others and especially as a consultant – check
- I want to change current systems and create something new – check
- We will be successful? – I have no f***** idea
So by using this high sophisticated checklist (ok, maybe there were some more criteria on it), I decided to go for it and to jump into this adventure.
I am really thankful that Paul came up with this idea in 2012 and started CONDA with me (and I have still no idea why he asked me!?). As you can see, everyone can start a company, even without having a great idea, if he or she finds someone who has it (this and some more skills :-P).
When we started working on our project in 2012, our baby had no name. I think we called it “Crowdfunding Austria”. But I´m going to tell you the story of our companies name in the next blog post! (And how I came up with the name „a bug´s life“ for my section of this blog.)