In 1999, I was a sophomore in college and managing a cell phone store, shout out to Bellsouth Mobility aka Cingular aka AT&T wireless. At the time, I had gone through a pretty terrible patch in my life where I tore my rotator cuff and got kicked off the basketball team. I was 19 and was not prone to making bad decisions, but it’s amazing what a few wrong ones can really mean to a person.
It’s been said that good decisions are the product of experience, which is typically the product of bad decisions. Of course, we don’t typically solicit life coaching from the 70 million ex-cons. Back to 99’ — y2k was real!
I had started learning to code HTML when my friend Kaz and I kicked around a few ideas, one was a social network (with a dumb name like Plush Profiles), but we were sales minded and read business magazines at work all day. This led me to reading about a new operating system for the internet. Now, mind you, the internet was still super young, but a company named Tellme Networks was building a voice application for the internet. The whole “press or ‘say’ one” started there. So, I learned VoiceXML, build apps on their free servers, and started selling to small businesses.
It was super simple. I got a few people to help, but I didn’t know the first thing about building a business. And, since my parents forced me to fend for myself, I tended to not take advice from others or get others help. For young people out there (because older folks should know this), that’s not a great way to act. Advice should be looked at like data. Get it from everywhere that you can and focus on making decisions. Help is the only way to scale a business successfully. Sure, you might create a patented product, but either you build a team around it or you license it to another business to do that same thing. Even major tech companies have hundreds or thousands of employees. For now, scale is created with more people.
Note: if you’re building a robot army get in touch right now.
I say all this to introduce my newest venture, Metaponte. It’s launching December 1, 2017 with big ambitions. I’ll talk about that in upcoming posts, but for now if you’re a capitalist who visit metaponte.com for more information.