Taking too long? Close loading screen.
Connect with us

Tech

How my childhood ‘startup’ failed miserably

Published

on

This article originally appeared in our weekly newsletter, where TNW’s CEO Boris writes about being an entrepreneur in tech — everything from managing stress to embracing awkwardness. He also answers readers’ question on any topic every week, send him yours on Twitter!

This week we received questions that are interconnected, so I’ll answer them with one story. This week’s questions:

  • “What is the first thing you ever sold to anyone?”
  • “What is an essential step many first-time founders miss to prevent premature (and problematic) growth?”

When I was a kid, I lived in a typical Dutch town with lots of canals. What wasn’t typical about it was how drunk people behaved on the weekends: they would throw bicycles in the canals for the lols.

These bicycles would rust away until the city would drain the canals once every 5 or 10 years to clean out all the garbage. That is, until an enterprising young man (me) found out that you could fish those bicycles out of the canals with a rope and anchor, fix them up, and then sell them.

[Read: You’re saying I HAVE to do something? Well, then I’m not gonna]

So when I finally started to receive €2 a week in pocket money from my parents, I was already selling one or two bicycles a week, for €50 each.

As a young entrepreneur, I tried to maximize my earnings, so I asked a few of my fellow students to help me fish for bicycles and fix them up. My thinking was simple:

  • find and sign up one kid per canal near each bar
  • have them fish out the bicycles
  • repair them and sell them
  • let them keep a percentage and give the rest to me
  • scale

The goal was to expand to other cities in the Netherlands and maybe to other countries, as soon as we saw more demand and could afford to make that investment.

Unfortunately, that plan failed. As a first-time founder, I failed to realize that my friends weren’t mere clones of myself.

Each person I added to my team had their own talents, peculiarities, and ideas about my business. One of them figured out that returning bicycles to their rightful owners and collecting a fee was also a viable business. I hadn’t considered this opportunity because I was too focused on my clones and scaling my original business.

Another kid realized that fixing up bicycles was worth something in itself, so she focused on that. A third kid came up with the idea of selling better locks to prevent those bicycles from getting thrown in the canals in the first place, which basically killed my business.

I started losing focus on my original goal. I got lost in dealing with all these different personalities and ideas.

After a while my parents and I were invited to the police station, where in no uncertain terms, we were told that fishing for bicycles and reselling them made me both a thief and a fence.

That’s my (mostly) true story of how I made my first sale, and how I made some mistakes most first-time founders make when faced with premature (and problematic) growth.

Wanna ask me something? Shoot me a message on Twitter and your question might be featured in my next newsletter!

Can’t get enough of Boris? Check out his older stories here, and sign up for his newsletter here.

Published October 14, 2020 — 12:41 UTC

Source

Continue Reading
Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Tech

Keep That Hotdish Hot With 65% Off a Luncia Casserole Carrier, Only $11 With Promo Code

Published

on

Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Luncia Double-Decker Dish Carrier | $11 | Amazon | Promo code SDDU9S7F

It has been a long time since the days we could safely have a potluck or other gatherings, but we have a fantastic deal perfect for once those times return. These double-decker Luncia dish carriers can be had for 65% off when you add promo code SDDU9S7F at checkout and clip the coupon on the site (it’s just below the price). These holders fit 9″x 13″ sized baking dishes.

Advertisement

That means you can insulate and keep two dishes of food warm for only $11 instead of $30. What’s more, your Luncia carrier will arrive by Christmas if you order today as a Prime member.

Just add promo code SDDU9S7F and clip the 5% off coupon to bring the price down to $11 for the blue or the grey option.

Advertisement

Grab this offer while it’s still around!


Source

Continue Reading

Tech

Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

Published

on

Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

Advertisement

You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

Advertisement


Source

Continue Reading

Tech

Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

Published

on

Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

Source

Continue Reading

Trending