You’ve got to find what you love
I will take a break from DotNetNuke and technology to ramble a bit and share some personal thoughts. It’s no secret to those who know me well — I am a big fan of Steve Jobs. I have been a fan of his since 1987 when I first used a Mac (which I also love). I have read every book (almost) written about him and follow his life closely. Although most people see him as a loony, egotistical, rich guy who happens to be a visionary, I see a man who has found success by steadfastly pursuing that which is simple and which he loves. It is reflected in everything he does and this is the allure of the man.
Simple is difficult. I know because I try and keep things simple in my software and it is very, very difficult. Keeping things simple in life is even more challenging. Waking up every morning and doing something you truly love, is something only a fortunate few of us can do. I am incredibly lucky to be one of those fortunate ones. I was reminded of this when I read the transcript of Jobs’ recent Commencement address at Stanford.
I have been an entrepreneur since 1994. Speerio is my third company which I started in 2001 (coming on the heels of a successful consulting company and a venture-funded dot-bomb in which I lost everything I had worked for to that point). There is nothing like hitting rock bottom hard to make you question whether the entrepreneurial path is right for you. Having no idea where your next paycheck is going to come from is quite a stress inducer. But I stuck it out, because I truly believe that if you follow your passion, success is not just a possibility, it is inevitable.
I dabbled with mobile market research before I turned Speerio’s focus in 2003 to doing what it does today — making products for DotNetNuke. As you can imagine, survival in a market that is only in its infancy where most customers are looking for products that are free or $10 (regardless of what they do), is somewhat challenging. I decided to jump in anyway, and have stuck it out. It has been, and continues to be, a challenging ride, especially now that I am a dad for the first time in my life. But the plus side is that I never do any work. I am always playing and making a living doing it.
Although my goal for the company remains the same as with my previous ventures — make millions doing what I am passionate about and make things better for others — I have taken a different approach with Speerio. Instead of going the standard startup route — biz plan, seed funding, angel investors, VC’s and the whole tech. startup deal — I decided to take it slow and build the business organically until it really needed capital for growth. Well, the time has come and I have started discussions with a few investors who have expressed interest. I have rejected a few offers and am working on one deal with some seriousness at the moment. I haven’t signed any deals yet, so if you are in the investment capital business looking to fund a company with proven success in a fast growing market, drop me a line.
Which brings me back to Jobs’ speech. He talks about how he has always followed his heart and his dreams. Reading his words, re-invigorated me because it reminded me of why I am doing what I am doing. It’s all about passion and following ones heart and yes — The Journey is the Reward — everything else is inconsequential. It has been slow going thus far, but I have a feeling the brakes are going to be released very, very soon and it is going to be one thrilling ride. I am glad to be on it.