There are moments in life when you have a ton going on and absolutely nothing to say. This is the case with Finic right now.
There are so many thoughts, ideas, and hypotheses that we are experimenting with that our company must seem disorganized to most of my blog readers, our employees, our friends, and our family.
What are we doing? Why are we bouncing from one idea to another? We have nearly three months left until all our money runs out. Why aren’t we selling our product yet?
Here is what’s going on.
We have less than $500K left and nothing to say for ourselves. We still haven’t decided on our business model, what services we will offer, and which target market we should go after. We are still pivoting every single week as we test different hypotheses.
Not that long ago, we wanted to implement a business model that I outlined in my post here. We are already considering different business models.
We ran a partial test of this business model a few weeks back. I wrote about it in this post. Since the test didn’t work out, we didn’t see a reason to continue trying to test it. We received great feedback, but only two customers came back to order more.
Our time is running out. We have less than 3 months until we run out of money, we are not selling our product, and we have no revenue.
We are still trying to find large buyers for our product (which is ten times better quality of any competitor we have). Finding a large buyer is taking too much time, and we’re still unsure if this effort will bear fruit.
I’m sure many of my blog readers and employees are worried that we pivot and change our mind so much without any results to show for it.
This is why I decided to write this post. I want to make sure everyone understands why we are pivoting so much.
I wish I could outline a concrete plan we will follow next few months but I don’t have it at the moment.
We are a startup, and every startup must constantly pivot. By definition, startups don’t know the actual path to take to build their business. Startups can’t find a successful path without changing it twenty times; this is normal for all startups. I was recently reading an article, that talks about the fact that the more pivots a startup makes, the greater the chance that it will succeed.
Our last business model, had a number of shortcomings. A huge thank you to all my blog readers who left their comments on the blog and Facebook and also emailed me. All this feedback helped us understand the main problems with our model. There were two main issues:
- Finding the interior designers that we would need to hire to service our customers; it’s very hard to find them.
- Scaling local manufacturing of our product is very hard to do. I’m not even talking about scaling our franchises.
When I started this blog, I wrote a lot about my past startups. In one of the posts, I talked about a meeting I had in Palo Alto with Sergei Brukov (the guy who helped bring Google to Russia). He told me then to shut down my startup “idooble”.
Not too long ago I went back to the same cafe in Palo Alto to meet with him once again to ask his feedback on our new business model. He expressed deep concern about scaling local manufacturing and franchising. (He also mentioned to me that he’ll never tell anyone else to shut down their business.)
So finding interior designers and scaling our business is a problem.
Originally, we were thinking about working with existing interior designers, photographers, and storefronts. We wanted to build an entire system that they could use to order and sell our product. We would essentially become a B2B business, and they would use our system to order prints for their clients.
We need traction fast so we can attract investment, we spent a week brainstorming which one of these groups will be able to show traction the fastest.
We have less than $500K in the bank, which means at our current burn rate, we have less than three months left, and we need to show traction right now.
We decided that we need to work with photographers first, but it’s not easy to offer our product to them. There are a lot of details about offering our product to photographers that I want to write about in a separate post.
A while back, we came up with a hypothesis about offering our product to photographers. We invited a lot of our photographer friends and outlined our idea for an offering. They loved the idea, and the feedback we received was the following: “If this is going to do what you say it will, then we are in!”
What we want to do is something you cannot find on the market right now. It’s awesome! It’s something that re-energized us and excited our entire team once again.
We don’t have much time left, we don’t have much money either, but we will make this work. I believe in this idea.
Team – let’s make this idea a reality!
What do we need?
- Laser focus
- Fewer distractions on anything not related to our idea
- To set ourselves up for positive outcome
- To think, think, think about how to make it work
- To look after our health, sleep, wellbeing
- To make sure we rest enough
- To make sure we sleep well
- To make sure we eat right
There is is plenty more I need to write about, and I need to tell you exactly on what we’re working on now, but I think this is enough for this post.