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Thomas Krafft

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Insert Coins and Press Start

I’ve gotten as far as I can in my own projects without developers or investors

I’m at that critical point in the lifecycle of my consumer mobile and web software projects and ideas: I need to build something in order to get funding, but I need funding in order to build something.

Ugh. I’ve gotten as far as I can in my own projects without developers or investors. This is a common problem, particularly for founders who aren’t able to write their own code, so I don’t feel too depressed right now. My ideas are solid. And I have 15+ years of experience in and around this space – enough to know the pitfalls and issues to avoid, and which questions to ask myself as early as possible. I know once I get funding, I’ll put it to good use. I’m confident I’ll be one of the 5% that actually survive and succeed – finding some sliver of sunshine through this meat grinder of a gut wrenchingly terrible infliction, often referred to as “entrepreneurship.”

I’ve networked and met several investors already, but they typically fund at later stages (product and traction). So, I’ve been searching for early stage investors. There are people out there willing to take on more risk with new founders and their as yet unbuilt products, but they normally don’t take meetings unless introduced by friends or mutual acquaintances. It also doesn’t help this is my first technology startup, and I don’t have a technical co-founder yet. There are reasons for this, and I want to avoid splitting too many of my sentences with too many “buts” and excuses. I just need to keep hustling.

There’s much I don’t have at the moment. But what I do possess is five or six interesting and solid ideas that solve big problems and serve large markets, a long history of solving problems for other companies (leading one through an IPO and others to acquisitions), and I also have a Captain Kirk like ability to reprogram the Kobayashi Maru test just when the odds seem most grim. I don’t like to lose.

By the summer of 2014, not too many months from now, the SEC rules on soliciting investment from the general public will finally open up the entire “crowd-funding” space and opportunities to countless founders just like me. I might need to put my current projects and ideas on the shelf until then – which would be frustrating but not fatal to any of these endeavors. In any case, I continue to search, network, look for developers with mature experience and bleeding edge skills (and who aren’t working on something else cool already).

I feel like I’m playing a huge game of TETRIS, with a hundred blocks all floating at the top of the screen, waiting… I’m certain I can put those blocks all in the right place – I’ve been doing it for other companies for over 15 years – I just can’t play the game this time until someone else inserts the coins and presses the “Start” button.

I’ll post updates on my progress.

[ Continue? ] Yes.

More Stories By Thomas Krafft

Over 15 years of experience in marketing and demand creation, with strategies driving over $500 million in revenue for a variety of companies in several high-growth and competitive markets, including consumer software and web services, ecommerce, demand creation through web and search, big data, and now healthcare.