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Hi, I'm Cesc from Barcelona


#1

Hi everyone!

This is my story until now :smiley:

In 2004, I started working in the video game industry as a game designer.

After working in a full range of projects (PS3, XBOX 360, Nintendo Wii and DS, Web, iOS…) and positions (UX designer, product manager, creative director…) I wanted to start something on my own.

I was frustrated by how executives that didn’t like or understand digital products were conditioning the outcome of our work as a team.

I initially wanted to start a side project.

I convinced an ex-colleague (a programmer) to join me. While it was a side project, we worked 12-14 hours a day during about 6 months.

My partner convinced me to go “all in” and leave our jobs.

This is the product that we launched.

We got some sales (around 1.500$/month in revenue on average) but couldn’t scale.

We thought about looking for external investment.

I admit I was attracted by the idea. I guess I saw it as a way to get some extra months to try to make our company work, but also as an opportunity to, finally, celebrate a victory.

My partner was afraid that we would loose the freedom we were looking for when we left our companies. I didn’t understand him then. I do it now.

We had a couple of options to get some funding, but we let them die.

We shut down in mid 2013.

Since then, I’ve been testing around 10 different business ideas using the small amount of investment possible.

I’ve been abandoning the ideas, since I’ve never felt until now that any of them had a strong enough market demand to really push them forward.

I think I’ve pushed the lean principles too far.

I’ve been also upgrading my technical skills (on web development and web design, basically).

More importantly is that in the last few months, I think I’ve finally understood why I wanted to start my own venture.

I “only” need to work on something I like, to be financially independent and to have a lifestyle I’m happy with.

If nothing unexpected happens, I will start working again in a full time job in 4 weeks.

My feeling right now is that I will feel more comfortable trying to find a business idea that fits with what I want if I don’t feel the pressure of having to be profitable in the short term or the need to look for external investment to survive.

Let’s see how it goes!

Ah, by the way, I’ve also created the Barcelona Micropreneurs meetup. Let me know if you visit Barcelona!


#2

Hi Cesc, and welcome!

I’m curious why you think you’re pushing lean principles too far? I think a lot of people here would tell you that extensive market research (before building the products) is the right way to go. Abandoning ten ideas sounds like you’re doing it right, to me.

Also, nice work on the meetup - I’m planning to start a regular lunch for software bootstrappers here in Denver later this summer. Is your discussion format working well for you? Anything you’d change?


#3

Thanks @coreysnipes!

I’m saying that because I feel that you can’t not discard an idea just because a 2 week test is not giving strong results.

My impression, maybe I am wrong, is that for most ideas, you need to invest some time and energy pushing the idea to actually know if it has legs or not.

Of course, I mean pushing the idea in a flexible way, so that you can adapt to what reality tells you, but being careful not to pivot to something new and shiny just because an initial test doesn’t work well.

I don’t know, I feel I moved from one extreme (going all in without testing until we couldn’t change anything) to the other (testing with minimal resources and discarding ideas too quickly).

About the meetup, we did the first one two weeks ago. We will do the second one the 2nd of August.

The idea behind the structure is to make the meeting as practical as possible. It has something of a mastermind group, but being a bit more opened and flexible.

I’ll let you know how it goes, if you want.


#4

That makes sense – 2 weeks doesn’t seem like enough time to really connect with your target audience & validate an idea. I’m no expert here; I took the “build-first” approach several times before the market validation lesson really stuck for me… (I was in the middle of developing my current product when I finally, really, understood it.) Do keep me posted on the meetup. I’m definitely interested in what’s working (or not) for you.