Free business idea – A story of moving on

Dear reddit,

I was doing a bit of organizing today and pulled something that represents 10 years of hope and dreams. It was a business idea that has been at various times a spark of passion, a smoldering ember, a blazing inferno and a silent ash heap. Pulling it out again brought me right back to the spark phase, but I hesitated. I had been through this ride before. I let the mania cool down and let me mind wander down the already often tread arguments and counterarguments. Realizing my brain was flushed with too many creative juices, I did the smart thing and consulted my fiancé. She said that it was maybe the time to finally put down the old flame, but to give it it's proper due in one last ride. A lot has happened in my life in recent years, both very good and very bad. It has given me an opportunity to reevaluate what is important in my life. So I thought I would give up the idea for free (that I very much still believe in) and use the opportunity to tell a story. I will try to make it entertaining and hopefully offer some food for thought. So here it goes.

Ch. 1) Beginnings

Ever since I was very small, I have been designing games. My family moved around a lot and our toys and things would often get left behind or misplaced. So it came very naturally to make up games with pencil and paper. Many of these games were simple knockoffs of existing things. For example there was a card game based loosely off of pokemon and yugioh, which quickly resulted in hyperinflation (upon losing, my brother and I would always add a couple extra 0's.). We spent hours trying to balance the game and "foiling" cards with shreds of aluminum paper. Some where more original, but complicated. There was a pirate game that had us randomly toss playmobile terrain pieces in the air to simulate island discovery (this game ended with a black eye from a particularly vigorous game), a total war-like game featuring huge cardboard game boards, elves and endless need for wood. The game that finally stuck was a turn based wargame in a similar vein to warhammer. We had no idea how to play warhammer and were extremely envious of our friends who did, so we made up our own game.

Ch.2) *THE* game

Starting from scratch, we designed tribes and unites to compete in turn based bloody mayhem. The miniatures were drawn on tiny standardized squares of cardboard and had easily reproducible, top down pictures. Our influences were vast; there were the raptors which where based on aliens, the imperials, based on Miyazaki's nausicäa, vampires based on ninjas, yakotaurs (Yak-Centaurs!) and good old fashioned US army (they never did fare very well). My brother and I had been sent off to boarding school at this time in a different country and felt very lonely (we were 12 and 13) and nothing got us through a difficult week like hanging out with grandma and developing our game. Some years passed and we both forgot about it (12-13 year olds very often discover more interesting things in life when they hit 13- 14). Feeling like Indiana Jones, I had braved my grandmothers attic and blown the dust from aged manuscripts. I had rediscovered *THE* game (it never got a formal title). I was impressed at the sophistication of the game we had developed over the years. In a natural process of mitigating fighting and stat inflation, we had come up with a "point" system that dictated the relative value of each unit. At this time, I reintroduced the game to my brother and we came up with a plan to realize it's potential.

Ch.3) *THE* idea

At this time I was 18. I had recently shocked my family when I announced that I was violently departing from my carefully prepared career path as a musician. My family are all musicians and I started Cello and Piano from the age of 4. I had had an auspicious start, participating in competitions, receiving prizes and scholarships, participating in school and youth orchestras, small chamber chamber orchestras, chamber groups, trios, quartets, choir….. the list goes on. While I still love music and play, music as a career had become a source of stress and anxiety in my life. I decided to go to university for Math and Economics, a decision I have never once regretted.

It was around this time that *THE* idea came together If we could come up with a point system, why couldn't others use it? Why couldn't there be an open source mechanics system where everyone could come up with their own ideas and play together? The experience of creating the game was a joy we wanted to share with others. With my mathematical inclination, I began to regularize the point system and iron out problems (squaring a circle came up way too often when determining radial damage..). I learned how to use adobe programs to create better and more standardized art for the little squares we were still using. I ironed out what our business plan would look like (more to follow). I learned how to use blender and Zbrush, found this too hard, made clay sculptures and 3D scanned them before editing the renders in blender, bought a 3D printer and actually printed miniatures (still pretty blobby). I created a room on Roll20 to playtest with overseas friends.

While I didn't regret my choice of pursuing math and economics, I began to struggle. My education of math had been very poor as a result of my previous musical focus and constantly moving between countries and school systems. I had mostly learned math by myself and was advanced in some areas and behind in others and never learned things in quite the "right" way, coming to conclusions that I could not describe correctly. It was also at this time the the mental health of my sister began to seriously decline. She lived in the same city that I did and I was often the only one who could help her. It became increasingly frequent that I had to ask for extensions on papers, or postponement of tests. I am extremely grateful to some professors, who could see what was happening to me without needing an explanation. Some professors could not show the same compassion and I sometimes had to miss finals and fail a class to help my sister in an emergency. I grew depressed and antisocial, but the game was still a fantastic guiding light in my life, something I had control over that would get me through, a welcome distraction from the chaos engulfing me.

Ch.4) *THE* business plan

The business plan of *THE* game is roughly this: Start a subscription website that contains databases of community and administrator generated content (3D miniature models, point system, rules etc.). content would be open source (minus subscription) and free to use, allowing the company to focus mostly on creative and not at all production logistics (materials, facilities, production, shipping, warehousing, retails etc.) as miniature production would be distributed between online 3D printing services (eg. Shapeways), 3D print shops and users personal 3D printers. All the savings could go directly to the consumer. Additionally, partnerships with 3D printing services and producers would be possible. A "creature creator" in a similar vein to the EA/ Maxis title "Spore" would enable users to upload their own miniatures, creating a community. The game itself would be faster and easier to play as well as cheaper than competition. Ideally, it would be the "Killer App" of 3D printing technology, putting a 3D printer in every home and moving the technology forwards.

This was all well and good, but putting the dream into reality was much harder than I had anticipated, both due to personal and industry reasons. My brother had since parted from the venture leaving me without a creative partner. Finding people with the skill sets you need with only an equity promise was difficult, and the process irked me (am I a confident CEO or am I a fellow garage hacker?). The several incubators I tried to access locally always ended with a referral to someone who was not at all what I needed (fellow young entrepreneurs with promising mobile applications are the exact wrong people to ask to start something new). The demands of university and my family situation began to increasingly stretch my attention and I gave up with the idea after the tenth suggestion to find a small group of highly skilled experts who I knew since childbirth and will work for free.

Ch.5) Postmortem

My sister died 2 months ago, although it feels like it was yesterday. I have been struggling to put my life back in order. Covid, social unrest and economic crisis have made this more difficult but it has given me time to reflect. I have been thinking of what kind of hopes and dreams she had which will now never bear fruit. I have also inevitably though of how short life really is and how limited the time with which we have to do something meaningful really is. For this reason, I have decided to give up my idea for free. Today I dusted off the binder with all of my materials for the game for what felt like the 100th time and felt that same old spark. I talked with a good friend about what he thought I should do with the idea and what he said sounded too much like the old incubator party line. There is some truth in this however. While this idea was important to me, I have begun to realize that there are only so many things I can devote all of my energy and passions towards and this idea might not be the one. I have decided that there are more impactful projects in math and economics which I need to engage in, not to mention starting a family with my soon to be wife! I still make board games for my friends and family and have lots of fun doing so. There are a couple thoughts I would like to provoke in this story.

Ch.6) Moving forwards

The first one is a no-brainer. Please, everyone be kind to one-another and be generous in giving chances. This stems partly from thinking about my sister and the current social unrest, but also from my experiences making this idea. You never know what insanely great ideas are bubbling in peoples heads and sometimes all you need to do is extend a small olive branch. Maybe those people have just had a bad card of hands dealt and just need a small show of good faith. Be kind to one-another sounds rhetorical, but it is definitely not. Being kind in our perceived age of duplicity and cut-throat behavior takes a large amount of courage and is much needed if we want to build up social trust again. Social trust sounds equally banal, but it is important at every level of society, from a smile at your local grocery clerk to a handshake deal between business partners. I think I have been somewhat stymied moving forward with my business plan in assuming that everyone was out to steal my idea, and although I am letting go of it, I hope that this fear of being Zuckerberged would never have come true. Secondly, on giving chances; I have not done a great deal of research on the good will of the reddit startup community, but I believe in reddit and in these types of communities in general. I often experienced a kind of "thunk" when it came to moving forward when I felt stopped by a great gatekeeping barrier. I hope that communities such as this one can do some good in mitigating the difficulty of creating a startup and de-risking it. I hope this not for my sake, but for would be entrepreneurs in general. A society where people with good ideas can make it without risking complete financial and mental ruin would overall be a better one (this includes people who are so often asked to join startups of uncertain prospects with only dubious equity to show for it). We are all obsessed with chasing unicorns that more modest ideas can fall by the wayside. My final not is to really REALLY sit down with your idea and ask yourself what you would give up for it. Even if you don't have to give up everything, you should still consider whether you are prepared to do so. My self analysis was that I was perhaps too hesitant and distracted. I'm not even sure that my idea was good, even though I have had many exuberant "sit-downs". In the end I think that I was not willing to spend my last life drops on this particular project, even if I was optimistic. There will always be other important projects or important life decisions. Ask yourself if you could only pick one, would this be it?

Thank you for reading, if anyone has questions about the project or would like to take it over, I am happy to oblige. I hope this finds everyone well and that you find something in the story. Please excuse any grammar.

submitted by /u/dododestroyer
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Registering as an LLC for an IOS/Android app? Is it a good idea?

Hello! My friends and I created an iOS/android mobile app that involves both the customer and (local restaurant) business. Is it good practice to register as an LLC since it does involve other businesses? What are some other good practices we should implement to prevent any legal burden? It’s doubtful that anything would actually happen.. but just in case!

I apologize if this is a repeat question and thank you in advance!

submitted by /u/BIGchiscake
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

How do you create a financial forecast with market analysis when you have a relatively new idea with no obvious specific market and no obvious comparable competitors?

It would also generally be good to hear how you went about valuing your pre-revenue startups.

Did most of you carry out the business plans yourselves or did you get the help of an accountant?

Any stories about forecasting/valuing/budgeting would be very much welcomed 🙂

Thanks

submitted by /u/JimiTipster
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

How do you find an idea, particularly in Software?

Hi Everyone,

Looking for some general advice from this subreddit. I'm a software engineer by trade who has long dreamed of having his own company, or being able to be financially independent. However, my greatest problem is not having an idea.

One of the things I've struggled with in the case of software, is it is kinda a winner take all's world. I can't start a resteraunt and only compete in a local market, I have to compete in a global market.

I know some people focus on extreme niches, my only problem with that is many niches don't seem to be profitable either, or are too specialized.

I know you can't force an idea, but how do you go about finding software ideas? Is it something you just can't force?

I've also thought about focusing on maybe the stock market, as that's a more generic thing that can be learned and presents opportunity. Or making a game, buts that difficult to do without an artist.

submitted by /u/Skippertech
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Work In A Home Office Business Idea – Become Massively Successful With These Concepts

It’s in order to advertise your online business. This will bring you more customers which means more money for anyone with business. Free advertisement is realistic by blogging about marketing and/or using a social media site like Facebook.

I know everyone has got a morning routine and can works with regard to you don’t wreck havoc on it. Number of people who don’t, then i know that these thing help me and they’ll help the individual. Working from home usually do not have anyone telling you what you need to do and when to do it. Schedule yourself the particular time you is something you require to do if you work from home. Your schedule changes daily a person have work from home especially anyone have have small. You need to plan so a person need to get a done the actual planet time you determine aside for your business.

The best forward should put baby in nursery for a couple while you on with being a work at home Mum. The advantage is that you can make a nursery/daycare centre nearby and it is then easy to decrease off and pick your own little individual. You could also enlist the help of friends or family to help you look subsequent to the kids handful of hours a person concentrate against your work. It actually all is your finances and/or how much of a support you use. That is not to say that there aren’t some moms presently who will definitely work one kids at home, it really does depend inside the type do the job and obviously the temperament of maintaining.

Try to network with business proprietors to build your connections. This’ll help you complete lot, including getting out of your home and creating some kind of support model. Sometimes, you just need to step off the computer.

If so, let me put mental performance at ease and expose you to a few home business ideas that you’ll be able to start for no more than 0 and might be operated very profitably on a part-time groundwork.

Tae Bo. Although some take on average 30 minutes to do, it any really rewarding workout suffer with. You don’t need to hire a Tae Bo instructor allow you to out; you can simply buy and follow Tae Bo work outs shown in DVDs. In addition to building muscle and knocking out fat, Tae Bo also improves your price and increases your strength and stamina.

Embrace this device for all the good reasons and just be sure you have other computers in your property under cope with. You can’t have 20 people playing high speed online games or obstructing the touching hundreds of pages open on five or ten computers.

Stop asking how to get money to build your ‘idea’. If you are a solo founder and can’t build something on your own NO ONE will fund you.

I'll try to make this rant short and sweet. I see countless times every day here

  • I just need a million dollars to build the mvp
  • I have a great idea I just need an investor to help me
  • I need the money to hire people to build the prototype
  • I've got the next billion dollar idea trust me gimmmeee money

Do you not realize how many emails and pitches an investor gets a day? You are directly competing with thousands of people. Every pitch claims to be a 'Trillion dollar opportunity'. Please put yourself in an investors shoes and realize they get the following:

  • 300 emails of people with a great idea but need funding to make the mvp
  • 200 emails of people who made an mvp on their own but need funding to get the first customer
  • 100 emails of people who made an mvp and got the first customer on their own but need funding to get traction
  • 40 emails of people people who made an mvp, got the first customer and have a little traction
  • 8 emails of people who made an mvp, got the first customer and have impressive traction/revenue all on their own.

Your 'idea' is useless. It's never been easier to learn about hardware, mechanics, biology, coding, healthcare, logistics, shipping etc. So the absolute least you can do if your that passionate about the 'idea' is dedicate a few hours to learning how to create it. Demonstrate how you put in slightly more effort than the hundreds of other emails the investor got.

submitted by /u/guanciallee
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Protecting Your Idea

When a startup is first launching its product or service, what is the most effective way to avoid copycats quickly making a similar product or service?

We are worried that our product will be competed with quickly and we will not be able to compete back in the early stages of our company.

In our instance, we are in the prototyping phase of our product and are starting to prepare for a launch. We have considered Kickstarter or Indiegogo as it is a good way to get the news out and make some early sales. We have also considered trying to get the product in magazines and on websites to promote and start the sales. There are possible other routes, but we are unsure of which way to go.

With the product we are creating, there are a handful of variations/alterations that could be made which would result in a full product line. Should we wait to launch until the product line is somewhat established or simply go with our first product only.

Thanks,

Connor

submitted by /u/ParaConnor
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Is it a good idea to create a site that is both educational and selling data product?

I am starting to work on a side project, in which I like to create tutorials to teach people how to do technical analysis in stock trading, and I also want to eventually create relevant data APIs to sell as subscription. And naturally, some of the tutorials will be demonstrating how to use the data API. I wonder if this is a good idea to combine both education and product sale? Or is it better to create two different sites each for a more focused purpose and identity?

submitted by /u/Guyserbun007
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

Best course of action for turning my idea into an app with no programming knowledge?

I have an idea for an app which a lot of the people I know have loved and would like to use but I don’t know how to go through with it. Would my best option be to hire a freelancer and have them make an MVP and then try to raise funds and hire someone? or would it be better to find a technical cofounder to work along me (i’m afraid if I do that the cofounder would feel like they’re doing the bulk of the work though)? learning to program and app dev would be challenging since i’m a student and would much rather allocate time building this company rather than learning how to program and develop apps which would take me much longer. Any feedback and advice is greatly appreciated. Thanks!

submitted by /u/abood145
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Startups – Rapid Growth and Innovation is in Our Very Nature!

London-based idea management platform Wazoku acquires US rival and raises additional €1.4 million for global expansion

The idea management software and services firm Wazoku today announced a new funding round of €1.4 million, led by Calculus Capital and supported by other shareholders and members of the Wazoku management team. Also, Wazoku is continuing its expansion with the acquisition of US open innovation firm InnoCentive‘s assets. The financial terms of the deal have not been disclosed yet.

The idea behind this acquisition is to create the world’s most comprehensive and powerful innovation platform and community. Following a partnership earlier in 2020, it quickly became clear that the combination of platform and network had great value to innovation-focused businesses. Wazoku was founded in 2011 and is headquartered in London.

Simon Hill, the Wazoku CEO commented: “Adding such a remarkable and proven external crowd to our existing platform means that no other organisation in the world has our reach and experience when it comes to open innovation, crowdsourcing and idea management. This is a significant step for Wazoku – further funding and a strategic acquisition mean we are better positioned than ever and have a strong and established US presence. Workplaces are becoming inherently open and collaborative and we can offer the tools, services and collective expertise to help global businesses of all sizes solve problems and create opportunities.”

InnoCentive has grown a global network of almost 500,000 expert problem “solvers” comprising CEOs, PhD students, engineers, scientists, entrepreneurs, retired technologists and business leaders. This combined brainpower has helped address thousands of the world’s most complex innovation and bid data challenges, for organisations such as AstraZeneca, NASA and Enel. According to InnoCentive they have a 75% success rate in solving such challenges.

Wazoku now probably provides the world’s biggest innovation community and broadest innovation offering. It allows the crowdsourcing of solutions to any pressing business challenge, all supported by the features and functionality already found in the Wazoku platform, Idea Spotlight.

Wazoku’s latest investment round brings the total amount raised to €8.21 million and recognises the increasing demand for innovation in business. Covid-19 saw both an increase in business and a change in the way in which organisations were using Wazoku, with the quarter during lockdown (April-Jun 2020) Wazoku’s best ever from a new business perspective and overall platform activity level.

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