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A new (risky) business.

Discussion in 'Small Business' started by geoffw, 7th Aug, 2015.

  1. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    Some of you will know that for some years, I owned two food franchise stores for a well knnown sandwich chain- leaving behind a career in IT which I enjoyed.

    They did well enough for me, even if the benefits only came from selling.

    But I wanted to get back into IT, and had a great deal of difficulty. I earnt a Diploma in Software Development, and then had a job for 12 months on telephone technical support- but the opportunities were not there to progress.

    This is where I went for three months to Medellin, to get technical experience. I worked as an intern for a startup- in a coworking space with 30 other startups. I was a backend programmer, and learnt heaps- not just on programming, but also on the world of startups. The venture capital group behind the startups also worked with them in the coworking space. (An aside. The industry standard is 95% failure rate, but through mentorship as well as financial support, they managed to get that down to 90% failure- but still earnt $5 for every $1 invested for their investors. A lot of work being done in Medellin and other parts of Latin America was for the US market, development costs are far lower than in the US).

    Coming back to Australia, I had a former employee approach me for advice. He had a product for the fast food industry, one he had been spending three months in market research before even starting on doing anything on the product. I saw the potential for what he was proposing, and joined up with the team. I am in a good position, being able to contribute on the IT level, especially with startups, as well as on the business side.

    This is highly risky stuff. I am working for equity, and I know that there's a very high probability of failing. However, I am doing work I enjoy- I'm at a level above programming, coordinating and guiding a group of people. I'm really enjoying the role.

    While it would be great to be earning money, it seems that somebody my age with little recent experience has not many prospects. I had previously applied for a number of entry little jobs, not even getting acknowledgement of my application.

    I have enough income from rents that I can survive comfortably on my modest spending requirements.
     
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  2. Jess Peletier

    Jess Peletier Mortgage Broker - Australia Wide Business Member

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    Sounds like the perfect position to be in, really. Enough money to do what makes you happy :)
     
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  3. EN710

    EN710 Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations on the new venture Geoff!
    Most applications system won't say anything about rejected applications. Rude, but it happens.

    :rolleyes: you don't need a job.
     
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  4. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks!
    It's not a problem that it happens. It just shows me though that I am far from a front runner.


    Yes I do. Before Medellin I hadn't had a job I really enjoyed for about ten years. I'd like to retire on something I like.
     
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  5. RPI

    RPI Property Lawyer, Town Planner Business Member

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    This is an exciting, demanding and enjoyable space. My partner in the law firm is also director of a venture capital for a listed investment company. We do a lot of work in this area though the law firm and he does heaps on the business side too.

    I really enjoy getting to see the concepts that people are developing. I have 2 clients at present with really good products under development.

    I have previously said no to equity in a project I thought had no legs and took a modest amount of fees upfront instead. These guys raised millions in the US and took off.

    Although it is a bit of a lottery I doubt that I would not jump at the equity chance again. Given that you are not needing it to eat it sounds like a great path for you Geoff. Are you going to start stocking up on Soylent so you don't have to waste time eating?
     
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  6. ellejay

    ellejay Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you're in a fantastic position Geoff. The rejections may turn out to be the best thing that happened to you. Best of luck :)
     
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  7. Steven Ryan

    Steven Ryan Mortgage Broker Business Plus Member

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    This is actually on my experiments list. I honestly find eating is a chore and a time drain 90% of the time. I'd be all for having an occasional "proper meal" to really enjoy it, and Soylent the rest of the time for efficient sustenance.

    @geoffw, you are well placed. Please continue to win at life and have a nice day :)
     
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  8. Westminster

    Westminster Tigress at Tiger Developments Business Member

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    @geoffw I'd say this is pretty much the dream life. Whilst the traditional IT world may have turned it's back on your maturity it has forced you to look outside the square and develop yourself in a different way - and it's a way that is challenging you, making you happy and has potential for reward.
    The world of IPs has given you the ability to take this chance and it's awesome.
    A big congrats and kudos to you for jumping in and choosing to swim not sink.
     
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  9. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    That sounds good, it may be risky, but good that you are enjoying it. Similar to me, I studied for a Diploma in IT - Software Dment. I find it much better not coding, but knowing what you're on about to talk to the programmers.

    When I was out of IT for a while, it was difficult to get in, even at entry level. Maybe they assume because of your previous experience you will be looking at moving on soon (I probably would ;))
     
  10. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    Or maybe they assume that, because I will be at retirement age in four years, I might be retiring. (I probably would).
     
  11. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    I find this strange and unnerving, there's actually a nutritional supplement called Soylent?
    It's people man.
     
  12. Steven Ryan

    Steven Ryan Mortgage Broker Business Plus Member

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    I didn't know what the reference was until it was pointed out in an article many months ago. The bloke who came up with the stuff is an electrical engineer and computer scientist who clearly gives zero ****s.

    Seems to be working for him regardless.
     
  13. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    Hmf. Good on him. Life imitating art, imitating life, imitating art and all that.
     
  14. willair

    willair Well-Known Member Premium Member

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    61 is the new 40 Geoff,and they reckon the job emails you send out that become unanswered are better then the ones you did answer..age is only a number..
     
  15. Bayview

    Bayview Well-Known Member

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    Well done Geoff!

    Everyone needs a project; this sounds like it's perfect for you.
     
  16. Big Red

    Big Red Well-Known Member

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    Good luck Geoff, well the only risk is failure fromt he sounds of it. No financial loss if the deal doesnt work. Also you have your living expenses covered so other than gaining experience what do you have to loose?
     
  17. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    Three months of my involvement, six months since inception- with nothing more than product design, and we already have a proposal to market it in the US. The company concerned will bear most of the development cost.
     
  18. TMNT

    TMNT Well-Known Member

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    so are you able to tell us what this product is??

    is it a technology or a system or an actual fast food product?:
     
  19. geoffw

    geoffw Moderator Staff Member

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    It's a web based system which helps in the running of restaurant/fast food businesses. I'll be able to say more when we have something more to say!
     
  20. Ben Elliott

    Ben Elliott Member

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    Thanks for sharing Geoff. Will be interested to know about the product. I do a lot of work with small businesses, moving them onto modern systems - all web based and connected.

    It's becoming a crowded market though and no doubt it will be vertical apps which thrive. That is, those which focus on a particular market/use/niche and do it well. As opposed to horizontal systems which broadly suit many different industries.

    Keep us updated!