blue skies and business plans

I’ve always been proud of the fact that Wondermill has never taken outside investment.  We’ve had our ups and downs, but we have a solid business model and no debt.  We’re in good shape.

Bootstrapping for years has taught us to be careful with money and ensured we keep profitability in mind.  On the other hand we’ve had to pass up ideas with big growth potential but that might not fund themselves in the short term.

Now we’re at that fork in the road again with a new idea, and it’s time to choose the other path. 

Here’s what’s up.

We’re working on a new service, which we’re hoping to launch in the next month.  When we light the fuse, one of two things will happen.

A)  People love it.  Takeoff is explosive and we’re holding on tight as we go see what’s on the other side of the moon.

B)  The world shrugs, and we clamber out wondering what went wrong.  Then we either tinker with it and see if it’ll go, or go back to work on other projects.

I believe it’s going to be A. 

There are competitors already in the space, which is reassuring.  They’re proving a market exists, and they’re well-funded.  One has received $4M over two rounds and one started with $5M. 

We don’t need anything near that amount, but we do need more than we have now.  If the app is successful, we’d need three more people right away and more soon after that.  Ideally we’d be hiring for those positions now, as it usually takes six weeks to hire the right person.

Wondermill might be able to fund the new business at a survival level but there are other reasons to look for outside investment. 

I’ve got responsibilities now.

I’m married, and we’d like to buy a house someday.  I’ve got a kid who says “balababababrrble” but may someday say “hi dad, put me through college”, and I’d like to stop asking my wife if I can not pay myself again this month.

And so, for the first time in many years it’s time to make a business plan and see where this thing goes.

I’m a little nervous because it’s outside my comfort zone, but I’ll get over it.

Wish me luck!

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14 Responses to “blue skies and business plans”

  1. Carlos Urreta Says:

    If it’s what i’m thinking…yeahh….it is… well done chap!

    I’m super excited to see it be released out into the open. Hey… maybe I might even put in an application when the time comes ;-)

    Have a great time slaving away at the business plan!!!! You are gonna do great!

    • Goetrie Says:

      hiVegas is a VideoEditing software WITH chmroaKey function, SMU2 is NOT an editing video software BUT a Vector Keying program quite different and of course results are betterSMU2 does NOT integrate into vegas as Nothing other sw (except CS3) because is NOT made for do thisSMU2 work with its virtual sets and some other made in 3MaxDs, but we assure best result only with its own Vsets, of courseright use of SMU is use it to create effects then use it as piece for editingwe do not talk by phone because we ssell worldwide and is time consuing and USELESS .all info are inside this website and SMU ids the best software all over the world see demos and that’s it , no need to add much more

  2. Aaron Says:

    Thanks Carlos!

    We’ve been debating between releasing it in its current form vs adding more features, and figure it’s best to get something out there so we start getting feedback on it and iterating.

  3. Carlos Urreta Says:

    I think getting it out there is the best, your feedback is the gonna be where you need to take the new features. Give it like 24hrs and I’m sure you’ll be swamped with hundreds of new ideas that are gonna give you 24 days worth of work.

    Kick some business plan ass

  4. Byron Says:

    I’m definitely a bigger fan of “bootstrapping” than of pursuing outside investment as a way of building a business.

    BUT investment makes sense as a way to introduce a PRODUCT, whether it’s a new company making a first product, or an existing company making a new product.

    Good luck!!

  5. Aaron Says:

    I agree, bootsrapping is a great way to go wherever possible. Some ideas can grow naturally based on revenues and don’t suffer if there’s a lack of cash.

    I figure outside capital is best for ideas that solve a real problem for which people will pay money, but require speed and scale to build out quickly. Ideas where the first player to do it right gains a long-term advantage in market or mind-share, and ultimately building into a valuable brand.

  6. AlmostaGeek Says:

    Get it out there!! If it’s what I think it is, the sooner the better!! See you on Tuesday.

    ET

  7. Aaron Says:

    Hey AlmostaGeek we’re on it! :)

  8. frost Says:

    Wonder what it could be. Good luck with it.

  9. christa Says:

    that’s terrific aaron! how exciting. i can’t wait to see what happens next!

  10. Henry Moran Says:

    As you know, I am a great fan and over the years I have been impressed with just that fact, you guys do things at the speed of life and not at the speed of “investors”. You philosophy is one I should adopt into my own business ventures! Keep up the good work fellas! henrymoran@gmail.com California, U.S.A.

  11. Aaron Says:

    frost & christa: Thanks for the support guys!

    Henry: It is interesting to think about whether a funded business can move at the “speed of life”, as you eloquently put it. I don’t see why it can’t. I don’t consider us to move slowly, we simply don’t pretent that a business can flat-out sprint without paying a price in productivity and creativity.

    Anyways, it should be interesting to see how it plays out!

  12. Life Insurance blog Says:

    the insurance companies don’t want you to know…

    Information on the life insurance industry…

  13. charles Says:

    Blue skies and business plans – yesterday I was watching TV at Discovery channel & I watch a business plan in blue sky, they are trying to generate electricity from air through “wind mills helium balloon” at the height of 300 ft. to 600 ft. because the speed of air is very much & stay able at that height so I felt very proudly at this & our country. Its very good, keep it up.

    Charles

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