The S.W.A.N. Startup! (Sacrificing Weekends And Nights)
The S.W.A.N. Startup (Sacrificing Weekends And Nights) is
a movement that is sweeping the nation! an acronym I came up with to promote some beliefs that I hope will one day become a movement that is sweeping the nation embraced by the startup community!
The S.W.A.N. Startup -- Overall Goals:
B) to bring together entrepreneurs interested in working on PART-TIME startups (weekends and/or nights) based on some of the principles and premises below...
NOTE: Many people will disagree with some/all of my "S.W.A.N. Startup" arguments - and that's totally ok! I believe strongly that NO rules / NO "best-practices" will apply to all startups or all entrepreneurs! My favorite example of that is this:
... but I believe that FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF STARTUPS and FOR CERTAIN TYPES OF ENTREPRENEURS, the following should at least be considered:
1) No, you don’t need to quit your job to start...
We all love those startup success stories of entrepreneurs who “risked it all” and/or “left the security of a well-paying job” to pursue their startup dreams. HOWEVER...
A) those successes are the OUTLIERS, the rare exceptions
B) you rarely hear about the MAJORITY of instances where that decision (made prematurely) leads to unnecessary pressure/stress/depression and/or prematurely running out of money and/or giving up on that startup dream!
2) The need to be “ALL-IN” (at least initially) can be over-rated...
- I believe some of the "must be ALL-IN" mindset and rhetoric stems from a time (fairly recently!) before all the cloud software services and startup resources that now allow you to do many things in a matter of hours or days that not-too-long-ago would have taken weeks or months - thus allowing you to now build MVPs much faster, cheaper, and (in my opinion) even in a part-time capacity!
- Yes, when you get to a point where you’re taking funding, the investors' expectation is likely that you be full-time on that particular startup. But I'm talking about way before that point — when you're in the pre-funding / pre-revenue / pre-traction / Idea Stage.
- Yes, it would likely be difficult to scale a business into a multi-million dollar company with part-time founders and part-time employees; HOWEVER, and this is important - you don't HAVE a business to scale yet! Why not cross that bridge when/if you come to it? Because if you make decisions now (to go ALL IN, full-time) based on what is theoretically best for your theoretical company, a year or more down the theoretical road when/if you have a business to grow and scale, then you're making decisions based on something that statistically has a ~99% chance of never even happening either way!
3) Smart investors diversify to mitigate risk; Why shouldn’t entrepreneurs?
Whether the “S.W.A.N. Startup” is in addition to “your real job” or even if it’s a second/simultaneous startup (or if it embraces my StartupsWithinStartups.com idea!), I believe that “Putting Multiple Horses In The Race” shouldn’t implicitly indicate a lack of commitment or belief in a startup; it simply acknowledges a few tough/practical realities:
A) >95% of startups will fail
B) startups are difficult enough without the added stress of “How long can I keep the lights on? And/or, how will I pay my rent/mortgage?”
P.S. Some of us can obviously multi-task more effectively than others. And some of us enjoy variety more than others. But, whether we realize it or not, we ALL have plenty of experience dividing our time and focusing our efforts in multiple directions. Because it wasn’t too long ago that and we were all required to do it regularly...
4) Speed to market can be over-rated.
Is the startup a product/service/industry where "first to market" is vital? If not, then yes, you CAN likely do it part-time (sacrificing weekends and nights) with minimal (if any) effect on your likelihood of success. Let's say that full-time (40 hours? 50 hours?) would get you launched in 3 months; then half-time (20 hours? 25 hours?) would get you launched in 6 months. Not AS fast, but likely still fast enough to not be a dealbreaker - plus you've still got the security/income of your other full time job!
P.S. TRUE STORY:
5) Working smarter rather than harder is more than a cliche!
Ideally our part-time "SWAN Startups" co-founders will already be established experts in certain areas (having already spent time learning on the dime of their full-time job) so they'll be much faster and more efficient!
[NOTE: Do you remember how slow you were the FIRST time you set up a website, learned Google Analytics and SEO, ran digital marketing campaigns, figured out social media strategies and/or learned ANYTHING via trial & error or A/B testing? SWAN Startups seek people who already DO this stuff full time - so they can manage another (whatever) in a fraction of the time as a first-timer!]
If made a priority, MOST people can find plenty of extra time in their week (particularly those willing to "Sacrifice Weekends And Nights") to work on on a part-time startup!
In Conclusion / Contact Us / Work With Us!
COMING SOON: The announcement of several Atlanta-based “SWAN Startups” starting in 2017 (and how you can get involved — from Designers, Developers, Digital Marketers, Social Media & Project Managers to CEOs, COOs, CTOs and Co-Founders!)
CONTACT US! (or Jeff@StartupWhatever.com)