Here we go again. After closing ClearGears and selling our product, Interview Jet, I’ve decided to dive deeper into my side-project, Power 20. Unlike previous ventures, this one will have no investors, no other equity-holders, no partners, and virtually no team. I’ll be bootstrapping it alone.
It’s Mildly Terrifying.
Feelings of uncertainty, apprehension and self doubt surface whenever I consider my chances of success with this venture. Like high school wrestling, I’m about to step onto the mat basically naked with no equipment and no team. Before every wrestling match, surges of adrenaline made my stomach turn and my throat go dry, causing me to dry heave with fear. That’s sort of the constant feeling I have right now.
I Have A Plan.
Despite my fear, I went into every match with a plan. I’d always start wrestling from my feet because I was good at quick takedowns. I avoided starting on the ground because I withered when caught in leg locks. With Power 20 applications, I’m going to use my ability to iterate fast and my design chops to build the most beautiful and ubiquitous instructional exercise apps on the market. I’ll build versions of Power 20 for people in every stage of life. I’ll translate into 20 languages in anticipation of an exploding global demand for low cost exercise tools.
I’m Personally Motivated.
I step into the ring highly motivated to win. In my community of Bangladeshi Americans, we suffer from the highest premature heart attack rates in the world. 28% of us have diabetes and half of us are pre-diabetic. Culturally we’re not taught to value exercise but, with the right tools and habits, this can change. By simplifying exercise and letting people do it on their own terms at home, wearing whatever they want and without feeling embarrassed, I can improve the health outcomes for high-risk populations all over the world.
Bootstrapping Can Work.
From Sara Blakely, the founder of Spanx, to Seph Skerrit, the founder of Proper Cloth, we see that a singularly-focused entrepreneur can build a profitable company and retain 100% ownership, but the process is rarely without prolonged discomfort. Seph works seven days a week, often 10 hours or more. For the first few years he did this alone.
I Don’t Want Investors.
Investors are a double-edged sword when it comes to growing a business. On one hand, they provide the capital needed to grow, and the benchmarks by which to measure that growth. On the other hand, today’s venture-backed companies are aiming for $100 million-and-up exits. Most businesses, and especially those like Power 20, shouldn’t aim for that kind of exit. Good entrepreneurs look bad when they overvalue their business and its potential.
Wish Me Luck.
There are so many ways to fail in the app market. More so when one of your competitors is Nike. But between wanting to see Bengali aunties exercise, having a vision for winning in this space, and the sheer love of the process, I’m convinced I should step into this ring.