We are an unusual company with a fairly typical (but not often told) story. Instead of telling you the story of our product, we decided to spend time on this blog to talk about the 'how and why' of building our company.
We are bootstrapped. We aren't particularly looking for external funding, because we run very lean. We are, however, always looking to build relationships. We want to share our experience with building a truly lean hardware & software startup with the world in order to kill the idea that you need bucketloads of cash to bring a quality product to market. If you've got questions, we'll do our best to answer them. If you like what we are doing, and have advice or "know someone who knows someone" - we want to hear from you.
"We" are Ryan Walker, and Gil Pinheiro. This is our second startup together. We met working on the Concept team at Blackberry, proving out a whole range of different products. Some of them pie-in-the-sky sort of ideas that never reached the public, while others have become the standard across the industry. The name of the game in that industry was secrecy - there are a lot of patents out there with our names on them. We are tired of that. We pride ourselves on designing useful and high quality products. We love making products that people love using.
It is fair to say that is where our passion is. Like many, we struggle with the business and sales part of entrepreneurship. Part of the reason we want to share our experiences in their gory detail is to learn how to do that part of the business better this time around.
That is it. There is just two of us.
Ryan does the hardware. Gil does the software. We share the responsibility for sales, marketing and design.
Doing things Different.
So why go the trouble to write this all up?
I'll just say it. Startup culture is toxic for small businesses.
What matters to us, and our customers is not the same thing that matters to VCs. We are content to grow slowly and carefully. We don't need mass market appeal and crazy daily numbers to carve out a profitable niche. We know that.
A small team == small overhead. Some people would prejoratively call this a 'lifestyle business'. We are craftsmen. What we do is as much a "lifestyle business" as being a architect or plumber. We aim to solve a problem that people have, and we intend to make enough profit to cover our time and expenses while saving for our future. It isn't rocket surgery. We like to solve problems, and we've made that our occupation.
We want to share our story, because this isn't something that gets talked about in our industry. There is this perception that every venture must change the world, or disrupt the status quo. We make tools that do their job and get out of your way. If you think similarly, stay tuned. We hope to show you that it can be done.