The Homeless Entrepreneur

November 04, 2011

Social Blendr. Our startup. Our baby. How much would I give up to see it happen?

I’ve always said I’d do anything because I really believe in what we’re doing. ANYTHING. I mean, what’s the worst that could happen?

Life has a funny way of offering you chances to prove what you think you believe. It’s one thing to say it, it’s another to actually go out and do it.

So would I be homeless? 

In a lot of ways I’ve already given up a lot for Social Blendr (my potential career in Finance and all that entails - job security, health benefits etc). But this, this is different. This is my every day life we’re talking about here. This is my bed that I go home to. My dog. My kitchen and the cheap, home cooked meals it provides. My…comfort.

Better question.. would this even work?

Here’s the hypothesis. Social Blendr’s biggest cost are our living expenses. Our biggest living expense is rent. If we got rid of rent, well, we’d be able to last a little longer to get our product and more importantly -our revenue stream- ready. 

The timing is right. Our current lease is ending on the 15th (a whopping 10 days away) and we’re not sure what the next step will be. We don’t exactly have the money to put down a new security deposit, broker fee and month deposit. So the question popped up - what if we just rented a desk at a co-working location and couch surfed our way to profitability?

(ok, so not truly homeless)

Whats the alternative? Not doing it full time. Side-project it, get some jobs, and see where it takes us. 

We’ve swayed back and forth on the issue ranging from “screw it, we can do anything and this is the best way to cut costs!” to “we’ll end up burning out before December, this is the dumbest idea we’ve ever had”.

With less than a few weeks to go we’ve got a decision to make - hustle hard and be homeless, or be more realistic and take the slow and steady approach.

On one hand, I think costs are the only thing you can really control. Whereas revenues are hit or miss, I’m acutely aware of what we’re spending. Cutting out rent would give us a lottttt of breathing room. I think we could make it work too. We don’t need much to get by, and we spend 18 hours of the day at our desks or at events anyways.

And don’t discount the PR benefits! I know I’d do anything to make the Social Blendr vision come true, but not everybody can be so sure. This is a pretty easy way to show that we’re “committed”. 

On the other hand, I think my sister hit the nail on the head when she said “ I think this is a terrible idea”. The startup world is renowned for being a rollercoaster, and I can’t  imagine fighting through the trough of sorrow after spending a few months on a series of friends couches. This feels a little bit like going into battle naked.

We haven’t decided yet, but I’ll keep you in the loop - either from my new apartment or a friends couch.


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