In which I explain my silence (yes, I was begging for money again!)
It’s been a whole month and a half since my last medium post and well over three weeks since my Facebook update — totally unacceptable! However, as always, I do have an excuse.
First — the day job required more travel to Ireland. Immediately after, we went on a whistle-stop trip to Marrakech, which happened to be on the same weekend as the Marrakech Marathon (which was unplanned). What a chaotic, awesome city.
Got back at 2:30 a.m. on Sunday and and had to jump on an early flight the following money to go begging for cash yet again!
We desperately need money to build an Android version of FitInfinite and I was flying all the way to Wilmington, Delaware to work my way toward some financing. The good folk at Atom Investments employed a “you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours” strategy. I was to help them value some of their investments and they would pay for our Android development in return.
Since they Atom founders are a bunch of ex-CTOs who’ve worked on some pretty impressive projects, they’re smart investors. I hate taking cash from “friends and family” which seems to be the go-to for all startups. Not that my friends and family haven’t been incredibly supportive. However, what happens when the money runs out? Back to hitting the streets with a begging bowl? I also hate the thought of wasting any money forget money taken from friends and family. I’d rather get my cash from investors who can (a) Help me use that cash in the most optimal way by finding the right resources to spend that cash on, be it tech, marketing, sales or business development (b) Help us find second round funding (rich dudes know other rich dudes and good angel investors have a roster of people they’ve sold out to on a Series A on-wards) (c) Generally provide intelligent advice when asked.
Soooo…. Wilmington. Lets see now. With only about 113–114 thousand people, it’s the centre of all tax planning IN THE WORLD (64% of Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in Wilmington, odd for a city who’s total population of working age is probably less than the number of employees who work in any one of those corporations). One would imagine that it would be quite rich. It is in one sense. Some old businesses like Dupont began there and there seems to be a lot of old money around. However, it also has the charming reputation of being the “most dangerous small city in America” and was bestowed the grand title of “Murdertown USA” by Newsweek. Perhaps its just a spillover from the fact that its an hour’s drive from Baltimore which is just known as the most dangerous city in America. It certainly felt like it when I was being dropped off to Atom’s office in the Uber. I felt like an extra from The Wire — you know, the extra that always gets his ass kicked/beaten/punched/killed. The things I do to raise cash!
America is such a contradiction. In this crazy rich/crazy poor/dangerous/old money town, I found more enterprise, more gumption and more can-do attitude than anywhere I’ve worked in Europe.
I was working out of a new co-working space called The Mill where a bunch of startups are doing some really cool stuff and everybody is hustling and on their game trying to get things done. You can meet blue-chip lawyers immediately to get term-sheets going, the local VCs (not small by any account) meet up with you and spend hours going through the various opportunities in Philadelphia, Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York and everybody is willing to help by making introductions to anybody they know. It is really refreshing. Whatever people’s opinions may be about the world and politics in general, I don’t see America’s star dimming in my lifetime. They’re just on it (although I’ve been told that China is even more on it, so perhaps I should cool it on my arbitrary predictions). On the other side of the coin, I couldn’t go for a run outside because its too dangerous and I was told to stay indoors and do all my Brighton Marathon runs on the treadmill (which I absolutely hate). In fact, if you want to walk in Wilmington, there is an interactive map which tells you the safest route to take based on recent homicides and violent crimes!
So finger’s crossed. After a productive few weeks, it looks like we *may* get a road map for our Android App and a bunch of cash to deploy for some really smart marketing resource. FitInfinite needs to get 2,000 users by the end of this year.
Anyhoo, the travel didn’t stop there. Back from Delaware and to Dublin for a two days before driving with the kids to Chamonix for half term, driving them back and heading to Dublin again! All the while I’ve tried to fit in a little bit of running so that I can actually get my fat butt around the Brighton Marathon course and not embarrass myself completely. Frankly, I’m exhausted (and its only February).
I’ll write a bit about that in a different post— we finally managed to not fall over every 20 metres and had a family skiing session in Le Tour. Now its actually fun. All those lessons and foot cramps (damn you skiing boots) were worth it. How absolutely gorgeous it is up in the mountains.
So — in short — Android version coming soon hopefully. Watch this space!