Mentee Founded, our publicly shared diary, lets you take a peek behind the scenes of Mentee, an app for sharing skills and meeting new people. It’s written honestly, openly and straight from mind to paper.
Reading this for the first time? Start from the beginning.
Welcome to Mentee Founded!
We rode the hype tsunami, and in short time, we managed to create a wireframe for Mentee app (including all texts, interactions, animations, etc.), write the basic version of a business plan and prepare answers to every question from possible investor we could think of.
Our first app wireframe was very, very basic version. Nevertheless, we were proud of it.
For us, it was groundbreaking — we could finally see how the app will look (almost) and work out the interactions and mechanics of the whole experience.
We ran into a problem — the stream of ideas was so big, that we had to press pause and start pouring our thoughts into a huge document called “Features to build”. Before we did that, our app was getting bigger and filled with features and functions. We needed to think leaner.
We had a few great ideas, a lot of good ones and a handful of bad ones. But even the bad ones were often inspiring, and discussing them led to many good or even great ideas.
This was one of the most important stages of our journey. We were setting up the groundwork for the years to come. We came up with our vision, our mission, our brand. We were focused on the journey ahead.
It’s easy to be thinking macro at the start when everything is new and fresh, and you are not under the burden of daily executive and problem-solving.
But the beginnings can also be tricky. We quickly started to feel like we are under-qualified. We felt we don’t have enough skills and experience. We battled with insecurity and the fear of the unknown.
Through it all, we still felt confident that we would be able to pull it off.
No matter what, there was always that little voice in our heads (and still is), talking about the past failures, reminding you about the lack of experience/skills/anything else and inviting you to crawl back to your safe place — comfort zone.
You must acknowledge it and then decide to do what you feel is right.
Looking forward, we felt mostly thrilled and impatient to work and move forward. But with that came anxiety as well.
Starting a business brings you an enormous amount of stress.
You can’t be certain about anything (apart from taxes). One day, everything is working and the next, it’s living hell.
We heard the “9 out of 10 startups fail in less than five years” so many times. It’s basically common knowledge by now. But when you are starting a new business, you are entirely sure that yours is the 10th.
Being an entrepreneur requires, among many other things, a bit of naivety and a bit of madness.
You must be okay with it. And you must be okay with the life you choose.
It’s different from almost everybody else. But then again, you are looking for a result different from almost everybody else.
Before we even thought about it, we got hooked on the entrepreneurial lifestyle (though I suspect we were always hooked on it).
When you start burning from within, and you change your priorities, people often can’t wrap their head around it.
For most people working seven days a week, 16 hours per day is nonsense. For us, it became a no-brainer.
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