Riding In Cars With Founders | 4 Steps To Founding A Startup

Riding In Cars With Founders | 4 Steps To Founding A Startup


That acceleration was intense,
it’s like, 0 to 100 in… well you haven’t got to 100 yet. I’m not one to hitchhike. But Hitchplanet isn’t really
the same thing. You’re booking on your
phone instead of sticking your thumb up
on the side of the road. It fills empty seats,
saves each of you money and makes for
some fun times. Going back to the people
being useless conversation… It’s working well
on the West Coast. and sets the
perfect stage for… Hey!” “Hey Carly how are
you doing?” “Good! Flo’s market research was
picking up hitchhikers on the Sea to Sky Highway. The very first time I did it
was actually the second day
I arrived in Vancouver because I got a job
interview in Whistler. The first thing I see
as I get up on the highway is this guy with his thumb up,
so I pick him up. Long story short – the ride was pleasant,
and he landed the job. Which meant many more
drives to Whistler. One thing led to another
I was driving these random people on the side of the
highway. And they were all giving me the same story: how
crappy it was to get to Whistler and there you have a… What’s a founder problem? It’s not being able to
find anything quickly on a disorganized internet. It’s forgetting your
thumb drive during a long bus ride and not getting
any work done. It’s being too poor to afford
rent in San Francisco, while conference-goers pile
into hotels for the weekend. And it’s people needing a
ride, while solo drivers pass by racking up
their gas bill. So Flo got his #founderproblem.
What next? You didn’t have any experience
making a business, did you? No. But it wasn’t a business,
it was a project. I used Hitchwhistler
to learn how to code. Hmmm. A project. Coincidentally, these companies
also started as projects. Google, Dropbox and AirBNB
didn’t start as grand business ideas to make them rich. They began as solutions
to their founder problems. Once you have a good idea,
people tend to wanna help. For years I had been wanting
to find someone I could work with that had
complementary skills. Luke was Flo’s roommate,
who also happened to be a software engineer.
Hitch Whistler was an intriguing project he couldn’t
resist tinkering with. That eventually snowballed
into us having a conversation like ‘hey let’s actually
do this thing.’ Enter the power duo. Data on Quora.com
suggests companies with multiple founders
are more likely to succeed. Why? Think of it as rounding out your foundational skillsets. Two heads are better
than one and you can keep each
other’s momentum going. Back at Hitchplanet,
the new power duo went all in, quit their day jobs and then
came the ‘f’ word: Flo put together a good
document detailing our current state and what we wanted to
achieve and we distributed that to all the people we knew. Detailed document. Got it
Key point to include? Your objective for the funds. I mean imagine a parent and
the kid comes up to the parent and says ‘Hey Mom,
can I have 20 bucks?’ What’s the first question
that mom’s gonna ask? ‘What are you gonna
do with it??’ The reason why we raised
money in the beginning was because we wanted to build
some mobile apps, and we wanted to hire
people to do that. Another major point:
be realistic with your request. A lot of the time they’re gonna
ask you ‘why are you raising so little?’ Because if
you really want to put this plan into action you’re going
to need more money. In the beginning we put
together a plan to raise 50 thousand dollars.
And it quickly became 100 thousand dollars and
then 150 thousand dollars. Hitchplanet hit their first-round
funding target, but the fundraising isn’t over. With features like a
star-rating system, direct deposit and geographical expansion
on the horizon there’s a new price tag
of $250,000. And the future looks promising. A few weeks back we had
our first successful trip between Niagara Falls and NY.
When we get to that point it’ll be really cool to see
potentially millions of people doing this everyday. It would appear the keys to a
success-bound company are a good #founderproblem,
a project, complementary skills, fundraising smarts,
and most of all, keeping sight of
your main purpose. The things that make you
happy in life are people. For us it’s connecting with
those people and having those people connect to one
another I think is what drives us to keep going. With an attitude like that,
I think I’ve just made some good connections. Bye guys, don’t forget
me when you’re millionaires!