Honestly, I was hoping to have this launched by now, but with a big project due at my day job at the end of September, I’m happy where I am.
So why not push to launch now?
Well, I need to set up an LLC (you’ve got to be a fool to start up a business without covering your butt). And no, I’m not going to use Legal Zoom or any of its competitors. Did you know that the fine print essentially states that you are the one who is drafting the LLC paperwork? Plus the legal agreement you sign with them is 50+ pages long. No thanks. I’ll be seeing my own lawyer (who I haven’t been able to see due to work obligations), and spend a bit more and make sure that the paperwork is done right.
So what is this all about?
Selling public domain data. Yeah, I know it seems crazy – who the hell is going to buy data that’s available FOR FREE, FOR THE LOVE OF GOD.
That’s what I always thought, until I tried to download data from this source. There are a bunch of ways of finding it and downloading it, but most are not user-friendly.
So then I thought – well, let’s Google and see if anyone is selling it.
Of course they are FOR $1000 – AND UP. For a dataset that I can download for free (modulo my time, which is the big factor). But if the price were more reasonable, say $200-$400, I could have made a reasonable pitch to my boss to buy it, to save me the time and aggravation.
But such a low-priced company did not exist.
Until I thought of it.
But how did you think of it?
I started listening to The 4-Hour Work Week by Tim Feriss about five months ago, and Tim’s idea of a Muse intrigued me. The idea of a business that could make you (relatively) easy money with little continued input sounds wonderful. Financial independence, here I come! Except I had no ideas. Literally nothing. Then I thought of it: I’ll sell a supplement! just like Tim! SMH. Nothing.
Finally, a month and a half ago I woke up one morning and said: this is it. I wrestled with it. Made it too complicated. Overthought it. Added too many bells and whistles. CONVINCED myself that the idea was horrible. And then I talked to my buddy with the startup. And he said look man, you just need an MVP. A Minimal Viable Product. It doesn’t have to be perfect – make it simple, test the waters, revise as you get feedback. Brilliant. And all of a sudden, the idea was viable again.
And he gave me a few other pieces of advice – get the LLC, and listen to How To Build A Startup by Steve Blank (FREE!) on Udacity. (Go to this website to download the free worksheets to go with the course. Of course there is the upsell there, but ignore it and just get the free stuff).
So what’s the path forward?
- LLC formed by end of September.
- Tweak website
- Set up WooCommerce accounts
- get my data products packaged nicely (in a zip file) and burned to DVD
- Data sales begin by October
- start to untether…
So have you found your Muse? Are you ready to untether, or just dreaming?