in Startups

Lesson learnt : why I decided to quit QuickGetit

Today, 4 months after working on QuickGetit, I decided to quit before we cross a critical milestones (financially, psychologically and contractually). During my last holiday break I managed to find time to think through what I had have done, being doing and more importantly what I want to do in the next 3 to 7 years.

I come to realised that if I want to create a different outcome, I would have to do things differently and not to continue doing the same thing and hoping for a different outcome. I am fortunate to have option to choose what I want to do (or not to do).

However, 4 months back when I jumped into QuickGetit, I did not give it enough thought as to whether ‘the’ project is what I wanted to consecrate the next 3 to 7 years of my life. I jumped right into it right away, applied my previous experience, my domain expertise and enthusiasm. I was naturally attracted by startup, having worked on different projects in the past that did not take off for different reasons (more lesson learnt).

For QuickGetit, my cofounder and I, bootstrapped and worked full-time. We applied the lean startup approach, went out of the building, talked about the idea to more than 100 individuals and developed our minimum viable product. We even got an agreement from a customer to be our first pilot partner. We were working toward an official launch in coming september.

On the departure day of my two week holiday, the nagging or voices on the back of my head got louder, asking hard questions like “Is this really what you want to do?”, “Have you done all you can to increase your odd to success?”, “Are you ready to blow-up bridges and go 110% into the project and make it work?” ….and so forth.

With some time and mental space at hand (between my family time, my readings, beach, pool and swimming) I took time to think deeper as to what I want to do and more importantly if QuickGetit is what I really wanted. This forced me to structure my thinking and formulate a simplistic approach to think it thru. More on this here.

My top reasons to quit are:

1). The customer group we intend to serve does not excite me though I am very passionate about the domain (e-commerce, mobile commerce, omni-commerce).

2). The problem we are solving is not meaningful enough and probably not important enough to motivate me through hard times. I want to work on solving meaningful problem.

3). We are building a B2B SaaS business and I have experienced in B2B business development and sales. However, I come to realise that I want to build a B2C business.

4). The current capabilities gap of the founding team was a risk, though I do believe there were potentials.

My lesson learnt include:

1). Ask hard questions early so you can better understand your own motivation and be honest to yourself. Do this early and get it out of the way.

2). Startup validation and development is a big part art and small part science. You need to continue learning either from others (thru readings) and your own experiences (iterate).

3). Know the elements that you can influence and those you cannot control out of the 7 elements. Doing startup is hard, you need to make sure you do everything you can in your power to increase your odd to success. If you have any doubt early on, it will comeback and bite you later. Hence it pays to clear things up when you spot them.

I hope this is useful for you and if you have other perspectives or learning, please do share. In the meantime I am off to figure out which customer group do I want to serve and if they have a meaningful problem that excites me.


PS. I thank my cofounder for his work and collaboration. It is now up to him to decide if he intend to continue working on QuickGetit or to pivot.

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