You Can Start Before Funding
AMA with Founder of OneShift and Skilld Gen George.
Tiffany Jade Benezra You have a lot on your plate day to day and I’d love to know what your best advice is for dealing with stress & overwhelm.
Gen George I think as a leader you need to develop your own “groove” so to speak to suit what is going on in the business and what works for you. So one day you are a professional therapist to your entire team and then walking straight into a room full of people to smile and sell the dream and the next you are doing customer service calls and trying to understand why customers are having problems. For me, I put a lot of emphasis on my team to become leaders them selves so I am not having to bear the load all by myself. I also make sure I book out time once a week to “reset”. This maybe sitting down with my dad — ‘Phil’ to run through my strategy to make sure I am on the right path or even just going for a walk. Yes there are people who are super duper organised and then the other end of the spectrum of “organised mess” as I like to call it. Do what suits you, try things out and find what keeps you on track!
Rick Baker After “duck taping” together the first app, when did you know it was time to build a more robust app, and how did you go about finding, then managing the tech team?
Gen George: The first site was wordpress and in the first month we got 300 uni students and a couple of clubs using my dodgey, grey and free site. This was purely achieved through hitting the streets on the weekend and covering universities with BEAUTIFUL posters like the below :) At that point i knew if I could make 10 transactions occur on a really bad site, then it would give merit to create a proper one. That didn’t include me manually “matching” people on the back end. I then approached some developers in a terrace house in Surry Hills to start building something. I had no technical experience, but used a white board and went through the process with them of what we were trying to achieve. Thank fully they put up with my lack of technical ability to get the first ruby on rials version of the site up and running. We did weekly catch ups, used base camp to chat during the days and sent lots of bad drawings through explaining what I was trying to achieve. And some how we got a site haha to their credit!
Nick Crocker What are the most common mistakes you see early stage founders making?
Gen George: The one I hate the most is “ i cannot start until I get funding”. Some will spend $50–60k on an agency built website and have never had a user even see it. So my advice would be start small, test something out with users, see what works and adapt. There are so many template options these days for example: marketplacer or sharetribe etc where you can create a marketplace with out any development. Get 10 transactions the same way and then look to spend more through investment or whatever suits you.