I strongly advise that you should consider having a close business partner with whom you can share your concerns and excitement, and who will share theirs with you. Between you both, or all, balance will be established and the company kept on an even keel. But equally, I strongly advise not to mix your business partners and social partners: the stress of building a business should not destroy your social life, and you have to somehow keep a balance. Your business is a long term challenge, and if you cannot manage your emotional commitments for the long term, your social life will become damaged.
So, funding was not going to happen fast, if at all. Thus, based on our own initial personal investments of 1,000pounds each, we started our company. Our initial focus was consulting and contract work, doing anything profitable and manageable. We pushed the profits back into building our first innovative product, which we eventually launched over two years later in San Francisco, having grown by then to just under a dozen people based in Westland Row in central Dublin. We never had angel capital, nor venture capital.
A paradox resulting from the small and open Irish economy is that Irish technology driven start-ups have to think globally first, not later; paradoxically this is an advantage, rather than weakness, since your offering must be sufficiently competitive “when war is declared”. If it is not, you will quickly find out so and not waste further time, energy and investment, but instead revise your approach.
As I implied at the outset, the most fundamental challenge you face in building your company is finding and retaining the right people. Your business partners and your staff are the foundation for punching way above your weight, and executing the strategy which you devise.
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