01 March 2011

Life is a daring adventure or nothing.

Helen Keller

I’m starting a website called MemoirPlace.com, to help people write their memoirs. In future posts, I’ll write more about MemoirPlace, but for now I am going to focus on why I decided to leave my really good job to go start a company, when we all know that most startup companies fail.

John D. Rockefeller has a lot of good quotes, and one of my favorites is, “Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.” Yes, I had a very good job, but to me, starting a business is great, and I figure this is the best time to do it. I’ve spent the last four and a half years helping to evaluate and launch new products at my job, and have learned a ton of great skills. Also, I’m 26 years old and single. This is probably the last point in my life where I can afford to completely fail, and not have a wife and family who would go hungry. I have very little downside if I fail, and huge upside if I succeed.

As far as logistics go, I’m moving from New York back to Chicago, where I will live in my parents’ house until the site is launched and making money. I’ve saved about forty thousand dollars, so I could technically stay in NYC, but I feel that the best way to minimize the risk of failure for the business is to maximize the amount of time I have to be successful, which means cutting my expenses as much as possible.

Even though I have a great relationship with my parents, this is going to be pretty tough.  I’ve always prided myself on being independent and successful, yet, at my 5 year college and 10 year high school reunions this year, I’ll be the guy living with his parents.  However, if swallowing my pride is what it takes to start this business, then I’ll just have to do it.

I’ll be doing the development for the site myself using Ruby on Rails.  For graphic design, I will likely be designing the initial version, and one of the first things I will spend money on is a good designer to improve things. The plan is to launch the site this summer.

I’m super excited to be writing this blog post, and super excited to be getting to work.  I have a feeling that, regardless of the outcome, this will be quite an adventure.