Many of us dream of going big. It was just announced that Oracle is buying Sun for $7.4 billion. Gee, wouldn’t it be nice to sell off your company for a few BILLION dollars? We keep seeing news blurb after news blurb about companies recording record profits (Exxon Mobile anyone?) or being bought for billions and I think it sets unrealistic expectations for many of us. Imagine starting up a company and selling it for $2 million. “Two million dollars? That’s it? Just two million?”
Seriously people…be HAPPY you can get two million dollars, especially now in this economy. While so many people (save from those AIG execs) make a modest living and live paycheck to paycheck. A few more put in a good day’s work and make a bit more. However, this being the celebrity-crazed, sports-loving, voyeuristic society that we live in, we love to see the football players with their multi-million dollar contracts, the movie stars that make $40 million per movie, the companies that are being run by college kids that are being bought for hundreds of millions. Time to come back to reality…
I was reminded that we need to come back down to earth as I was talking to a friend (and coincidentally a business partner from another company we co-founded and sold off many years ago) about one of his pet projects that we’re about to revitalize. Years ago we parted ways (on a good note of course! no speculation here people…we’re best friends and always will be) as he went off to law school and I continued on with my wily ways. As a Mac user he was having a frustrating time in a PC-centric world of law and education, thus he started up the site Mac Law Students. He was bound and determined to find solutions to his Mac problems (what time tracking software is there for the Mac? How can you take an exam that was designed for PCs? What’s the best solution for…) and report this to other law students who didn’t want to trade in their Macs simply to go to school and practice law. (In a funny random side note, my first real gig out of college was doing support for an IP law firm that was all Mac-based aside from the Netware server here and there). The site became fairly popular but as we all have time constraints he could not continue on with this after graduation. It’s been a while since that decision was made and he decided it’s time to bring it back.
So just what does this all mean? What am I rambling about? I start with billion dollar deals and then move on to a small niche site? Stay with me here…
We have no illusions that doing this site will make anyone stupid rich. And ya know what? That’s ok. It’s kind of a fun project to work on and could bring some sort of notoriety down the road, but it’s just a fun thing for now that could help fund a hobby or two.
Or could it get bigger? Who knows. I mean, wasn’t that company Apple started in a garage? Did you know the first Apples had a WOODEN case? Or those other little companies (FaceBook, Microsoft, Yahoo, etc) started in dorm rooms or as small things that happened to get big? I believe so.
Not EVERY venture needs millions in seed money just to get off the ground. Take a good idea, some passion, and some hard work and you can succeed. Not only can you succeed, you can go nuts and thrive.
So if you’ve got a good idea that you want to try, just go ahead and do it. Maybe you’ll get rich. Maybe you won’t. However, if you don’t even try there’s a 100% chance you WON’T have something to sell off for a hefty price. At the very least, find something you enjoy doing and then you can have something fun to do. At the upper end you’ve got something you can possibly retire on. Think small and go big.