Oh ode to Fail con…
How I love thee. Thouth breath inspiration into my soul and giveith new meaning to the word passion. Teehehehe Ok enough with the silliness in all seriousness FAIL CON You have changed my life! I don’t think I can say I am the same person after attending this convention. I have such a new found respect for EVERY company out there on the web and every product ever made. The vibe and the energy in the place was soo alive so dynamic soo passionate and super contagious. I cant help but to leave today with a sore throat and passion to know and do more!
I feel more inspired today than ever before. More passionate to work on making my dream a reality. More drive to create a dent in the universe. More excitement for the future! Watch out world here I come! I’ve meet soo many brilliant people today that range from founders, to developers, to lawyers and tax people, UI guys and girls, VC’s, and everyone in between. Every which way you looked they all had that spark. I hope I can hold on to this feeling for a long time to come. Time to start working on my MVP and looking for a co-founder to get this puppy off the ground and to the moon. Lets kick this into to top gear!
I<3 Fail Con
“Investors should think in as definite a way as possible about the future. Don’t admit you don’t know and lean back. It’s obnoxious to entrepreneurs. Someone who says “it might work or might not work” is not the kind of person you want to be working with [if you’re an entrepreneur]. There’s room for actuarial science, but not everything is actuarial math.”—
Breathe and stop....
It’s been a very frustrating couple of weeks, don’t get me wrong a lot of awesome things have happened but there’s been some real ‘moments’ too…I debated as to whether I should or can post about this particularly as i’m still in the midst of going through ‘it’ but hey in the words of Solange ‘it’s my damn blog’…
Models; I put out a casting call a couple of weeks for models for the next lookbook and over 200 ladies put themselves forward. I stated in the casting call that I was interested in hearing from ALL types of women; red heads, those with Afro hair, those with shaved heads, blondes yet only certain types of ladies can forward; for the white ladies mostly blonde haired ones and for the black girls mostly ladies with long weaves…Really??? Are these the only models out there, surely not.
I have already shot with the amazing Queenie who wears a weave and the equally amazing Emilia who has blond hair so I was really keen to take the look of Modify - the new collection - in a completely different direction…so that search continues to a certain extent…at one point I had considered shooting with ‘ghosts’ i.e. etching out the model afterwards…that is still a real possibility afterall it’s about the clothes not the models
Webstore; Now I had said that I wouldn’t be releasing a new collection until I had my own webstore up and running, now this was largely driven by the fact that online stockists normally want anything from 30% - 50% commission of any sales you make. Yes, up to 50%! There is ofcourse a real need for stockists I’m not denying that, being stocked in the right place can do wonders for your sales and reputation but the one’s that want 50% commission, really??? This drove me to consider trying to do a majority of selling through my own website and then reinforcing that with one or two key stockists.
‘Cool’ I thought ‘I’ll just get some quotes in for a webstore I thought, a decent webstore wont cost that much I’m sure’. Cue the depressing trumpet sound ‘Wah wah wahhhhhhh’
How does anything from 2K to 5K sound for a BASIC webstore with decent security? It’s estimated that Karen Millen and the likes spent anything from 50K to 250K on theirs…so what do you do when you’re just starting out?? I began to realise why so many of the new up and coming designers that surrounded me or had come a bit before me, hadn’t invested in webstores yet - because they are extremely expensive…was I trying to do too much in the 12 weeks since launching, did I really need a webstore I asked myself..
Yes yes yes I hear you ‘but you have to invest in a new business Adjoa!’, yes this is true but you begin to wonder why you see a new designer once and never again; between 50% commission rates of the stockists or a 2.5 times mark up by the boutiques, participation in trade shows costing anything from £300 to £500 a pop, you begin to appreciate why only a few people make it…
Production; the designs for the collection have been finalised, the material has been bought and yet everything is at a standstill…the production house tells me that the collection will cost X rather than the original Y that we had agreed on so what to do? We’ve now lost at least a week…momentary stalemate
Now I WILL find a way through this ‘learning process’ I WILL find the models I want, I WILL find a reasonable quote for a webstore and I WILL come to some kind of agreement with the production house
but let it be said here; fashion is NOT for the light hearted, it’s business, we all know that but sometimes I find myself asking who are the real people making the money? The web designers, the production houses, the stockists or the designers???
Cheerier post sometime after the new collection is released….
Scaling up the Start-up Nation
Want to start a business but don’t know where to set up? Ron Huldai (pictured, top) and Saul Singer (bottom, centre) presented a compelling case for Israel as the global hub of start-up tech firms. Mr Huldai, the mayor of Tel Aviv, said his city is home to 600 start-ups. More importantly, it also has one bar for every 200 residents. When packing for Tel Aviv, he advised, bring one pair of shorts for the beach. Bring another pair for business meetings. And forget about your brolly. You won’t need it in Tel Aviv.
Mr Singer has explored the reasons for Israels remarkable success in his book Start Up Nation. He presented a somewhat more rigorous argument than weather. What accounts for Israel’s 4,000-odd start ups (with another 500 being added every year) compared to no more than 800 in Europe? It’s not ideas, he said. Everybody has ideas. But you need two things to go from an idea to a company or a product.
The first is drive and determination. The second is a willingness to take risks. These traits are etched into the Israeli character, he said. The next step is to scale up from start-ups to big global companies. “We used to ask, ‘Where is our Nokia?’” he said. While Israeli start-ups may not look to Nokia anymore, the dream remains. Mr Singer suggested that one way to grow Israel’s companies is by focusing on solving big global problems, such as facilitating mobile payments.
Build a huge company, when it's small
A few months ago I had an opportunity to have dinner with a consultant that worked with Lululemon when the company was in its early stages. One of the things we talked about is building a company to be many times larger than you actually expect it to be. I’ve been thinking about this idea and want to share my initial thoughts.
What does it mean to build the company to be much larger than you plan it to be?
It means to build processes, attitudes, and a culture that would support your company even if it was many, many times larger than it is.
Why is this a good idea?
- If you are constantly planning to be much bigger than you are, you might actually end up getting there.
- Processes that would support a much bigger company than yours are processes that can operate without your involvement.
- If your processes are like those of a much bigger organization then maybe your CEO will be more like those of larger organizations too.
- Lastly, when you hit your stride and your team finds major success nothing slows you down because you have tons of capacity for more sales, more hires, more products etc.
Founder of Digg Kevin Rose launches Foundation
Foundation is a new site dedicated to a monthly video series of interviews with the founder of Digg Kevin Rose talking to influential founders in the tech community. There are a few videos up already with Jack Dorsey co-founder of Twitter, Chris Sacca who is a start-up investor and founder of Lowercase Capital, Dennis Crowley co-founder of Foursquare and more.