I hate the word “entrepreneur”.
Okay, so I don’t really hate it, it’s just a word and I don’t normally have a strong visceral reaction for inanimate objects (although, judging by the time my boyfriend spends sleeping maybe I shouldn’t venture into the ‘not having feelings for inanimate objects’ territory, but that’s a story for another-day-me). Let’s just say I roll my eyes so hard it almost hurts whenever I hear it.
When I hear “entrepreneur”, I immediately think of Elon Musk. I like that one. But on a more general overview, the word itself makes me think of a guy in his mid-thirties, who graduated from an Ivy League school and opened a business in his twenties that now allows him to go yachting wearing white shorts, the kind of guy that always has a smug smile on his face.
Courtesy of the digital era, everyone now can be an entreprenuer. Or trying to be one. Two years ago I thought it would be absolutely mandatory-can’t-live-without to have in your team a developer and a designer as the backbone of your startup. Even as person with soft skills (marketing, PR and basically talking for an enourmous amount of time without actually saying anything) I thought that designer+dev = product even if there’s no marketer in sight, whereas a couple of marketing folks could never start anything without technical people. I mean — you have to have a website. A responsive one, with excellent loading time, amazing user experience and a simple, stylish logo that would tell your customers All.About.You.
I think my adverse reaction comes from the fact that it’s so easy now to do stuff that everyone with an idea calls himself/herself an entrepreneur. And I met my share of people who were “in the startup business” without actually making any money from said business. And I’m like “and what exactly do you do and what’s your source of income, again?!” Which makes me think again of the guy on his yacht, with the receeding hairline. Yeah, of course he has a receeding hairline.
I know I said I’m a PR person and usually very talkative. But I’m also restless and prefer action to inaction. I’m tridimensional like that. Another thing that really bugged me at startup events was the mindblowing inaction. Too much talk, less action. It felt more like a parade of “my idea is the prettiest”. Ideas and Tiaras. It was just this massive PR fest without the backlinks to at least support the SEO strategy. Mind you, I’m from a rather small country and I’ve only been to startup events here and nearby. And I’m doing a very rough generalization because at the end of the day my short-lived experience taught me so many things and allowed me to cross paths with amazing professionals.
Coming back to entrepreneurship, the thing is people have ideas. Or solutions for other people’s ideas. Some of those people take action and make the idea happen and sometime they even succeed. That’s supposed to be the definition of an entrepreneur. But I’m just going to call him or her The Ambitious Tester. Because it’s all about testing the waters with your ideas and if they work, you upgrade level.
I’ve always been creating something. It started with a small magazine back when I was ten, basically I clipped articles from kids’ magazines, but I wanted something to call my own. It looked horrible. I loved chemistry in school because it allowed me to play with substances and see what they create. I wrote a lot — maybe too much (yes, there’s such thing as too much if it makes you live just in your imagination), then in highschool sold commision-based cosmetics from catalogues (and even did some door-to-door with a then-friend, but it only lasted a couple of hours.
A couple of years ago I came up with a clothes swapping app and that whole ride was a treat, last year I tried again doing something with a friend (guess who didn’t learn her lesson the first time around! And yes, we’re still on speaking terms) and this year…this year I’m doing this. You know how there’s spring cleaning and home improvement during autumn? Well, I have startup summer, apparently.
Yeah, I know. The site is kinda not so good looking but I’ve done it all by myself in two days (the first version looked horrible, the second less horrible and so on). Got a domain from GoDaddy, an email address from Google for work, trial version (after that I’m going to be billed about $4/month) and GoDaddy offers a website builder service for about $80 or $90 /year (too lazy to look now, sorry, gonna have to Google yourself. And now you’re thinking “but you took the time to write that in the paranthesis, wouldn’t have been easier to just go and check?”).
If you’re looking for a decent logo, I suggest tailor brands and there’s always Shopify for commerce, but I’m not there yet (liked the templates from GoDaddy better than those from Shopify). All with no designer and no developer.
And before you ask, the pics from the website are mine (I only took a couple, the rest are original artworks by friends. I know, I know, again with the lesson about working with friends).
Is this entrepreneurship? I’d think not. It’s just putting together things that are already available (during my quest to find the most appropriate and very, very free photo editor — went with pixlr — I managed to get myself a good dose of malware. My default search engine is now Yahoo. Anyone got a good cleaner for Mac?).