I received an urgent message in early August 2014. It was from a good friend who works as a VP of IT at a large southeastern bank. On the side my friend did some websites and startup consulting. He had been working with a funded start-up out of New York City for several months that was looking for a guerilla marketing consultant.
I was introduced as that guy. I am far from a guerilla marketing consultant, but I appreciated the referral. They called me late Friday afternoon. The call started off gentile and inquisitive.
Was I was the guy to bring on to assist them?
They began to tell me that they were in the middle of building a brand new social network. Of course it would be a social network in their minds that would rival Facebook.
If you are willing like myself, you give startups a few minutes to discuss what they are up to. And if there is something I can help with, then maybe I would be that consultant. Up until this point in time I have been generally a passive consultant. Normally I sit back and let them talk. Normally I would do it for the check, get a retainer and go, go, go. Most startups tell startup consultants what they doing, how they got started and what they need now. That is how most consulting gigs start out. We are often like mirrors that just produce what is asked of us. A consultant is paid to produce what the client wants.
But on this day I had a bug up my ass. I was determined to have a new mantra. I would not be that passive consultant and let another project drag on or fail! That would not be my motto this time. Be strong. Be who they really need!
There are three main truths to a startup. They are on the right path. They need to pivot (most do). They are a total loss which needs to stop now. My assessment of a total loss is pretty rare, mainly because you need to not only have the situation of being out of alignment but you need to also have the wrong management or other factors that would mean they do not have the capacity to succeed. The underlying reality is I am not able to say anything won’t succeed as a concept. That is not what I am talking about. What I am talking about is the ability to succeed.
To Be Continued
Please follow me and I will continue to add to this story. This story and others are going to be included in a book I will be publishing in 2016