Starting a company (at least for me) has consisted of:
- Working harder than my friends will ever believe even when I explain it
- Constant self doubt and uncertainty. Am I doing the right things? Is this idea working? Will we run out of money? Will I be able to get investors to believe?
- A perfect removal from all notions of a comfort zone.
- A few moments of absolute and pure glory the likes of which most people never experience in a lifetime
The last time I started a company in Austin (MarketZero) I dealt with all of the above in isolation. We solved every problem by ourselves - maybe with the help of some snippets of information we found online or in a book. We had no idea that you could raise money, hire from a pool of talented startup friendly people, or even that the problems we were attempting to solve had been solved before and the people who did it were willing to tell us how. That was in 2006.
Founding Cratejoy (2012) in the Capital Factory has been a completely different experience than starting MarketZero in an isolated office in Westlake.
The Capital Factory has been all things for us. For whatever stage the company was at the Capital Factory somehow provided what we need. Although, we didn't always realize it at the time:
- When we needed a home - the Capital Factory provided that.
- When we needed to commiserate with other founders - the Capital Factory provided that.
- When we needed to hear "No" 50 times until we learned how to sell our vision - oh you better believe the Capital Factory provided that.
- When we needed to be reminded that we are winners and we will make this work - the Capital Factory provided that.
- Then when we finally understood the vision and were ready to enlist help (investors, team) - the Capital Factory provided that as well.
- Now, 3 years in, we are at 30 people and the company is working. The people that I call when I need help, or a sounding board, or just to get a punch in the arm and a reminder just how far we have come - the Capital Factory provided those too.
Since wandering into this big empty room on the 16th floor and renting a desk from Josh I have: made friends that I will cherish for the rest of my life, grown more as a person in 3 years than I did in the previous 10 - oh and built a multimillion dollar business. The Capital Factory is an inseparable part of Cratejoy's story. I cannot imagine getting here without the Capital Factory and I will always be thankful for what the CF has done for us.