Prior to joining Capital Factory, we were working on Goodybag for nearly 18 months and it was a freaking nightmare (different business from what we have now). Although we had a growing user base of 55k users, it was a terribly crappy business that wasn’t providing real value nor making enough money. It was immensely stressful, and it still hurts to think about: Our team had grown to an unsustainable count of 32 people (11 of which lived in our house), we burned through nearly $1MM (from family and savings — and they didn’t understand the situation), we had roughly $80k left in the bank, we had already wiped out our savings, we couldn’t raise more money, we had key team members growing anxious, and I was down to 120 pounds — fighting depression while still keeping everyone motivated. In summary, we were idiots. We didn’t learn/adapt fast enough, and we may have initially been overconfident because we had small successes in previous ventures. Unfortunately, we were completely isolated from the Austin entrepreneurial community — otherwise I believe things would have been VERY different.
While we still had the chance, we let go of 25 employees, trashed the business and ended with 4.5 months of runway left. We jumped into a completely new business, got a little bit of traction and joined Capital Factory before we drowned. I remember meeting with Josh before we applied to make sure our chances were strong for getting in. And I also remember Mikey telling us he’d invest on the day of our CF interview…whew :). Capital Factory was a game changer. There’s at least a 50% chance that Goodybag would have completely failed if Capital Factory didn’t exist.
It’s unavoidable: Everyone starts off naive, inexperienced, and with a varying amount of luck. Actually, I’d argue that we're ALWAYS naive. The point is to avoid stagnation, accelerate your personal growth, kick ass, and also maximize your ability to get lucky :). Capital Factory helps with all of this by rubbing us against the best people and organizations this city has to offer. We all grow faster because of it, and we all maximize our ability to get lucky because of the number of opportunities it exposes. I think I personally accelerated at least 4 years in 1 year’s worth of time…amazing.