There are two schools of thought in this economic climate about launching a start-up. One is that you must be crazy. The walls are crashing down and you’re trying to start something new? Save your pennies, buckle down and maybe once things come around we can talk more about this “new idea” of yours.
As logical as that may sound, a small group of optimistic entrepreneurs* will tell you that this is a perfect time to launch a start-up. Some of the best companies of our generation were started in tough economic times. HP was formed in 1939 in the midst of the Great Depression. When Microsoft was started, in 1975, the economy was in the crapper. So why did they succeed? Because a good idea with great team behind it will succeed in any economy.
This is why I was excited to hear about, and ultimately join, Shotput Ventures. I started a web design shop with my college roommate (Raj Choudhury) in 1998 while attending UNC Charlotte. We had nothing more than an idea, a text editor and whatever credit cards a 22 year-old could get his hands on. Ten years later in March of 2008 we sold Spunlogic, which had grown to a 75-person agency in Atlanta working with brands like The Home Depot, Coca-Cola and UPS, to a private equity group that was putting together a new agency model (called Engauge). I’m now running the digital portion of that agency, with the same people that helped me make Spunlogic a success.
Born in Chicago but having grown up in Atlanta, I’ve always been disappointed by the lack of start-ups that came out of our city. We have a lot of smart young people in this town and some great universities, so why do you have to be in Silicon Valley to get funding and get your idea off the ground? Shotput intends to fill this gap, or at least start the process. And I’m thrilled to be a part of it.
* Actually, if there’s an entrepreneur that isn’t optimistic, I haven’t met him/her.
FYI, I posted this yesterday on the Shotput blog, you should follow it as there will be great content going forward…