Starting Out On A StartupLeave a Comment
A few weeks ago, this video made the usual rounds through social media channels everywhere. Most watched and thought “wow that’s a nice thought but I can’t do anything about it”. And to be honest, I was one of those people. I thought sure if you could forget about the money for a minute or two, what would I do? Could I survive doing something I loved every day? I think for anyone in the web industry, we can all quickly answer YES because we all love what we do. We may rant and roar for a while about how a client is being stubborn or a browser isn’t behaving the way we want it to but we do love the journey each project takes us on. What about working on a startup? The wheels in my head began to turn. Was there more to this video that I had initially thought? Was there an itch that needed to be scratched?
Is there something else?
This was the question that started in the back of my mind. Don’t get me wrong, I love building web products every day. From the first painstaking site I ever built using tables back 10 years ago, I’ve been in love with the web. But the notion that maybe there was something missing, something more that I hadn’t explored yet began to bug me. What if I could do exactly what I wanted to do on my own terms? What would that be? I pondered and discussed it with my wife and friends. For about a week, I couldn’t think of what that would be. But then it dawned on me. I had the cliché eureka moment. I would want to start my own venture. Take an idea that I had and start from nothing and build it into something I could be proud of even if it failed. No clients, no bosses. Just done on my own terms. I realized in this moment, it wasn’t even about becoming a fulltime freelancer like some of my close friends. No it was about another passion of my life. A passion away from the web. It was about bringing the idea and enjoy of sharing recipes to a digital market. I think the current system of home cooking is broken. I think it’s part of our growing obesity epidemic in North America. People are scared of their kitchens. They either don’t know how to cook simple healthy meals or they just think it will take too much time.
What started my thoughts on this was an observation over the past couple of years. I started noticing a growing trend of men who were becoming the main figures in the kitchen. No longer are women excepted or required to cook all the meals for their families. Some don’t have the knowhow, others don’t enjoy it and some just are too busy. Men have stepped up and have embraced the kitchen. This didn’t really surprise me since there are studies that say men handle unknowns and fear more often and better than women. I, myself, find it to be relaxing and a complete joy. I think one of the main reasons for this shift seems to stem from previous generations of working women who were also mothers. Because they were a generation that fought for equality in the workplace. Their priorities were different from even their mothers. No longer did these working mothers have the time or the energy to work all day and then cook all night. It just wasn’t the way things were done. This meant their children never got to really experience and spend time helping learn what it was like to feed the family. By losing this fundamental learning experience, we have relied on fast food and money grubbing corporations to tell us how and where to eat. But we can change this. There are professional chefs out there working to bring light to how easy it is to cook a healthy, simple meal at home. I believe this change can happen.
This wasn’t a new thought for me. I had approached this before as a side project but had kind of let it slide to the side as I focused on client work and Wirefy. But I felt this project was unfinished. The chapter hadn’t ended. I started to look at the analytics, talked friends and family about it and quickly realized if money isn’t in the equation why wasn’t I pursuing this venture. It was fear. Fear was keeping me from trying to throw myself into helping people by creating a product that could inspire individuals to use their kitchens. I decided that day that fear would no longer control this process. So whether my new startup fails or succeeds, I’ve started my own venture on my own terms. The company name is Forgetful Chef. At our core, Forgetful Chef is a recipe sharing app focused on helping home cooks become more confident and creative in their kitchens. Through the sharing of recipes, members will unlock online and offline rewards generated by partnered initiatives.
I’ve partnered with of my closest friends, Jon Duke and Liam Mather. Each bring a passion and drive to the project that I can feed off of. They are my soundboards for crazy ideas and keep me grounded when my aspirations become to large. I couldn’t ask for better partners. Each of them bring a unique set of skills that give us a nice well-rounded perspective in building a community for home chefs. As first time entrepreneurs, we’re stumbling through the pieces and steps to make this a successful product. But there is one piece of the puzzle missing – funding. Yes I know I say that money wasn’t going to be a driving factor but in truth in order to get things done you need the capital to begin. I believe that one of the best ways to validate a product is through crowdfunding. This is why we’ve set up a campaign on IndieGoGo. So far the feedback from the community has been inspiring. We’ve got a long way to go but with your help we can help launch a product that will change the way people think about cooking and spending time in their kitchens. It will be a long road but one I’m excited to stroll down. The problem of obesity in North America is troubling. We firmly believe that in the long run with enough community members, Forgetful Chef can help change the paradigm of cooking.
If you would like to know more about Forgetful Chef or how you can help, please contact me. We are also looking for partners to join our incentives program for businesses so get in touch with one of our team members. I’m also a including a link to our donation page. Every little bit helps.