When life gives me lemons, I turn it into lemonade, but I when inadvertently give my self lemons, I LemoMadeIt – either way it sucks! Anyway, this is the vulnerable space and place I created as a way to face my failures head on and reflect upon how I can better myself.
Quite frankly some of this shit still stings – so hopefully this will make it feel better. <– insert slow violin music here 🙂
The idea: To create the first web based, cloud hosted, subscription baed SIS (Student Information System) that aggregated student data, educator data and operational data
The gem: I got an investor!
The lemon: I contracted with my long time “friend” to write the software. He never wrote the software and he netted approximately $40k of my investment funds.
The result: I had to pay back the investor to avoid being sued. The software never launched and my “friend” relocated to Costa Rica at the time.
Lesson learned: Even when working with friends, you still need contracts! Establish payment and project milestones as well as build in contingency and exit strategies. Use weighted charges back and incentive clauses for missed/completed deadlines by vendors.
The idea: To offer politicians interactive kiosk platforms that could be distributed at campaign sites to collect constituent data, input and donations.
The gem: I was able to build a prototype
The lemon: My idea was not 100% developed nor did I have any political relationships to leverage.
The result: Never launched.
Lesson learned: Take your time and plan! Research, plan, research and plan more! Establish relationships within your target market.
The idea: To place advertising based programming on monitors within Indianapolis city buses.
The gems: I got a placement contract with IndyGo and had agreements with ClearChannel. I designed the prototype and afforded to fit two GM Hybrid buses.
The lemon: I was a tad cocky and thought my idea was brilliant however, it was deemed “stupid” by VC’s in 2004. Never got funded.
The result: Never made it out of prototype, testing phase.
Lesson learned: You have to build a team! You cannot do everything yourself. Secure financing/investments before engaging the business strategy. You cannot run a business on hope and a wish.