Today, i’m devastated.
Building a startup from scratch is truly an emotional rollercoaster. Last week we started assembling the Slick at factory, this was literally the best week of my life.
But today, i’m devastated.
This story is a co-founder story.
August 18th, 2015. I introduced a revolutionary waterproof gimbal on Indiegogo. It’s a buzz. 24h later, $100,000 in pre-orders. $450K a month later. I’ve had a working prototype, applied for a patent on the waterproof technology. I’ve had all the components to start a successful company. Except the team. I then found a co-founder in January 2016 who will lead the design for manufacturing.
Then, things started to get complicated. Few months later my co-founder informed me that our waterproof technology is finally not working. The stabilizer is not working that well and took months to get to something close to a manufacturable product. He advised me not tell it to our customers yet. Our waterproof patent was provisional, I was suggested not to convert it into a full patent since the technology wasn’t working. We lost the patent.
At that time, my co-founder didn’t want his name anywhere, not to appear on TV neither interviews. It didn’t make sense. It’s December 2016, my co-founder fly to China to find a manufacturing partner. Came back with nothing.
I fly there, find a great manufacturer. From that time, I feel that the company is in danger. The company had nearly spent half a million dollars in product development, and our product doesn’t meet our original expectation. We are about to fail. I start slowly to take back over the technical stuff in addition to running the whole company.
In May 2017, my co-founder told me he is leaving the company since “this is not a good fit for him”. I’m alone. Alone.
I fly with a one-way ticket to China and solve one-by-one all the absurdities in design in order to have the best product I can. I’m proud of the improvements and order the beginning of manufacturing.
Last week my Slick was making dozen of babies in few hours, that was the best week of my life.
But today i’m devastated.
Today, I learn that my co-founder has his own GoPro stabilizer company…. A waterproof GoPro stabilizer, yes, waterproof.
Today, I see videos of him promoting his stabilizer during his Chinese business trip in December.
Today I realize why he used to come to the office from 5pm till night.
Today I realize why he avoided any form of communication during 1,5y.
Today, everything finally make sense.
This week was the steepest emotional rollercoaster ever created.
I’m not a super humain, but tomorrow; I’ll ship the 3,000 Slick my customers have ordered.
And after tomorrow, I’ll ship a waterproof gimbal.
Thanks, this just makes me stronger.