Ep. #508 - Why Do You Want to Start a Startup?
In this episode of Startup Hustle, we’re kicking off our 52-part series covering How to Start a Tech Company. In this first episode, Matt DeCoursey and Matt Watson discuss why entrepreneurs are lead to launch startups.
Covered In This Episode
Is it about the money? The fame? Or maybe the freedom? There are many reasons why people want to start their businesses. But which of these reasons will help lead you to success?
In this first episode, Matt DeCoursey and Matt Watson answer the question: why do you want to start a startup? Based on their experiences, the Matts discuss what they think are the right reasons to start a business and why some reasons are not, in fact, good reasons to want to start a business. The Matts also share some pitfalls and dangers they experienced during their early startup days.
Join their conversation to learn more in this Startup Hustle episode.
Follow along in the How to Start a Tech Company podcast series and listen to the second episode here.
Or dive right into any of the 52 episodes that make up this “How to Start a Tech Company” series.
- The start of the “How to Start a Tech Company” series (0:51)
- Why do you want to start a startup (2:15)
- Seeing an opportunity can be a pitfall (5:17)
- Delivering value (9:00)
- Industry expertise and Connections (19:22)
- Stackify (21:19)
- Thinking of having a better solution to the current solution (22:31)
- Starting a startup to have freedom (24:48)
- Boredom (29:41)
- Passion (30:38)
- Startup Hustle chat answers (33:47)
- The reasons not to start a startup (38:39)
- You’re not making money anytime soon (48:12)
- Check out Startup Hustle TV (49:37)
- Wrapping up (54:49)
It’s okay, we can build this new product or this new feature. But every time we build a new feature, it’s something else we have to put in our backpacks and carry around with us. Like if we forever have to support this thing. Our customers are going to have problems with it. We have to maintain it. We have to continue to improve it supported all these things. And there are only so many things you can carry up the mountain in your backpack. And the more shit you want to do, it’s the more stuff you gotta carry around, and it just weighs you down.Matt Watson
If you have an opportunity, I think the best advice I can give is to go find someone that may have done something similar, or even anywhere near that, and go ask him what it’s like to do it.Matt DeCoursey
Passion is the right reason to start a business, or at least it’s the right element to start it. Because if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, whether it be the industry, the solution, or maybe the people, you may be the clients or users that you serve. In my opinion, that’s a critical component of success. Because I think if you lack passion, then you’re gonna quit.Matt DeCoursey
If you have industry experience that nobody else knows that you can go and apply and build something and then sell in the industry. That’s the best place to be. But you’ve got to have some expertise that’s really valuable, that solves a real problem that somebody will pay for.Matt Watson
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Following is an auto-generated text transcript of this episode. Apologies for any errors!
Matt DeCoursey 0:29
And we’re back. Back for another episode of Startup Hustle, Matt DeCoursey, here with Matt Watson. Hi, Matt.
Matt Watson 0:37
What’s going on?
Matt DeCoursey 0:38
I want to start a startup.
Matt Watson 0:41
We’re gonna start like a new podcast and in a podcast.
Matt DeCoursey 0:45
Yeah, well, I want to start a tech company, you know anything about that?
Matt Watson 0:50
I don’t really recommend it.
Matt DeCoursey 0:51
Well, I don’t either. We’re going to talk all about that. Now before we get started. Because this is episode one of a very interesting undertaking, so that for the longest time, we have talked about doing a have a series about how to start a tech company. And here we are 52-part dude, five to once a week, you’re gonna be able to handle it.
Matt Watson 1:19
Matt DeCoursey 1:21
Okay, so as we kind of get into the whole everything that we’re going to do, and once again, this is a weekly series, it’s all going to be related, it’s going to be you and me, buddy, we’re back. There’s so much that goes into starting any business and all businesses are different, but a lot of it is the same. However, starting a tech company, there’s a lot of things that I think that I would like to warn people about make sure that people understand, and a whole lot of other things that I plan on getting into when it comes to just the overall general statement of the How to Start a Tech Company series. I mean, what do you want to accomplish? Like what’s your what what do you feel like you need to share, warn or do for any? Anybody that’s gonna listen?
Matt Watson 2:16
I think it’s cool to give everybody the kind of unfiltered advice about all the different things. And you know, from our first topic today about Why Do You Want to Start a Startup and there’s some really bad reasons, and there’s some really good reasons and excited to share all that with people.
Matt DeCoursey 2:33
And before we get into the bullets of that, why, you started two tech companies, you’ve been involved in several, we own a couple together. Why do you why did you want to start a startup, Matt?
Matt Watson 2:49
Um, you know, the first time it was not really a startup, it was a, basically, like an accidental business. Like, I’m just trying to work with some customers and a guy and solve a problem and get paid for it. And it just grew from there. Right? And, and that’s kind of helpful skill started a little bit, right. It’s like, Oh, we got some customers lined up, we got a problem, we can solve it. Let’s go do it. You know, Stackify was the same way. For me. It’s like I had my own problem I wanted to solve, like, I understood the problem. But it was a much bigger undertaking, and a lot more risk involved. Took a lot of capital, which is kind of a different kind of startup.
Matt DeCoursey 3:31
Yeah, and you talked about the accidental business, a lot of people do start a business accidentally. My, my first quote, real business was more or less an accidental business. But that’s, that is a why, for a lot of the reasons that why people start a business and we’re gonna get into a whole lot of different reasons. And we’re also going to include so our community in the Startup Hustle chat, and I want to encourage anybody listening to go to Facebook, super easy to find us just type in Startup Hustle in the little search box, and you’ll find us. We have a rapidly growing community of entrepreneurs, founders, and people that love business that are in there talking now, they don’t know this, but I have secretly been crowdsourcing material from them by asking so part of what we’re going to talk about in this episode. And Matt, you know, before we get too far into this, if you do want to start a tech company, you and I own a business that can help people do that. Today’s episode of Startup Hustle is brought to you by FullScale.io helping you build a software team quickly and affordably. If you do decide to start a tech company, you’re gonna rapidly find that there is a massive shortage of programmers here in the US and a lot of other places. And you know, that’s how we accidentally started our business. We were trying to solve a problem within a different business and realize that everybody has the exact same problem. So we go to FullScale.io will help you find programmers. I’ll tell you what, we’re pretty good at it. We have a couple of 100 employees worldwide, we can help you find, get what you need. And we’ll also talk to you about some of the stuff that we’ll talk about in this series, which is how to be successful. But part of being successful means avoiding pitfalls, right?
Matt Watson 5:16
Matt DeCoursey 5:17
Yeah. So. And by the way, for those of you that, that might just be figuring out who we are listening. Look up, Matt Watson, he knows a lot about starting tech companies. He Is he is he doesn’t always like to tell you that. But he’s, he’s pretty much the guy. So I learned a whole lot. I’m looking at Matt, actually, I’m looking forward to learning a lot from you. So let’s talk about some of the basic reasons that what are the real reasons why Yeah, so you say why do you want to start one? So I did some research. I, our team did some research. With Startup Hustle TV, our new web series about entrepreneurship, we promise to be transparent. So I’m being really, really transparent. I don’t we don’t do the hard work. We just talk about the hard work other people do. But, okay, so some of the reasons why. And I think probably one of the most common ones is that people see an opportunity.
Matt Watson 6:16
And that’s also probably one of the biggest pitfalls.
Matt DeCoursey 6:21
That seeing an opportunity and not understanding anything about it like yeah, opportunity. So I should chase it.
Matt Watson 6:28
Yeah. That how to execute it, what it’s going to take to execute it don’t really understand the industry vertical that you’re going into, but you’re like, oh, maybe I can solve that. You know, it’s like, for example, we had a guest on that had made the improved, like carburetors and stuff for motorcycles, right? And so it’s like, okay, that makes sense. But then it’s like, nobody in the United States uses motorcycles. So, okay, where’s the opportunity, right, and he found an opportunity. He’s been successful, but, you know, just because there’s an opportunity to solve a problem. Like, that is an example. Okay. Yeah, you can do that. But who’s gonna buy it? What’s your go to market strategy? How much capital? Do you need to do it? Do you have the right team? Do you have the expertise? Like, there’s 100 other things to think through then just be just beyond saying, oh, yeah, I can solve that. And so many people start with, like, oh, I can solve that. And literally go no further, they just talk about how they could solve it and never go past that.
Matt DeCoursey 7:30
On some level, though, talking about it is what you should be doing early because you say just because you see an opportunity doesn’t mean you chase it. And, you know, you and I and we were business partners, podcast hosts, you know, I was the best man and your wedding, I’d say we know each other kind of well, and we’ve had this discussion outside of the podcast a lot. And we’re referring to entrepreneurial ADD, just because you see a shiny thing doesn’t mean you should be paying attention to it and chasing it and, and and as I am continuing as 2021 arrives, and I will turn another year on the calendar giving me officially and statistically more ancient wisdom than you, Matt. One of the things that I’ve really learned is you got to be careful about just chasing opportunity for the sake of doing it because you well, Matt. Let’s tell everyone about the backpack.
Matt Watson 8:23
Well, that’s so that’s a metaphor, I use a lot and basically, really, really use this metaphor more about like, it’s tackifier, right? It’s okay, we can build this new product or this new feature. But every time we build a new feature, it’s something else, we have to put in our backpack and carry around with us. Like if we forever have to support this thing. Our customers are going to have problems with it, we have to maintain it, we have to continue to improve it supported all these things. And there’s only so many things you can carry up the mountain in your backpack. And the more shit you want to do, it’s the more stuff you gotta carry around and it just weighs you down.
Matt DeCoursey 9:00
You know, and Congress with the backpack, there’s something that you’ve heard me say quite a bit, and I and for those of you that have quoted me online, you seem to choose this one a lot. You know, what’s easier, climbing the mountain yourself or asking those on top to pull you up? Yep. And, and, you know, so drop the backpack. And if you have an opportunity, I think the best advice I can give is go find someone that may have done something similar, or even anywhere near that and go ask him what it’s like to do it. And that’s part of you know, how you and I got to know each other is just talking about opportunity, talking about our history, talking about a lot of different things, interviewing you for my book, million dollar bedroom, and, you know, there’s a you know, there’s a lot of different things out there. All right. So moving on from that. Another reason that many start a startup is they have an idea that solves a problem or delivers value now Now that’s kind of a subcategory of opportunity, you may have already identified an opportunity there at, but now what? What is value? Like, what does a business need to do? Or should it do before it actually says, Okay, it’s a business?
Matt Watson 10:19
Well, here’s the problem, right is, you get somebody that, let’s say they love Tiktok. And they use it, and they’re like, oh, but it should have this feature. So I’m gonna go create my own version of Tiktok. That is different. And the only difference is it has this one feature. And then you ask the question, like, who pays for that shit? How are you going to make any money? Like, are you really delivering value that somebody is going to pay for. And in general, this is why I’m not really a fan of consumer-based things because consumers don’t pay for anything. I’d much rather solve a problem that a business will pay for, because businesses have money, and they pay for things. And the whole delivering value part of it, I think, is really critical and real. And people really struggle with consumer base things on if they’re going to be ad-supported, or how to get people to pay for it. There are so many lot of startups in Kansas City have been through this, and most all of them always fail, because they can never figure out the right business model of just working with consumers.
Matt DeCoursey 11:21
Now in here, in a few episodes, we’re going to get in-depth as to why startups fail. And they do more than they don’t. Oh, yeah. So when it comes to your opportunity, and your problem, and whatever, just realistically, the numbers are not in your favor. So
Matt Watson 11:39
People have to want to pay you to solve that problem. Or for that value, like there’s got to be an ROI to it. That’s the key.
Matt DeCoursey 11:46
You know, value and value comes in a lot of shapes and forms really, when it comes to email. Matt, you’ve mentioned your preference for b2b, if you’re so business to business, if you are have a b2b solution, it better help them sell more or spend less, because if it doesn’t do one of those two, and it’s not, and the benefits of it aren’t really clear, you are going to have a very, very difficult time selling it getting people to understand it, or get anyone else to do it now. Now the next item on the list is reminds me of of Ruslan mark and their ship when you work for us. And what their ship, which, by the way, congratulations, Ross, because, dude, that that company got big. And it really did. And it’s done really, really well. But that business was created that they, you you’re a part of that right? Didn’t you create some like you were creating some kind of value or efficiency in your own business, and all of a sudden you realize, oh, wow, this could bring and deliver value.
Matt Watson 12:49
Can you tell that story for a second. So Russ, his company was called Ticket Solutions, and they sell, you know, concert and sports tickets online and go to ticketsolutions.com. They’re based in Kansas City, and I work there back in like 2001 and 2002. And as you can imagine, as a ticket broker, they, they send a lot of tickets via FedEx and and UPS. And you know, FedEx and UPS does all the time, they don’t deliver them on time. And that’s really critical for concert tickets and stuff, right? Cuz you’re gonna get one time the tickets are useless. So they would send like hundreds of packages a month, and they had this great idea of auditing all of them to figure out if they were being delivered on time. And if they weren’t, you could get a refund or a credit back from FedEx or UPS. And that idea is what eventually turned into being beariship, which ended up being a bigger business than Ticket Solutions was itself and Ticket Solution. You know, businesses, I think, kind of been on the decline over the last 20 years, because of onlines, you know, all the reasons, and viewership was usually successful.
Matt DeCoursey 13:54
So I was in the ticket business for eight years. That was the first business I started. And that’s actually how you and I got to be friends, because we were talking about it. Like, we had actually made a comment about something else. And I mentioned something about tickets, and we started talking about being a ticket broker. So you are correct with the benefit on that product. But there was one other thing. So the real and we had Ross on the show, because that was the look, look in our feed. It’s early to it’s like in the first 100 episodes somewhere. He’s a super entrepreneur. And so you were the FedEx. So a lot of times you’ll have a two-day delivery, but it’ll come on the third day, which whether you know this or not as a FedEx or UPS customer, they have to give you your money back because they didn’t deliver literally didn’t deliver. So what had and I remember Ross talking about this because they were just doing general auditing. And I remember what a pain in the butt that is because you’ll send out hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of things and they realized they had hired basically a bookkeeper to kind of look at it and he Then they said, Well, 20% of these didn’t even arrive on time. And he and because it was such a big number, he said, Oh my God, a lot of money that we need to get refunded or discounted or something, and then all of a sudden, he’s like, Oh, well, okay, so they built it, and it and it did great things. And on some levels, that’s what we did with GigaBook. Because GigaBook was originally a built in our ticket company, we’re using it to let people know well, we use it for marketing calendars, a whole lot of different stuff. So you never know how things are gonna get started.
Matt Watson 15:30
Well, and, and Ticket Solutions have actually had a whole nother company they built in house is another example. They built their own. And I helped build this their own point of sale system, and websites for ticket brokers that kept track of their inventory and customers, and they built it for their own their own needs, and then realize that other people in the industry wanted it. So you know, as we talked about building something, and then kind of spinning it out, which is kind of the category we’re talking about. It’s another good example of that. Another good example, that is a Sprint here in town, which is now T Mobile, you know, they collect all this data about cell phones and their usage and locations and all that. And they figured out, hey, that could be its own data company that’s used for advertising and marketing. And that got spun out into a different company here in Kansas City. And a lot of times, these are the best kinds of startups, ones that start in a larger company, they’re building something very specific, and they’re able to carve that out of their primary business into its own business. But that’s not usually, that’s usually the entrepreneur that owns that original business. It’s not really it’s like a startup within a startup. It’s not the first startup, you know.
Matt DeCoursey 16:35
I think the reason that you mentioned that those are sometimes easier? Well, it’s because they don’t require, they don’t often in the very earliest stages, they don’t require a separate set of resources and capital. And they’re just kind of born within the, you know, like we built some GigaBook was birthed from my, from my ticket company, because, and on some of that, it was just existing to be built. Because in tickets, it’s so seasonal. So there’s like these really, like, you’ll have two months where you’re just like you, you won’t do anything, but that business and the two months, the next two months might be wishing that those prior two months were back. So you know, sometimes about keeping people busy or doing different things, but building tools that matter. And like I said that the no need to start up inside of another business. And we see that a lot. That’s really common, I’m seeing more and more of that with a lot of bigger companies. And we experience a lot of that here in Kansas City with the way that Launch KC and go to launchkc.org. And check out what the what Kansas City is doing with business accelerators. So they were giving away $50,000 grants to like a dozen companies a year. And you know, and that was great. But they pivoted a little bit, because a lot of corporate partners, like recently we did BCP Tech, which is actually where we buy our insurance from. And that’s a huge insurance company. And they made small investments in to seven different insurance tech companies. So they weren’t because they wanted some of they want to use the solutions, maybe have a vested interest in it moving forward. And so there’s a while that’s not that true startup in a startup thing, it is still it’s similar. Yep. And, you know, now the next thing I got on the list, I feel like this is very in alignment with you now map now. Now, here is give you some free advertising, go to stackify.com. And that’s maps current company, which by the way, is an inc 500 company and does amazing stuff. That’s also amazingly complex. Its application performance management, once again, stackify.com, we’ll put a link in the shownotes. So you can check it out. Now, you are an industry expert already in the software industry because of your first company VinSolutions. But often people start a business because they are an industry expert, and they want to create their own thing. Now, that isn’t exactly the reason. But you were clearly an industry expert after after exiting VinSolutions. But did that was that? Well, I think you were just bored. I think
Matt Watson 19:22
Well, I wasn’t an industry expert at what Stackify does, though. I was an industry expert in automotive. And it would have made more sense. And I probably would have been smarter to start a software company in automotive. And I think there’s two there’s two parts to this. It’s an industry expert and it could be your knowledge that can go help build something, or it really could be your connections. And so another great example this, somebody I know here in Kansas City, worked at a construction company was very well connected, knew lots of people in town. So he left there and started his own painting company. And he’s really successful because of all the connections he had you No. And so being an industry expert could be just the connections you have, and knowing people to go start a business, that isn’t necessarily a start-up. But you know, it’s your connections are super valuable.
Matt DeCoursey 20:12
I’m going to disagree with you a little bit on your industry expertise, because you were, you were okay, you are an expert, as a developer, now, now it wants again, Matt’s Matt’s humble, and doesn’t always talk about this kind of stuff that that’s original company VinSolutions, which, by the way, they sold for 150 million bucks. So that was validated at that point. But you know, you you guys, were doing some really, really cutting edge stuff at the time when it comes to cloud computing, and just a whole lot, you really created a lot of efficiency for different businesses, you did a lot of stuff that was ahead of its curve. And you and along the way, now I did the same thing in my own company on the way to GigaBook we’re doing things 10 years ago, that aren’t high technology now. But like, you look back, no one doing these things. But it created that expertise. And in your case, the expertise was, in my opinion, understanding what other people like you really need it.
Matt Watson 21:15
Sure. Yeah. And that’s true.
Matt DeCoursey 21:19
We, it’s why we’re here what does Stackify do?
Matt Watson 21:23
Our product is used by software developers to help improve the performance of their application. So we help them observe how their applications are performing, how to improve it, how to monitor that how to prevent issues, fix issues.
Matt DeCoursey 21:35
So it’s fair to say that anybody listening that wants to start a tech company should probably go to Stackify.com. And check it out.
Matt Watson 21:42
Absolutely. We can help.
Matt DeCoursey 21:44
And don’t, even have a have a free product.
Matt Watson 21:47
Yeah, we do.
Matt DeCoursey 21:50
By the way, it’s code that checks code. If you don’t know that stuff. That’s how I do you ask me all the time, I was does Stackify do? Nerdy stuff and it’s code that checks code, but But look, that’s important and an early stage business. And we’ll talk about that a little further down the road. You know, like that’s a tool that go that tries to help you find problems that you might not identify on your own for whatever reason, which is important. Which is important. Because you know, you’re you don’t want it what you don’t know is in the early stages is often killer. So okay, next on the list map.
Matt Watson 22:31
So the next we have you think you have a better solution than the existing solution. And in some ways, that’s what then solutions was like we we created a CRM system for car dealers, and CRM systems had already existed for car dealers, but they weren’t very good at internet leads. They weren’t very good at like sending emails. And like the first versions of those, if you sent email, you had to literally type HTML, like to be able to send HTML, like they were that archaic. And they were server-based, like they weren’t web based that you know, and so we had a better solution. But there’s a huge flaw with this idea that you have a better solution. your idea and your solution better be 10 times better. If it’s like a little bit better, ain’t nobody gives a shit. Like if you came to me and said, Matt, I got a better solution than QuickBooks and be like, QuickBooks isn’t broken. Well, I could save you money. I pay $70 a month for it. How much are you really gonna save? Like, you better have a really better solution. And that is the challenge. People get hung up on like, well, I made a better mousetrap. Like, who cares? It better be a lot better.
Matt DeCoursey 23:42
I think that this why this reason why is dangerous. Oh, yeah, reasons that you’re mentioning. And yeah, I, because of my role. So I talked to a lot of people at Full Scale. So once again, our company Full Scale Matt and I own it together. We work with dozens of tech companies, we help them build tech teams, for their tech companies. So we, over the last three years, I’ve talked to a hell of a lot of people about a hell of a lot of things. We’ve done it ourselves. We’ve helped other people do it. But I tell people all the time, and then they’re in the early stages, exact same thing you said like Be careful. Because yeah, that now your solution for quit but Matt like solution for QuickBooks, it’s gonna it’s half the price, I still wouldn’t care. Because the effort that it would take for me to get it from A to B. And also I got other shit to do. $5 a month is not my problem.
Matt Watson 24:41
I have other legitimate problems. So unless you can solve my number one problem, you’re wasting my time.
Matt DeCoursey 24:48
Yeah, yeah. Okay, I mentioned earlier in the episode that I was secretly crowdsourcing info I asked the Startup Hustle chat on Facebook, why people start startups and I want to talk about some of what our listeners had to say. Because that’s a group full of people that know a lot of stuff. Man, there are a lot of people in there talking about these things that are giving some very, very, very informed responses. And I, let’s share a few of them. So I think this is a good one. I think this is a reason that I this this reason has has a plus and a minus column. So yes, someone, we have the comment, I want freedom. Be very, very careful. Starting a business because you think it’s going to give you freedom. It might at some point, but it depends on how you define freedom, because I’ll tell you what, I very much feel chained to my business, or my startups are having in the past. I didn’t feel like I had freedom. Now technically, I could, I could have just gone and done whatever I wanted, wherever I wanted with whoever I wanted for however long that I wanted. But that wouldn’t, that wouldn’t have lasted too long. So what do you feel about starting your business? Big for freedom? I mean, do you do you think I have some good points there? Or do you disagree?
Matt Watson 26:15
Um, but if you want to take off the rest of the afternoon, you could do it. True, right. And, you know, I think for some people, I would say this also aligns with people that kind of want a lifestyle business. It’s like, oh, I, you know, I only work part-time, or I work when I want to work is not necessarily a big business. It’s like, it’s like the guy with a painting company. He’s like, I got 12 people to paint for me, I take a couple calls a day, I sell a couple new accounts, I do some invoicing, the rest time, I just hang out, I do whatever I want. I mean, it could be kind of a lifestyle business, and you have a lot of freedom, right? But it’s not necessarily going to become like some giant company either. But that’s okay. And, you know, for I think some people really value that, that freedom. And you could say, like, Uber drivers have this, right, like, they can drive whenever they want, or they can not drive, they have that freedom. So
Matt DeCoursey 27:05
you know, as a as a, as a business owner, and you talk about freedom, it lets you also do what you want within your own business. Like let’s say, for example, you wanted to start your own TV show. We did that weight shift, we did that. If you’re listening, you got to come check out Startup Hustle TV. Now the reason I bring that up is is the first off, we’ve created we’re launching a web series first episode, it’s February 1 of 2021. Because we okay, we learned with this podcast that we were able to really share the real story of entrepreneurship, we wanted to take that to another level. Now, our stories are somewhat interesting. But through this podcast, which we have over 500 episodes of now. We’ve met a hell of a lot of interesting people that are doing some really amazing things. And they want to share those stories. So we’re going to be doing that the part of it and you went through, you’re interviewed. So we do these formal interviews with entrepreneurs. And then we also get them to cover their actual like, kind of a journal video journal of what their life is like, but we, we’ve asked every single cast member and by the time this is said and done, that’ll be a really long list. Like, why did you start your business and a lot of them, you will see a lot of them saying I wanted freedom, right? I wanted the ability to have control. And you know, that’s another one that is on the list is like, Well, I wanted to have like, you know, so it’s still within a comment from Startup Hustle, Chavez blood money and control, you know, or maybe control of my own money. I want to have control of my own destiny. I will tell you that for me. That’s a big part of it. I like I I don’t know if I could do anything else. I’ve always felt like I needed to own my own business to be an entrepreneur. The business can control you sometimes. But i Hey, I’ve had I’ve had good times. I’ve had bad times. I will say that that part that freedom and control part is it when you get it right. It’s satisfying.
Matt Watson 29:07
It sucks having a boss like that. That’s a whole different world. So that’s part of it, too.
Matt DeCoursey 29:15
Are you? You’re my boss, right?
Matt Watson 29:19
No, your wife is.
Matt DeCoursey 29:21
True. Actually. I’m gonna I’m gonna say that’s not true. I work for a four year old and a six year old. We both we both do. Jill and I are co workers in our bosses are named Dylan and Caden and they’re fucking demanding, man.
Matt Watson 29:37
I’ve got four. You only have two.
Matt DeCoursey 29:41
Have you met my kids? Yeah. Did my well my daughter she is she she is an entrepreneur. She that and by the way, if you want to see her version of the Startup Hustle promo. did you see that? Yeah, she she she’ll tell you she’s an entrepreneur. She her lemonade stand kicks ass. All right, another another reason we got from the that our, our chat, the Startup Hustle chat folks had put it in here was boredom. Is that is did that have something to do with sacrifi being born?
Matt Watson 30:16
No, I don’t think so. But, you know, I think it had some do with VinSolutions being bored born because I think this is how people get side hustles. Right, like they’ve got a primary job, but they’re looking for something else to do. And sometimes that’s something else to do. Turns into the primary thing.
Matt DeCoursey 30:38
Yeah, and you now, when we recorded Episode 500, I mentioned that Lirael Holt was one of my more memorable episodes. And if you ask Lirael, like what he does, so I’m just a guy looking for something to do. Yeah. And honestly, I mean, on Sundays, I am to me, you know, like, you’ve said that to me, before you like after you sold. Now the reason I ask is because you sold, exited VinSolutions. And you’re 29. And you’re like, what am I gonna do? Like, what do I do? I’m just gonna sit around because you people like us get stir crazy in a hurry. And you know, but be careful what you’re asking for folks, because you might get it. Okay, another comment. And I think this is a big one. It’s just passion. I and this is a right reason to start a business or at least it’s the right elements to start it. Because if you’re passionate about what you’re doing, whether it be the industry, the solution, maybe the people, you maybe the clients or users that you serve. I, in my opinion, that’s a critical component of success. Because I think if you lack passion, then you’re gonna quit.
Matt Watson 31:42
Yeah, I think you definitely have to have passion. I think it can be dangerous, too, though, because you can be so passionate about something that’s never gonna be successful. And then you pour all of your energy into it, like, you and I both could probably name five people in Kansas City that have done this. And are some of them are still working on this thing that is never gonna go anywhere.
Matt DeCoursey 32:02
Matt Watson 32:05
Yeah. I mean, that’s, I mean, so you need it. But it can also be dangerous.
Matt DeCoursey 32:12
So speaking of passion, check out some of the episodes that Lauren Conaway does, because this is a different type of business and startup that she’s got, because she’s the founder of Innovate, InnovateHer. And Lauren is one of the most passionate people I’ve ever met about what she does, but she’s a servant leader. And for that, I mean, that’s the true definition of what she does. But it’s her passion that drives what she’s doing and get has gotten on just under 4000 women to join that organization already. So the but without that passion, that would be a difficult thing to do. The people that you need to get excited about your startup are going to know if you’re passionate about it or not. You can’t fake it, and you can’t hide it. Now, speaking of passion, there’s a thrill and energy to the people describe me as passionate a lot. But we had that mentioned. So the thrill of it. So Brad kellermeyer had commented in the in Startup Hustle chat, the rush of conceptualizing and monetizing an idea. I find that exciting, too.
Matt Watson 33:19
I think that is I think that is true. I think it’s definitely fun. There’s a lot of different kinds of businesses, right? So depends on the type of business that you’re, you’re starting. But definitely if you’re, you’re trying to very quickly figure out some really kind of unique idea and try and do market testing figured out if this if this thing has legs is it could be a really big idea. I mean, all that can be extremely frustrating. But it can also be a big thrill and a lot of fun.
Matt DeCoursey 33:47
I’ve always I liked the front and the back side of the business like starting it, or closing it. It’s the middle part than you know, one of our past guests. Neil Sharma often talks about what is it the brain drain? And so be careful because the the middle part of the business sometimes sucks that passion out of you. Yep. Okay. Now we got a bunch of people comment that said to solve a problem, and let me give you a couple a couple of those. So Kyle Stephie of Casey hempco said to solve a problem that they’ve encountered Cornell Ellis said to fill a need and close the gap. Tyler Lecanto I think that’s how you say that. It’s seven magic words. There’s got to be a better way. And then now I’m really gonna mess this one up. Oma OMO la que Tamada to improve a business process cost or unnecessary bottleneck, solving problems, right? Yep. If you caught me at the right moment, and you asked me what I do, I might just say I solve problems because that is what a founder or an entrepreneur has to do if you’re not good at solving problems, please do not start a startup. All right, next. The next one was this was my I answered my own question. Why do people start businesses and I, I’m unemployable. You are too dude, I think you’re completely you and me. God forbid we ever have to get jobs because we are completely unemployable. Now, Gina Danner had made the comment many entrepreneurs can’t function successfully in a typical organization. Sound familiar?
Matt Watson 35:32
Matt DeCoursey 35:35
You, by the way, Matt tried to hire me once. And my rate was one bitcoin per month. Yes. It’s a well done. Was that a real offer? I don’t think it was at the time. And where was that one bitcoin was like 3000, because it’s pretty expensive. All right. Now, the next comment that came is from someone that I really got to know. And 2020 is someone I really respect and remark and admire. And that’s John BlueCard. John’s, the founder of Tesseract. He’s an inventor. He’s done a ton of stuff. They did some really amazing stuff. He said, human progress. It’s a real thing, man, there’s a lot of people that are just trying to advance stuff that are just trying to make life generally better. There was a couple, you know, a couple of sub-categories, sub comments I have under that, but that was John’s comments. So Catherine Hogan said, for me, it’s all about the what if? And what if, what if we had a better solution? What if we started a business? Hey, Matt, what if we started a TV show? Don’t ever start your own TV show, dude. All right next in that still in the in this category? Because the potential upsides outweigh the negatives that came from Andrew Ryan. Andrew is a startup founder outside of our hometown. So you know, that’s a risk versus reward analysis that you should be doing anyway. Right?
Matt Watson 37:06
Matt DeCoursey 37:09
And then one more, apparently, it’s to feel discomfort, unsureness stress and excitement all at the same time.
Matt Watson 37:16
That pretty much sums it up.
Matt DeCoursey 37:18
Thank you, Kara, joy for that comment. Once again, if you want to get your comment, and for future episodes, come join us and Startup Hustle chat. And then another one from John, which I this is I almost kind of feel it is maybe okay to make lifelong friends. I don’t do now I I’m going to challenge John a little bit. So he said the camaraderie and seeking out others have the same mindset. I buy that, but I don’t do anything in business to make friends. Do you?
Matt Watson 37:50
Matt DeCoursey 37:53
I mean, that’s it. That’s, that’s different. That’s a club. That’s not business. And I think you got to be careful with that part of it. But I, you know, I like the camaraderie part of it. Because if you are thinking about starting a tech company, you really should be trying to find other people to do it with because, you know, 15 years, and we’re gonna have a whole episode about co-founders and stuff like that. But, you know, 15 years ago, I wasn’t I wasn’t a business partner, co-founders kind of guy. I’m one 880 degrees, the other direction on that without a doubt. Alright, so we, we have one more comment on this. Someone said, Why do you want to start a startup to become a guest on the Startup Hustle podcast?
Matt Watson 38:37
Matt DeCoursey 38:38
Eric Juarez. Yeah, that is definitely the best comment other than the one I made, of course. So, you know, Matt, we talked about a lot of reasons that that people do it. I think that this wouldn’t be very complete. Or useful if we didn’t talk about a couple of why not, you feel you feel me on that?
Matt Watson 39:00
Absolutely. These are the most important.
Matt DeCoursey 39:03
What do you got?
Matt Watson 39:04
You hate your job.
Matt DeCoursey 39:10
That’s not a written that said that. Because I hate my job. I shouldn’t just go create one of my one for myself.
Matt Watson 39:16
Well, I mean, sometimes I’d say this might lead to people who become freelancers, probably a lot of freelancers happen this way. Right. They work for some company, and they’ve had enough and so they go off and are thrown. You know, that’s not necessarily a startup, right? But it’s their own business and become freelancers that that may work out, but it’s not necessarily the great reason to like quit your job and then think you’re gonna go raise a bunch of capital and have some startup. That’s probably not a good idea.
Matt DeCoursey 39:43
I think I think that there’s a higher higher reason over that the people need to think about and that’s intent. Like your intent needs to be pure on many levels like and just because you dislike your job like the That’s the to me that doesn’t have and hold the same the required amount of intentionality that most good businesses have prior to getting started. You know, it’s like if your intent is just because you hate your job and get another job, if that’s the case, but that what if I hate my boss? I hate my I hate my fucking boss. Like, that’s me.
Matt Watson 40:24
I mean, that’s pretty much the same thing. Hating Your job or hating your boss, or pretty much all the same.
Matt DeCoursey 40:30
I’m screwed dude. Because I hate my boss, which means I hate myself, which means that I can’t start a business and I’m also unemployable.
Matt Watson 40:40
I don’t know what to say,
Matt DeCoursey 40:41
I you know, I accept your offer, I will come work for one bitcoin per month,
Matt Watson 40:46
You can sleep in my pool house, if you need a place to crash, I want the bid do
Matt DeCoursey 40:47
No, because the Bitcoins worth about 40 grand a month all of a sudden, so I’ll take it, man. Um, but you know, dude, I’m in it for the money.
Matt Watson 40:54
That has got to be the worst reason ever to start a startup because like 95% of them fail.
Matt DeCoursey 41:08
I’m gonna be real with everyone listening. If this is the reason that you start your business, you’re probably going to fail, because you’re that’s not passion, being in it for the money is not it’s back to that intention, you. That’s not the right reason to do it. If you’re passionate, you create value, you do something that’s amazing that people want that they need you, you create peace of mind, help people sell more, you help people spend less, and you do it, well, then money will follow. I think money is the byproduct of everything I just mentioned. And if you I’ve had so many people ask me over the last however many years, how do I make more money and I tell them every time you got to quit focusing on money, and they and so many of them look at me, like a dog that just saw a card trick. They’re like, huh, but wait, it’s a if you want to make money, you got to get good at something. The people I know that that make have made and have money. They’re good at something, they’re usually really good at something. And it all starts there. If you’re not going to be a master at what you do if you’re not going to be the best in the industry. Bla Bla Bla bla bla, money, that money in common, but the money will come if you get really, really good at it. Now, Matt, you know, forget about money. I want to start my business because you know what, dude, I just I want to I want less work.
Matt Watson 42:42
Yeah, I think this only works or the idea of like being a freelancer working for Uber or something like that. Not really. owning a business that has multiple employees and stuff like that. You’re just gonna have more work to do. More headaches.
Matt DeCoursey 42:55
Start. Those aren’t startups, you know, like, yeah. Hey, folks, startups don’t come with owner’s manuals. And that and that makes them hard, and makes it really hard. And they really don’t use you have to figure out how to do anything and everything at least once. A whole lot of stuff you don’t know how to do. It’s stressful. It is if you’re starting a business is going to be a hell of a lot more work than anything else you’ve ever done. So that is a really, really, really bad idea. But you know, man, I mean without I I think it’d be easier than having a job.
Matt Watson 43:39
I think it’s kind of related. I mean, only if you’re like a freelance or something, not if you’re really running a business it’s way more difficult way way more difficult.
Matt DeCoursey 43:47
Well, what dude, but you know what, all right, forget those other ideas. I want to be a famous man, I want to be a rock star. I want notoriety status. And when people I want to be Elon.
Matt Watson 44:01
See, for me the money and the fame just kind of naturally happen if that’s what you start start out trying to get it’s not gonna happen. It’s those are sort of part of the scorecard and just what happens from doing a good job that eventually those things happen. You know, I mean, I would say at some point in time, I was probably somewhat famous in the automotive industry. Everybody knew who I was. Wasn’t I wouldn’t say I was famous. But, you know, in that industry, everybody would have known who I was. Nobody would have known me at the grocery store.
Matt DeCoursey 44:32
You’re not famous until someone sends in fan art. Matt, we’ve already established that. If you are interested in creating fan art of Matt Watson, send it on and we want we want to see it but no. So now, you know, as you’re aware, I worked in the music industry for a number of years. I know quite a few famous people in the music in the music business. None of them wanted to be famous. That wasn’t their goal. They actually back to that whole becoming masters, they’re actually just really usually really, really good at what they do. Now, that isn’t always a great example, because there are people that have succeeded that will say I wanted to be famous. But really overall, if that’s the if that’s the true intent, you’re gonna have issues.
Matt Watson 45:19
Go ahead, hold on. If all you want is to be famous, you should be focusing on how to be TikTok famous.
Matt DeCoursey 45:26
You know, you can find Startup Hustle on. TikTok, we have an account. And while you’re there, since you’re lucky and you were on Instagram, the Facebook’s the Twitter’s everywhere. But really what I like if your lesson and I’d like you to head over to YouTube and check out Startup Hustle TV now. You’ve done a lot of things on the internet. So if you’re interested in starting a tech company, I really want you to consider reaching out and talking to us at FullScale.io The so many of the things that we’ve been through, we created that entire business to solve a problem. Yep, to create value. And honestly, there were so many things that you use that you built software bigger and better than I had, I’ve done a lot of things. But we we created that whole entire business to solve a problem that not only we had at our business, but we were we realized that so many other startup founders, much like ourselves have the exact same problem. So we started with that. But then as we built the business, we’ve we people said, Well, what did how did you guys get to where you’re at with Full Scale? I said, we talked to all of our peers, friends and everybody we said what do you not like about hiring developers? And then we did the opposite? Yeah, that was that was it, it was really talking about like, increasing communication, putting you in control your project, like your tech company, if you aren’t, if you don’t have a direct transparent line of sight to the people that are building your technology, I would, I would, I think it would be fair to say, not only do you not only have any, you don’t have any control over it, you might not own it, like you need if the people if the people that are building what you’re passionate about, are not in your direct line of sight, and you don’t have access to them. Because you’re just talking to a project manager at some other company, we do the opposite. We put you in full control your team, we get the hell out of the way, call us if you need help. We give you we say what we do is rare, we specialize in recruiting, assessing, retaining an employee, right, and we take care of all that. And then your team’s your team. And you can focus on doing other stuff. And that’s really important. So now I got one final reason here, you know, someone that I had, someone asked me, you want to start a business. So I mean, I just thought that why not? I mean, people never asked me to start a business. That’s not true. But is that why I should start a business because someone asked me to.
Matt Watson 47:57
I mean, that that could be the perfect reason, if they’re gonna give you a bunch of customers or money, right? You’re like, hey, I need somebody to mow my lawn, please go start a lawn mowing company, and I’ll pay you to do it. That would be okay.
Matt DeCoursey 48:12
Yeah, I got one more. One more reason, why not? And that’s because you think you’re gonna make money doing it anytime soon?
Matt Watson 48:23
That’s for damn sure.
Matt DeCoursey 48:25
Matt, we talked about transparency. So how much how much did you pay yourself in the first several years that you worked at Stackify?
Matt Watson 48:35
Zero for the first like seven or eight years.
Matt DeCoursey 48:40
While I do actually get paid to work for Full Scale, now, I didn’t get paid at Full Scale for half of the life of the company.
Matt Watson 48:48
And VinSolutions was the same way. I didn’t make any money at all for the first couple years. And then I made basically, like, two thirds of what my salary would have been if I just got a basic job for another couple of years.
Matt DeCoursey 49:01
So, you’re not gonna make, you’re not gonna make more money doing it right away and maybe not for a while because that can be an obstacle.
Matt Watson 49:08
That’s where you get. That’s where you get the saying of a paying paying steak and eating hot dogs. You got to hire a bunch of people and pay them well, and they get to eat steak, but you’re going to eat and hotdogs for a long time.
Matt DeCoursey 49:20
Or raw or ramen. Get ready.
Matt Watson 49:23
Hey, I like ramen noodles. Dude, I had ramen noodles for lunch today. Don’t knock ramen noodles.
Matt DeCoursey 49:28
Not the kind I’m talking about brother like the 10 cent package the 10 for a dollars.
Matt Watson 49:33
That’s what I have for lunch.
Matt DeCoursey 49:37
It’s probably because you’re a startup founder, Matt. You know you’re on the budget. You’re on the budget. So what as we arrive at the end of this episode, and look, come check out Startup Hustle TV because we’re gonna be talking about a lot of the stuff we’re gonna and you’re gonna we’re gonna get a whole lot of people involved in showing you exactly and I mean exactly what the ins and outs of entrepreneurship or like what it’s about, you know, look, we are putting a lot of really transparent, interesting and in my opinion, valuable information out there and come find us. We’re all over the internet, you know, like, a lot of good stuff that and we won’t publish it. If it sucks. That’s our brand standard. By the way, we want to find people that are going to tell you the truth. And I mean, the real truth, the fact that this shit is not easy. Final comment on that. If you think any of this is going to be easy, then don’t start the company. So mad out of this list. We talked about a lot of stuff like, what’s your what’s your what’s your top? What are your top ideas here? Like? What are the things that really resonated for you on the on the why’s that make that are good reasons why?
Matt Watson 50:50
Yeah, I mean, the wrong reasons definitely stick out, right, like you don’t like your job, you’re in it for the money, like those are all the wrong reasons that that really, you got to be focused on solving a problem. And really, this usually works the best. If you’re an expert at something, you work in a specific industry. So, for example, I worked in a medical medical lab, and we created some software for medical labs 99% of the world would have no idea how any of that crap works. If you have industry experience, that nobody else knows that you can go and apply and build something and then sell in the industry. That’s the best place to be. But you’ve got to have some some expertise that’s really valuable, that solves a real problem that somebody will pay for.
Matt DeCoursey 51:38
I can’t I mean, my I can’t tell you I have a different opinion about what stands out. For me, the good reasons why include passion, they include value, they include solving a problem, because if you don’t have at least two of the three, three things that I just mentioned, you’re you’re in big trouble. You know, does a school teach you that you have to do it better, faster or cheaper you got to get you have to be at like an A grade and two out of three of those things. Or you’re screwed, doing only one out of those three things is not enough, like you mentioned mount, like, you might be able to do it better. But can you do it faster, cheaper, because if you don’t get two out of three, then you can, you can survive a two out of three, ideally, you want three out of three, but those are back to value. That’s value. It’s better, faster, cheaper, there’s there’s a value and all of that. And it really, in the end, I think that the final advice that I’d really like to give related this if you if you are looking for thinking about starting a tech company, is you got to know what you’re getting yourself into. Like really, really, really vet it like look at it. I mentioned earlier, what’s easier climbing the mountain on your own or asking those on top to pull you up? You should be looking up and yelling, Hey, can I get a hand? Like all day i Hey, folks, look, I made a living doing that. And look, the people that will reach down and pull you up. Someone did it for them. And there is a weird, unspoken truth about them feeling like they needed to do that for others.
Matt Watson 53:22
And maybe you should look for a co-founder.
Matt DeCoursey 53:26
Yeah, don’t go at it alone. Yep. There’s, there’s like, there’s a lot and that’s that’s what I’m enjoying about Startup Hustle TV. Because you know, yesterday, I didn’t have a great day as an entrepreneur and I talked all about that on camera. And I published a video titled fu failure because I had to say fuck you failure, because you’re gonna fail a lot. And I had to tell failure, you’re not going to win eff off. Get out of here. But there’s a lot of tenacity if you are defeated easily. Don’t do it. It because you, Matt, do you ever fit does a day as being an entrepreneur? Do you ever get to the end of it, or a cycle of it or any of it? And you and I could have easily convinced you that you did in fact, get in the ring with Mike Tyson.
Matt Watson 54:13
Dude, I would say every couple weeks, I have one of those days. And every couple of weeks I wake up and I’m like, why am I doing this shit? Yep, for sure.
Matt DeCoursey 54:26
And that’s spoken from one of the most successful people I’ve ever known and no. And that’s the way it goes. It doesn’t change you don’t get away from that. I mean, all of the people we know that we admire that we consider to be peers that we look up to, meaning Matt and Matt look up to I do think Sandy wouldn’t Sandy Camper would tell us the same thing.
Matt Watson 54:47
It’s not easy. No way.
Matt DeCoursey 54:49
It’s just on a different level and scale for all of you. So if you think that that part of it is going to go away if you think you’re gonna get away from fighting and doing a whole lot of other stuff. Once again, thanks for listening. If you Have some time go check out the Startup Hustle chat. Just go to Facebook and type in Startup Hustle in the search. We’re in there doing a lot of cool stuff. I know that all the other people would love to hear what you have to say head over to YouTube, subscribe to Startup Hustle TV. If you’re interested in being involved being a guest on the podcast, do you have a suggestion for a guest to the podcast? Go to Startup Hustle dot x, y, z. You gotta fill out the form there or you’re not going to be considered. We’ve had a whole lot of people do it. We’d love to see you there soon, Matt. I’m getting back to work. I’ll see you next time, brother.