Since Oxygen started we’ve been asking our nine teams to write a guest blog post on there time here at Oxygen Accelerator so far. Now we’re halfway through the programme, things are getting busier for our teams but they’ve still got the time to write us a few words. This week is the turn of Richard…it was a long wait but here it finally is!
“Doctor Doctor – no one reads my tweets”
“I’m sorry I don’t follow you”.
A school-like childish joke, yes. But in fact that’s what Oxygen is all about. Not jokes silly, but education. Probably a bit more mature than school but definitely a highly concentrated learning experience – a sort of open university where you actually have to attend.
That’s enough similarities now.
Ok, so there are some extremes such as learning about approximately how much it would cost to go public on the AIM – and why not consider the main market?! (Hmmm this does strike me as a little bit optimistic but then still very educational – even if its just theoretical for us at the moment).
I’m sure you’ve read a number of times about the eternal suffering of the want-to-make-things happen startup (aka death by mentors) but in reflection they were all worth meeting. It was great to see the ones that didn’t get it (our concept) the first time go “aha!”. What was even better was that I used a trick that I only just learnt at ‘Capital on Stage’ about “how to treat potential investors”. Although this was not an investment phase of the schedule, a lot of individuals do qualify to be either corporate or personal equity managers. When one declared his company as “not really having an interest in games”, I turned it around to “that’s a shame – who do you think would be interested in ALL THIS DATA” and he retracted his retraction (can you do that?) to say “well let’s not rule out anything just yet”…. What a great thing to hear (second only to the pen signing the cheque I guess) as I’m use to most VCs using the line (and I swear that they all go to the same school to learn this), “I would invest in you but for this one thing - X” …where X is location, traction, team, ROI etc etc. Oh and X can change once you’ve nailed their first issue.
So what have I learned so far: Timing is key, preparation is essential. To quote Samuel Goldwyn, “The harder I work, the luckier I get” is right on the money- literally. Although work doesn’t necessarily mean bashing away at the keyboard trying to eclipse to compile some mish mash of typical startup quality code. It means learning and networking (in the good way) from your peers, contacts, mentors and interns (yes believe it or or not they are pretty connected too).
Anyway can’t believe it’s already half way through… *sniff*