Eddie Kim: So You Think You Have What it Takes to Start a Business?

“Hey, I have this idea — let’s split it. What do you think?”

I get that a lot, because I’m one of those unicorn types: I can design, write and code to a level that gets people money. A lot of money.

For example, I personally wrote the PHP code for the UX Drinking Game. I can build a demo from scratch to a point where investors think it’s real. That said, there’s nothing more frustrating than taking all the risk and giving up half the return, because most business people aren’t ready to really do what it takes to make a startup work.

That’s why I love Eddie Kim’s story about Triptrotting and the sacrifices the founders made:

They couldn't afford to hire a PR team, so Aigerim and Shana contacted the press themselves.  Soon, there were articles about Triptrotting being published in several reputable sources. They hustled. Through their hard work, the number of registered members, Twitter followers, and Facebook likes grew exponentially.

These two girls sacrificed their social lives. Their nights and weekends were devoted to Triptrotting. At the Idealab office, they were the first ones in the office every morning, and the last ones out every night. Even when funds were tight, they persisted. Shana and Aigerim went through a stretch where they paid themselves nothing. They got the attention of Mark Suster (Launchpad LA) and raised their next round of funding through Launchpad. They engaged in many meetings with many investors.

A day before their scheduled meeting with Google ventures, Shana had an "a-ha" moment. Her new idea would drastically improve Triptrotting's business model and it would change the way they described the business. They needed a new deck and a new presentation. This was no time to make last minute changes, but they improvised.  Shana, not being an expert in Photoshop, used Microsoft Paint to design a mockup of the new Triptrotting feature. Funny right? Well, this mockup was good enough to excite Google Ventures.

Just 1.5 years ago, they were clueless, google searching "how to start a business." Today, Triptrotting has raised $1 million dollars in funding from some of the biggest names in the tech industry: Google Ventures, Mark Suster, Bill Gross, Dave McClure.

They did what it takes.  Are you prepared to do what it takes?