It’s NOT going to work (Startup Twins: Episode 0)
Or is it?
By Kathy Li
September 4, 2017
I have a crazy idea. What’s even crazier, is that I am just going to go ahead and do it. I am going to build -- not one, but -- two startups at the same time.
Build once, run many times -- software or startup?
In the programming world, we are often huge fans of the “build once, run everywhere” (BORE) philosophy. It depicts an ideal situation where a program only needs to be built once, and can subsequently run on any platform.
In modern-day web or mobile development, BORE-dom (sorry, had to) can sometimes be a developer’s worst nightmare. Let’s say you have a tool that lets you build a mobile application, which will then spit out both iOS- and Android-compatible packages. Sounds awesome, right? Guess what, these tools already exist.
Except we now have another problem. Developers would often need to spend a lot of time on adaptation work, in order to make sure the “same” build really works 100% across iPhones and Android phones. To add insult to injury, the systemic adaptation work usually involves pretty BORE-ing tasks.
From a higher level efficiency perspective, however, BORE does indeed beat building two separate apps from scratch.
But I digress.
Double trouble, or 20-80, or something else?
What if I used a similar approach to build companies?
If building one company requires X amount of work. Theoretically speaking, building two at once will require 2X of work done.
The way I see it though, steps of building a company can remain very similar across different entities. This is especially true during early stages.
“Concurrent Projects Methodology”
By creating more than one startup project in parallel, I may be able to leverage the shared resources to maximize the results. I have been secretly calling this management methodology -- “Concurrent Projects Methodology”. It is akin to, for example, when two programs on your computer share the same CPU resources and can still run smoothly, simultaneously.
Is it really going to work? I don’t know for sure. But I have always liked to perform hands-on experiments to find out answers for myself.
“Startup Twins” will be my next experiment.
Won’t I just end up being unfocused? How burned out will I get?
Now, rather than dwelling on the potential cons of this approach, I am just going to save us all time and dive straight into the worst-case scenario.
What’s the worst that could happen? Both of the startups would fail.
I know we all seek different things in life. To me in particular, having built two startups that end up failing doesn’t sound too bad at all. But then of course, I have to entertain the bottom line -- I will have to be extra cautious when employment starts getting into the picture.
Like a science experiment
Remember those science experiments you did when you were a kid in school? There’s no guaranteed success. You might fail, you might not achieve the results you wanted -- no matter how hard you tried. But you would always learn a ton along the process.
I am starting my experiment now. As I said at the beginning, I am aware that it is a crazy idea. If you are curious about how I get on, you are invited to follow along on all my trial and errors. They will be promptly documented in this blog series as I go.
What about you? What’s your story?
Whether you are already far down your startup journey, or are still thinking about starting something, I would love to hear from you.
You are more than welcome to join our Facebook Group to network with fellow entrepreneurs. Who knows -- you may even meet your future project partners or collaborators there!
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Next time, I will talk more about what I am building, and why I chose to build them in particular.