Reasons to own your own business: the ability to boss people around, lots of money, vacation whenever you want and the luxury to make your own rules, right? It turns out that while these reasons might sound appealing to some, they are not the key ingredients to launching a successful business.
Last week, Manchester’s abi Innovation HUB hosted the first in a series of quarterly events centered around stories from the founders of successful start-up businesses. While these founders didn’t speak for hours and hours, the message and impact was felt.
Turns out Mom was right…you can be anything you want to be.
One of the speakers was Dyn CEO and founder Jeremy Hitchcock. Listening to him speak, I learned even more about the story of Dyn and what it really took to get the company off the ground. As it turns out, there was something of a perfect storm that turned Jeremy away from his original ideas on the kind of career he wanted — his path further solidified by a user group that wasn’t ready to let their DNS service retire at such a young age.
Specifically, Jeremy recalled his plan to work at a big, corporate company after graduating from Worcester Polytechnic Institute where he would have stability and a clear path for growth.
That was until 40% of the staff at the finance company where he was interning was laid off. Ironically, his project with the company was to measure profitability, which by all accounts was growing steadily.
As he started to question the draw of big business, he was also dabbling in a side project with some classmates that involved Dynamic DNS. Their DNS idea allowed him to access papers for school from anywhere, saving him trips back to his college apartment and perhaps most importantly, allowing him those crucial 15 extra minutes of sleep. Luckily, this idea wasn’t just useful to him, but to a user base that grew seemingly overnight to 20,000+ people.
With an increasingly demanding user base and zero profits being turned, the founding team asked for donations. Assuming nothing would come in, they were ready to throw in the towel and close the door on their idea, but to their surprise, donations big and small started pouring in. Taking this as a sign, they moved forward, hiring their first full time employee.
The rest, as they say, is history.
Dyn now employs more than 70 people and is getting ready to make a move to a 24,000 square foot space that will be a direct reflection of the type of company the founding team set out to create, proveing that being unique in your industry can really pay off.
So, if you’re thinking of starting your own business, and therefore don’t have the time to read any of what came before…
…here are three points to take away from this post:
1. Money should not be your main motivator.
2. Necessity (and sleep) is the mother of invention.
3. If you have a passion, go for it, and make sure you do it better than anyone else.