How can I leverage my potential business partner 's interest and solidify a business idea?
May 25, 2006 7:42 AM Subscribe
Here’s the lowdown: I’m the senior sound designer / managing director for a leading international sound library company who’s been successfully running a company that doesn’t belong to me for 6 years. I’ve exhausted this opportunity, as the company is limited in its ability to grow due to the owners methods. In short, although I still have my job (and could have it forever, so to speak), I need to get out. I’m striving to create an opportunity for myself (and potentially for some of the other amazing employees I’ve hired who are looking for better opportunities) by starting a new company, and I must act now as I am not getting any younger.. I’ve been thinking this through for almost 6 months now, and something seeming great has just happened. Can you help me make the most out of it?
posted by AdInfinitum to Work & Money (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I rent a house from a very successful business owner / investor who has grown to respect my methods and abilities in many ways. After a long conversation with him a few weeks ago, he became very interested in my situation. After hearing that I was looking to pursue new options, he suggested we consider getting together on a partnership to develop a new enterprise in the ‘digital audio media’ domain. Even though he’s a very well-versed business wiz, he is somewhat limited in his knowledge regarding ‘up to date’ technology, Web 2.0, etc. I’ve been educating him via news clippings and links for a while now to supplement his knowledge.
We met for our first ‘formal’ meeting last week, and the results were confusing. At first, we were speaking about developing a local ‘post production’ audio facility that would utilize our current resource-pool (we have myself an about 5 others who are audio experts all willing to jump in) to get us off the ground. During our meeting, we were going over larger-scale ‘broader’ concepts regarding the future of digital media distribution, user-content models, emerging technologies, etc, and the interest swayed from our initial ‘tried and true’ concept completely. We both decided that we wanted to ‘go bigger’, as he is looking to sell off his current software company and get into ‘the next thing’ anyway, and from our discussion many larger-scale topics were covered. This was great, but actually left me a bit disjointed. He was speaking about getting actual Venture Capital and pursuing financing, even before we had decided on any business strategy or direction. He then suggested that we abandon our initial local post-production audio venture in order to somehow secure our ability to ‘get financing’, as it would somehow ‘look bad’ to potential investors if we were to show a related business pursuit before our larger model was introduced. Firstly, does anyone know anything about this method / strategy so that I can confirm its basis?
Aside from that, I’m…well - confused! I finally have a partner with the resources and know-how to really lift our ‘startup-to-be’ off the ground, but I am totally lost in terms of finding a business idea that suits my skills and satisfies our desire to ‘play in the big game’. All I had initially wanted was to find a way to make enough money without working for my current employer on my own, and now I’m in much deeper then I had expected. I want to make sure I can feed my prospective partner with a concept that he will find worthy of pursuit, but now that we have established a desire to ‘aim higher’ I am getting lost in these larger concept models. How can I come up with a business idea that satisfies my interests and skills while at the same time fulfilling his (and now my own, i think) desire to ‘hit it big’?
Aside from that, can anyone think of a way to maximize my potential within this situation? I want, at minimum, to leverage his resources in terms of business know-how and financing for developing something that will grant my independence from this annoying job. I fear, however, that if I cannot now come up with something lucrative enough to inspire his pursuit I will end up just where I began! I’m looking for advice, ideas, and help. I need to navigate my way out of this (decent) job and into freedom…badly. I feel like I’m right on the edge of having a serious advantage through my ‘almost-mentor’, and I do not want to blow it.