Sometimes a startup is built from a garage, sometimes from “terribly painful” waking up. I didn`t hear about a second one yet. But I certainly lived it.
The first morning cup of coffee, the first meeting
I was having luch with Andrej one day. He mentioned he was building a team of people who would be possibly working on a new project. This project would connect the world of students and business. He explained what he really meant by starting a new project and what it might bring to students and companies. It sounded unbelievable. Next was an offer to meet the other day to discuss this business idea and it´s planning.
However, there was one problem. We were supposed to meet at 6:30 am. Don´t take me wrong, we didn´t want to torture ourselves by getting up so freakin´ early but this was the only time we both were available (as far as we couldn´t find any other suitable term due to our work and family responsibilities). Eventhough I hesitated for a while, I told myself that surely I would manage to get up at 5:30 for one time.
Of course I overslept and got to the meeting a bit late. We were discussing about the sense of this idead as a startup. We also went through important things that would be necessary for running such business. Anyway, at 8:30 we had to leave for our work. Since it was impossible to discuss everything during these two hours, we arranged another meeting for the following morning at 6:30. I said to myself: “Nevermind, I´ve made it once, I´ll make it again.” We managed to discuss more the next meeting, but not everything. And as it is characteristic for startups, new questions were appearing and we didn´t manage to finish our plan even at our second, third, either the fourth or the fifth meeting… and suddenly, two months passed and we got used to get up at 5:30 every morning. Moreover, it was clear to us that there will be no change in our early getting up the following two months.
3 advantages of 6:30 startups: (except some astonishing sun risings)
1. Nobody disturbs you in the morning – there are only few people who go to work so early. It´s not common at all that a colleague calls you that he needs you to send him a report or that he would like to have a word with you about something. And so we had our two undisturbed hours only for our plans. We could work on developing our startup.
2. It´s obvious that it is really imortant for you – I had to set up my alarm clock at 5:30. And this is something! I bet that not a lot of people who I know have even seen such time on their alarm clock. This is one of the reasons why any of us had no doubts about how important our startup was for us. When we both saw this, we hired our first employee. His excitement about this project wasn´t difficult to test – he was willing to be present at every morning meeting.
3. Building the team – telling stories over our common morning coffee, grumbling about the alarm clock. All these can help your team to live kind of togetherness. This was important especially in the first phases because we didn´t have much time to build a team. Believe me that this “morning rite” built our team. When somebody didn´t arrive and wasn´t answering the phone, it was easily understood. We all knew what happened and laughed about that.
I´m not telling this is the best what can be done for building a startup team. To meet at 6:30 every day is not an ordinary startup´s common routine. However, in our case it worked. Not because we planned this. Simply, there wasn´t another way. It has brought us a number of positive things that have enriched and strenghtened us. There is something what I´ve learned from my own experience – if you have an idea and you really want to develop it, there isn´t a single reason why you shouldn´t give it a try. A lack of time doesn´t matter then, because there is still enough time at 6:30.