This mistake would have saved me 2 years as an entrepreneur….
When Rob and I came up with the idea of FITS back in our NYU Dorm room - we dreamed of a social commerce platform where people could create, post, buy, and sell clothes.
In the beginning, we started to work on wireframes & thought that we needed a programmer to build the app.
So that's what we did - we built out the look of the app with all of these feature ideas and tried to shop it around…
A few months went by and I quickly realized that this was extremely impractical.
To start a business - you can’t just have an idea and expect someone to build it for you…
We all saw what happened with Facebook.
So we decided to build a MVP…
Using all 3rd party integrations, we successfully launched an online marketplace…
Designers were able to list products directly on our store…
They could receive payouts through the integration and we could receive our commission through stripe.
Shoppers could easily navigate the platform and buy clothes from these emerging designers.
We kept going - the next task was to build a freelance marketplace.
This was my dream product… the future of work.
Just like the other marketplace, we used all 3rd party integrations and successfully built out a working prototype.
Long story short, we successfully executed 2 technical products without any technical expertise.
However, this was a problem…
First, we weren’t playing into our strengths.
There were small flaws in the logistics that I always knew about but was in no place to be able to fix…
We really needed to take what we had and build out a fully customized system but that would require massive investment, a tech team, and a lot of time.
I tried to learn design on Figma, coding through codecademy, and figure out how we could get to the next level….
The issue was - this was an extreme waste of my time…
As a founder, you have strengths and weaknesses.
Many entrepreneurs spend too much time trying to improve on their weaknesses.
I think this can be a massive waste of time.
When it really came down to it - I WAS NOT A GOOD TECH FOUNDER.
You may be thinking, “No sh*t Max”….
But I think that the strive for young entrepreneurs to build the next “Facebook” is a plague that clearly exists in our society.
Instead of chasing that, I think it is very important to be realistic with your strengths and ask yourself
“What can I be the best at?”
And I never could have been the best tech founder but I can be the best consumer products founder and that has been my big realization over the past year….
You won’t be the next Zuck but maybe you can be the next Arnault.