This is a story about love. Not the romantic kind of love, of course, I mean about love. About that thing that is created by the good vibes of one person and is received by another. That is how love exists and becomes real: in that precise exchange.
Why am I saying this? Because you have to love your idea to make it come true. And you have to love to go with it all the way through, despite what you will find in it: despair, failure, disappointment, more failure, no money… If you don´t love it, there is no way you can overcome all this and go ahead. Anyone out there fighting for their startup know exactly what I am talking about here.
Technology disruption has made it possible for people like us, with no business background whatsoever, to team up with someone who can write code and turn ideas into realities. What´s more, we can even have good ideas and make them become a life changer for the people of our time. Even shape industries or change them forever. That is the age we are living in. Also, because of the changes in the global economy scenario we have witnessed during the last years, money out there has flown differently, from the usual suspects (stock markets, real state, yadda yadda) to diversified portfolios of new techie startups who couldn´t have existed in such numbers without this major swift.
Fortunately for you, who are reading this, we don´t need to go through the whole process of building our product in Outivate to get to the story I want to tell you about here. It would be an endless succession of very hard days, spiced up with a few good ones. The path is unbelievably tough but, of course, those good days just make it up for us. It does get exciting by the end of the validation process, when user tests give excellent feedback at last, technology works and your model is stable. It is then when the sun rises. Still a lot to be done, but hey, in daylight. The long winter almost comes to an end.
You will be Jane Fonda
It is at that point that something called Marketing knocks on your door. And, let me tell you, that thing you need to do to attract attention to what you´ve been developing for a while now, with so much effort, is a true money burner. Here is where imagination rules. And, I must say, in Outivate we have a hell of a lot of imagination. A lot. And we started imagining those video tapes everybody worldwide had at home with that lady from the eighties, what was her name again?, guiding a class full of very eighties people doing very eighties areobics. They are so fun to watch! They reflect a world that is already gone, together with VHS and the walkman. That is how we came up with the idea of our #TrainingRevolution. We would be Jane Fonda, and everybody´s smartphones would be the VHS and the walkman: your workout pal. At that point, faces turned smiling at me, I gess for gender reasons, a finger pointed towards my spot and they said: you will be Jane Fonda.
I´d love to say that was it, I went along with it, so brave and all, but it did not happen that way. As usual, after this epiphany of ours, doubts came by. What if, maybe not, is it adequate, will it actually help or maybe get us in trouble, and how, and when, and… again, yadda yadda. We talked so much about it on the way to Lisbon, and yet we could not make up our minds.
It was when we were already registered at the WebSummit, a couple of weeks ago now, and began our work there, that magic happened. We met a lot of interesting people, truly, but among them, there were a few that became, out of nowhere, particularly special for us. And that is because these people (they know who they are because we have already told them and thanked them) shared with us their experiences, their own struggles and failures, their vital knowledge, with such generosity that I would say it was actually love, that love I was talking about at the beginning of this story. It was that bunch of humans what made all the difference. We stood there, in the middle of the already dark street, in silence, we looked at each other and realized we knew exactly what we had to do: trust them and trust us.
Let me tell you something: they had an impact on us that we are still evaluating. They gave us courage, they gave us that last kick.
Inevitably, I had to become Jane Fonda.