Lane Campbell is an accomplished technology entrepreneur with a proven track record in a variety of different industries.
With a diverse background Mr. Campbell is called upon to advise organizations on both the Coasts.
You need to publish tidbits of how to accomplish this online for free to become an authority on the subject. When you become known for this then companies will pay you to consult on it.
In the short term, partner with development shops who build apps for customers. Get them onboarded as resellers and have them recommend you for the post launch acquisition of customers.
Check the store on http://chanimal.com for a great reseller program kit to get started with building a reseller program. Call me on here if you want some more help.
Are you raising on pure equity? Safes? Convertible Note? The more details you provide to the investor the better. The trouble is the timing, you want to hook an investor on the idea and make them believe that they need to invest.
Mattermark is doing a realtime graph of this that seems to update daily with the most active investments of that day and the size of the investment.
I've been recommended to speak with Leigh Rowan in the past for iBeacon projects. I haven't had the pleasure of doing so yet but he came highly recommended. His contact information is on his LinkedIn account. https://www.linkedin.com/in/leighrowan
I'm a firm believer in hiring a consultant to teach you what is required from a specific role within your organization. Instead of hiring untested talent or blindly interviewing people, come on here and find someone with a product manager background at a large successful company. Hire them to help you define the role for your company. Only then will you know what you need and how to lead them.
Start a newsletter and find sponsors to pay for it. Use the funding to help the site grow. Then partner with a company like AdMob.com to sell advertisements on your website for additional funding. Social networks need a monetization model if they are going to grow.
If you want to sell the business instead of trying to grow it let me know. I'm a business broker and if your user base is large enough it might attract a buyer.
I'm in Chicago and could speak with you to see if I could be of some assistance helping you network and find the right person.
If you want to prevent someone from stealing your idea you need to have them sign a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA). I insist on NDA's when I talk about products with development companies. These organizations usually transform into product companies after starting out as development companies. The last thing I want is for that idea they execute upon to have been one I'm in discussions with them about.
On the other hand, if it's just a friendly chat with an advisor I'm much less focused on the NDA. It takes a lot to build a company and NDA's aren't everything.
If you want to stop someone from stealing your idea just do nothing, take no risks, and find a cubicle at a large company to hide in. If you want to do something big you always have to put your ideas out there for others to steal/imitate.
I ran a consulting company for over three years. I ended up divesting myself of that business earlier this year. We were ranked as one of the 250 fastest growing companies in our sector by an industry analyst two years in a row (2012 and 2013). I was working hours even more extreme than you for the first year.
We did great work and grew very quickly so it was hard to keep up with the growth. We made mistakes and we alienated some customers as we grew. Yet, I knew early on that I would need to hire people to help me grow. I tried to document as much as I could about our systems, processes and procedures. That way I didn't have to spend as much time training replacements.
The trick is in finding good people to work for you. If you are hiring people and they make your life more difficult (clients are upset, etc...) then you need to change your hiring strategy.
Your company has a unique way of doing things. Judging from your description, it's a very stressful and high demand environment. If you are going to hire someone then you need to hire someone who is a good fit for that kind of environment. Try and find someone who has been an entrepreneur in the past and don't be afraid of making mistakes that alienate some customers. If you didn't make mistakes you wouldn't be human. Just try to ensure those mistakes don't put you out of business.
My advice is as follows:
* Take 10-20% of your day and document what your doing. Draw diagrams if you need to, but make sure you understand the work to be performed.
* Hire People based on their passion not their skills, and train them.
* Work hard to ensure you create a relaxed work environment for the people who work for you. It takes much more time and money to retrain new people than to retain people.
* Take responsibilities for the failures of your people, offer training not blame to keep them working hard.
* Plan to take a trip after new people are in place to do the work. Think about where you want to go and imagine yourself relaxing.
* See a doctor about the stress and apathy, this kind of stress takes a toll on a person, it might be necessary to get on something like blood pressure meds to keep you healthy.
I'm not an attorney but if this was my company I would probably put some kind of contingency clause in your vesting schedule that makes vesting of shares contingent on your performance and the funding being raised.
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