Allan Isfan is a co-founder of FaveQuest, a young start-up. This blog covers start-up topics.

Monday, November 06, 2006


California Dreamin!

Sorry for the late posting ... was travelling to California

I'm sitting here near the heart of the VC action. I'm grabbing a bite at "Neptune's Palace" in San Fransisco's Fisherman's Wharf (average meal btw). I'm watching a lone guy in a rowboat paddling against the wind near Alcatraz in San Franscisco Bay. Its a huge bay and yet he is moving along very nicely ...much better than when I tried crossing the Ottawa river in a canoe ... my wife nearly killed me!

I feel like that guy sometimes. Still mostly alone in my quest moving into windy challenging waters. Many cheering me on from the sidelines but not yet willing to jump in and start rowing. I'm looking forward to some serious company on my voyage.

I've managed to assemble quite a crew of merry men waiting at the wharf to decide if they are ready for the voyage. They are a fantastic bunch and we're going to kick ass. I guess it's up to me to let them know where we're going. That time is coming very soon ... must stop getting distracted by shiny objects.

At this very moment, I have to find a Starbucks cappuccino to keep me company as I travel down highway 1 along the coast on my way to San Jose. Should be a great sunset. Just picture it ... convertible Mustang, tunes blaring yo, shades cause the future so bright and all that, sun going down ... you get the picture.

Fast forward a few hours.

The drive down hwy 1 didn't start so well. The fog was so thick I couldn't see the water or the sun. I nearly turned around but decided to persevere. Good thing I had Alice with me (97.3 FM ... Great radio station). I pulled over into a parking lot on the side of the road and decided to walk towards the water. As I got closer, I realized there were people on the beach with at least 30 people actually surfing in the fog! It was amazing and surreal! There's no way my camera phone would do it justice so I pressed on. By the time I reached Half Moon Bay, the fog had mostly lifted and I managed to catch the sunset, while kids played in the sand a flew kites. Quite a sight.

I can't help but to draw parallels between this experience and a start-up in the very early stages of formation, way before any funding or even a real business plan. You are mostly alone driving through the fog. You get distracted by one thing or another ... always wondering if you missed an ideal or opportunity.

Sometimes you doubt yourself and consider turning around ... but you persevere because you have a strong sense that you'll get through and what is waiting on the other side will be fantastic.

Just when you thought I got distracted and started writing about travel instead of start-ups, I bring it right back to the main topic.

Ahh .... California Dreamin!

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