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

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


taking "the purple pill"

I've been flipping back through the book "The Art of The Start" by Guy Kawasaki. It is a really fantastic book for anyone trying to start a new company. If you are in this position, it is required reading.

I went back to the section entitled "Take The Red Pill" in which he refers to a scene in the movie "The Matrix". Morpheus presents Neo with the difficult choice between taking the Red Pill or the Blue Pill. The Red Pill takes him back to the harsh reality while The Blue Pill takes him back to the fantasy world. Guy recommends taking The Red Pill and getting a Morpheus on the team.

I'm happy to say I have some people that fit the bill in my team. They are experienced people that know what it takes and they force me to take The Red Pill while others are convinced it's a slam dunk. They believe but question most things forcing me to get back to reality. As for me, I regularly take The Purple Pill. I need to have enough reality to stay on my toes but enough fantasy to remain encouraged.

The company I'm launching will be fighting for your attention, Mr. and Mrs. consumer. You probably surf the web, listen to radio and CDs. You might have an MP3 player and possibly listen to streaming music. You might even have satellite radio and if you don't could get one if you wanted to. You have lots of choices but each has its own pros and cons and none provide the complete experience I'm looking for which compels me to create it. I think the team I'm pulling together can create something totally different and better ... but is it enough?

The real enemy is "good enough". This is where The Red Pill comes in handy. It is not too hard to make things better. However, incremental improvements are not the realm of startups. We need to make things 10 times better or cheaper or create an entirely different experience or paradigm. We have chosen the "entirely different" approach. Nevertheless, we'll be fighting for your attention and so in the end, you'll need to be compelled to come over to our side.

So what are you really looking for you fickle customer? I'm going to eventually find out but I could use some help. Share with us and you'll probably be rewarded by a new experience that will finally satisfy you. Tell us what you like, dislike, love, hate and what really drives you crazy about:
-AM/FM radio
-MP3 players
-Satellite radio

I'll seed this a little without leading the witness too much:
-I feel like listening to a specific song right now and I don't own it ... tough luck
-I get in my car in the middle of a great song ... tough luck
-The local stations cover only hockey but I'm also interested in basketball ... tough luck
-I heading towards the main highway but I just missed the traffic report ... tough luck

I could go on and on. There are lots of problems and things that drive me crazy. How about you?

I promise I'll take The Red Pill ... but for now, The Blue Pill tells me there are lots of problems that need to be solved and that I can do it. Perhaps I need The Purple Pill.


Allan Isfan
Entrepreneur with an Iron Ring

Feel free to email me directly at

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