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

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

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windmills and the impossible dream


We are finally emerging from a nasty winter up here. The igloo is finally melting and we have to move back into ... what do people call it? ... the house. With some help from family, we put away all the boards for the hockey rink and cleaned up after a nasty winter. Len, the pool guy, came by today to get the pool ready to roll for the season ... kids can't wait to jump in. The nice weather, the bright sun, getting the bbq fired up again, the ridiculously large beer fridge full of beer and all that nice summer stuff definitely cheers everyone up. Before I forget, Funding Bad Habits has confirmed their availability to play at the annual Isfan Palooza fest June 16th and with any luck (and a bit of pressure), they'll allow me to join them in a few songs. This party has been a huge success in the past with over 100 people showing up, pitching tents, trailers, multiple blenders going at once and drinks being served and on and on. Please keep June 16th starting at 3pm booked in your calendar. If you want details, drop me an note. If you are on my evite list then you'll see something come out soon.

For a start-up seeking money though, summer is not exactly welcome. The summer is a very bad time to do business. People's minds are on other things and key people are on vacation which makes it difficult to get everyone together long enough to make major decisions. It is a tricky time for members of a start-up as well since summer is not typically a time for long hours on a computer. I'm desperately trying to get things nailed down and launch this puppy before summer otherwise we'll have to ride out the heat wave and get things done in the fall. It is not the end of the world but it will be critical to keep up the great momentum we have managed build up so the goal remains to get this funded ASAP.

As I indicated in my last post, we did our first pitch to a VC recently. To be fair, the pitch was to the partners of VC where I am an Entrepreneur In Residence (EIR). It is certainly a more friendly environment than a typical off the street pitch to a bunch of people looking for a reason to say no. My partner and advisors were invited to follow up with a more informal discussion early this week to answer some questions and provide more detailed descriptions of our architecture and business plan. This also went very well too and we'll be moving on to the critical final stages which includes combing through the financials and providing validation for our numbers and assumptions from credible people in the industry.

Emails are leaving my outbox imminently to set up round of talks with other VCs, angels and some potentially very interesting partners which could also be strategic investors. You never feel quite ready but I think we are ready enough to rock and roll with the punches.

With that in mind, I thought I would share the lyrics to a very tough song my singing teacher is trying to teach me. It is a song that I believe may have been written for the movie "The Man of La Mancha" which is a film adaptation of the Don Quixote story. Quixano (aka Don Quixote) eventually loses his mind from little sleep and food because of so much reading (sounds familiar) and slips in to a world of fantasy in which he is a night and begins attacking windmills which he believes are giants. Surprisingly a propos.

You can find a recording of the actual song at the link below and the lyrics just below that.

http://www.reelclassics.com/Audio_Video/Music7q/manoflamancha_otoole_impossibledream.mp3

To dream ... the impossible dream ...
To fight ... the unbeatable foe ...
To bear ... with unbearable sorrow ...
To run ... where the brave dare not go ...
To right ... the unrightable wrong ...
To love ... pure and chaste from afar ...
To try ... when your arms are too weary ...
To reach ... the unreachable star ...

This is my quest, to follow that star ...
No matter how hopeless, no matter how far ...
To fight for the right, without question or pause ...
To be willing to march into Hell, for a Heavenly cause ...

And I know if I'll only be true, to this glorious quest,
That my heart will lie will lie peaceful and calm,
when I'm laid to my rest ...
And the world will be better for this:
That one man, scorned and covered with scars,
Still strove, with his last ounce of courage,
To reach ... the unreachable star ...

Back to you guys soon with more news.

Cheers,

Allan "never give up" Isfan

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