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

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


My first triathlon

A few months ago, I realized that things were going to get crazy with consulting gigs while also heading up a new start-up so I decided to sign up for a short triathlon ... you know ... just to add to the insanity. To ensure I wouldn't die, I signed up for a try-a-tri which is a mini triathlon instead of a complete triathlon. It consists of a 200m swim, 20km bike and 5km run which is about 1/2 of a real triathlon. The date was slowly creeping up which caused me to train more and more. Like I said, there's nothing like a goal to get you going. At one point I said to my wife ... "why am I doing this to myself?". My wife answered "to push yourself" and she was bang on.

I need goals to really get fired up. I don't work out because it is good for me and the desire to look acceptable in a bathing suit is not enough of a goal. I work out because I signed up for a race and I don't want to die or be finishing the race as they are folding up the tents.

These races are set up so with different levels and age groups so that you don't feel like a complete loser. I now have an advantage ... I'm 40 and get to be in the older group. I should have claimed to be 67 and everyone would have been impressed. I got passed more times that I could count. Some people had very tight behinds and some not so tight (that's all I could see). I ended up in the group that made the top 50% possible though I was far from last. I didn't do too badly but definitely want to do better next time. More training and better tools (mountain bike with knobby tires not great ... must get proper bike) are definitely in the plan. Still, my wife and kids are very proud of me and they cheered me at every step which was pretty awesome.

Of course, I can't go a minute without drawing parallels and analogies with business. You get a lot of time to think while you're out there. In the business world, there are no age groups or tri-a-biz races. You have to either compete on a world class level or you get buried. You have to be ready for the race but you also have to get out there and start competing so you get a feel for the competition. If you are in a team sport, you'd better have a heck of a team. And you have to set aggressive goals for the company as a whole as well as everyone in the team.

So this is where we're at:

-I have set some aggressive short term and long term goals regarding what the company must achieve

-I'll be announcing a closed trial very soon for friends and family ... please let me know if you want to participate

-we have added an amazing marketing executive to our team. We now have all the key execs in place for this phase of the company. This is huge!

-we are bringing on a great development team which is already executing towards an alpha release (big party coming up!)

-we continue to have good discussions with VCs, including being accepted to present at the Ottawa Venture Technology Summit at the end of September. This is also huge and we'll knock it out of the park.

I really feel we have some good momentum behind us coming in to the fall. Funny enough, even though the triathlon finished with two uphills that weren't exactly welcome, I managed to step on the gas and sprint like a madman zipping by some of the people that had passed me earlier. So there!

BTW, I'm doing another try-a-tri in Brockville on August 19th right after a crazy week in Toronto and pitching to VCs and potential partners. Care to join me?


Allan Isfan


Labels: , , ,


Anonymous Anonymous said...


Great to see you did the try the tri! Congrats on that and your new venture.

I am back in Ottawa - let's do lunch some time and catch up. Very interested to hear how things are and give you my side, as well. My number - 613 784-5309 and my email

In London next week but week of Sept 23 works.

Look forward hearing from you.



10:20 AM


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home