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

Tuesday, September 25, 2007


we are finally launching

It has been a long ... long time since my last post and much has happened since. I'll try to keep it short (as if:). Basically it feels like going up a rollercoaster with ups and downs along the way after not sleeping for a couple of days and catching a cold from your kids. Definitely feeling alive!

Part I

To put you in context, I'm writing part I while sitting in the lobby of a major media company in the US in L.A., Beverly Hills to be more precise (see picture I took Friday morning). My meeting is at 11:30 pacific time and I got here about 2 hours early after walking about 5km from my hotel (turned left instead of right on Santa Monica Blvd *(*(*#*($!) This is a first meeting and I'm not messing this one up so I got there ridiculously early to get in the zone. My Chief Markting Officer (CMO) in Toronto helped me sharpen the message and it really helped (helps to be surrounded by really smart people). I have a very good feeling about this meeting. I arrived in L.A. very late Thursday night (3am Ottawa time) after a meeting with a media company in Toronto, coffee with a great connection and chinese food followed by an afternoon meeting with my CMO. The meeting in Toronto went ok ... understand customer much better and what it will take to win them over. We met with the president of the company and he is a great guy (connection through our advisors ... they are awesome). I wasn't as crisp as I would have liked but we have an open invitation to return and show them more precisely how we will improve their business.

I'm wiped but excited. We continue to persevere through our validation and fund raising phase. Customers we have met continue to welcome us back for follow up meetings to know more. Oh yeah ... my phone slipped out my pocket in the cab to the airport ... I called it from L.A. to confirm. Fortunately it was my backup phone .... don't call my 863 number.

On the VC front, pitches continue though it was a bit slow during August. This will accelerate dramatically after next week. I'm presenting at the Ottawa Venture Technology Summit next week (send me some +ve vibes at around 11:15) which should create some activity and I have a long list of VCs in the pipeline to connect with in Canada and the US. Credit card is taking a beating.

The really exciting thing though is that we actually have a nice application working that we are launching on at least one major social network in the coming weeks followed by another one soon thereafter. It is still very basic but we will get users interacting with it and get great feedback as we continue to evolve the true secret sauce which will take many months to start bearing fruit. If you are interested in taking part in the alpha trial, please let me know .... were generally keeping it to friendlies for now before beating the drum.

Gotta go ... my time is up .... gotta head in to my meeting.

---------------- cut here

Part II

On the plane back to Toronto and ideally Ottawa by about 1am and in bed by 2am. Hopefully I won't get woken up by a blond cutie in pajamas jumping on the bed (could be any one of the four females in my house ... though my wife doesn't usually jump on the bed like it was a trampoline ... I said usually).

The meeting was absolutely awesome! I nailed it and I'm really pumped. I know we will have customers but we have so much very difficult work to do ... much of which has never been done before ... and urgently need to get funded to really do it. We have hiring to do and I don't hire average people. To hire the best, it really helps to have $$ though we're doing pretty good so far. If you see a job posting on Craigslist or Workopolis that says "awesome opportunity at hot startup ... salary doubles every month and starts at $0/month (that's $0/year if you don't have a calculator). At least the taxes are reasonable.

Part III

Got home at 1:30 am to find the following stuck to the door between the garage and the house. I'm one lucky guy! In case you didn't get an invite the MyDYO launch party, it is this Saturday at 8 pm at my place.