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Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently
- Henry Ford
Most of us want to leave our mark in some way; whether it's through
career, family or adventure. One of my personal goals (besides
travelling the world, winning a cheese-eating competition and becoming
a crazy dog lady) is to make an impact through my career. The
entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well… every idea has the potential
to be the next big thing. Innovation is making millionaires left,
right and centre and I want a chunk of it!
I work in the digital space. Every time I read about a new kick-arse
start up I think "why didn't I think of that?" The winning
idea seems to have a simple formula – just look at UBER, Airbnb or
Etsy for example. They aren't new concepts, and they don't actually
sell anything. They simply facilitate a convenient transaction between
two parties. The business model isn't new either; the innovation is in
the delivery. Basically the tech boom has created a mass of clever,
profitable affiliation platforms.
I thought it'd be easy to jump on this bandwagon. In 2005 I started a
travel forum, blog and affiliate website called ‘Explore With Me'. I
spent countless hours updating it, researching, creating, promoting.
But two years later I was so disheartened by the low response that I
shut it down. I couldn't place my finger on why it hadn't been
successful, but I took my passion and moved on to the next project.
And so, Foodo was born.
Foodo was conceived in 2008 out of the Aussie food craze, of which my
partner and I were enormous advocates (YUM!). Foodo was an online
gourmet food market that sourced food from local Aussie artisans and
shipped it to your door. Our project appeared in newspapers and foodie
magazines. We had a store filled with 200 products representing30
small food brands. This was it! Our big break had finally arrived.
Despite a steady flow of one-off purchases Foodo's sales weren't
great. We weren't turning a profit, similar websites started popping
up – and the buzz wore off. In January 2015 we closed the virtual
doors and with I sigh, I digress – another business failure.
What do companies like Airbnb or UBER have that Foodo didn't? I've
obsessed over this question and I think it comes down to three things.
A wise TAFE NSW teacher once told me to keep an ideas notepad with
you - you have an average of 50-70,000 thoughts a day… One of them
might make you you a millionaire. :)