09 Aug Agile, imperfect and determined – introducing Scrappi!
It was the fourth day of a hectic week-long agenda visiting Silicon Valley start-ups. We had visited Google, Twitter, Ideo, Tesla, Box, GoDaddy to name a few. I was inspired, curious and felt that anything was possible. I didn’t know it then but something had started to bubble.
As we headed back to San Francisco the mini bus was buzzing with energy. We were excited about the night ahead meeting people risking it all in the tech epicenter of the world. We joked about the many Silicon Valley terms that we consistently heard on the company visits. Terms such has north-star (now the name of my weimaraner puppy), secret sauce (now the name of my son’s start-up…watch this space) and scrappy!
These companies all referred to themselves as being scrappy in their approach to doing business, meaning they were agile and imperfect but determined. They may start small but they can kick some serious ass! I loved the term and what it stood for. Having run my business wattsnext for nearly 10 years at the time, reminiscing about that stage of the journey got me excited and gave me goosebumps. The same goosebumps I have as I write this blog!! Truly!
It was that night, that I registered the business and domain names name and decided that I was going to do something in tech! On the last night of this amazing Innovation Gathering I shared with my fellow delegates that I was starting a business called Scrappi. It was going to be in tech and that I would let them know once I work out the rest…true scrappy style!
I opened @scrappistartup Instagram page and started posting motivational quotes specifically for entrepreneurs. These quotes are not from another source, they are all from my head and heart and whilst I wanted to share these with others hustling away in their businesses, this page was more for me than anyone else! This was created to inspire me and keep me pushing towards creating scrappi and bringing it to life….as I worked out what it was going to become!
The months went on and I shared with fellow entrepreneur Aaron Zamykal my passion (or frustration) around the buzz of entrepreneurialism at the moment and that growing a sustainable business is so misinterpreted these days. Every twenty something thinks they can have an idea, raise capital and overnight they will be the next Mark Zuckerberg. Investors and incubators are not helping with more time spent teaching budding entrepreneurs how to pitch something, than work out if their idea is solving a problem or how to commercialise it.
I want everyone to be able to enjoy the business journey that I love so much, but not everyone is cut out to put their house on the line. I want to give people with great skills an opportunity to join startups and trade their skills for equity rather than go down a path that they are not suited to…just because it is cool!
Aaron has also been in business a long time and like me has the scars to prove it so he totally agreed. I went on to share my interest in building tech businesses that could scale globally (particularly in the USA market) and I wanted to incubate and play with lots of different business ideas. I also wanted co-founders for my next venture having run wattsnext as solo Founder and owner. I also wanted to foster intrepreneurs.
Like most great adventures, they start with sharing your dreams with others. It didn’t take long for Aaron and I to connect on this idea and decide to go into business together to start Scrappi, the reverse incubator. Not an accelerator or incubator. Think reverse! The best way to describe us is as a startup factory that builds several companies in succession. We focus on creating and building companies from mostly internal ideas using the same internal team. We undertake rapid development and prototyping using pooled resources whilst allowing our team to become owners in our successful businesses.
We realized we were a great fit with a similar mindset to business and success but with different skills and very different personalities! A winning formula except there was a gap…a tech gap! Enter Gordon Tan, the final piece in our 3 Co-Founder startup! Gordon is the successful tech entrepreneur that we needed and again it didn’t take long for us all to connect. We knew we had the perfect combination of established entrepreneurs all ready for the next exciting adventure! We had an awesome strategy day together writing the vision, purpose and values for our new baby!
So today I write this to launch Scrappi to the world. Our website is live as of now! We are open for business with four exciting ventures incubating. Of course we hope they will all pop out of Scrappi as their own commercialised successful ventures but we know the business of tech is not as easy as it can sometimes be portrayed!
Right now we can see the spark and potential in the ideas. We don’t need to have all the answers. We are prepared to give it all a go and back ourselves. We know the perfect solution comes from doing not thinking. We are commited to being creative, having fun, showing grit, using leverage and displaying drive. We are committed to living Scrappi!
I look forward to sharing this exciting scrappy journey with you…warts and all!