Why not now? My train of thought.

by | Feb 13, 2017 | Our Story

I can tell you one thing: my first thought after getting laid off this summer WASN’T: “hey, now that Alyssa and I both are unemployed and have no income let’s pack up our 4 and 8 year old and travel the world.” My train of thought was more along the lines of the following:

  • Awesome, I don’t have to go to Seattle every other week. In 2013 I started working for Moz, a Seattle-based software company. We live in Portland and instead of moving up there, I agreed to travel every other week to the mothership. I love Seattle, but being away from Alyssa, Paige and Parker was tough.  I can’t wait to spend more time with my family (feeling: relief)
  • Ugh, I have to go job hunting. The feeling of having to go through the whole rigmarole of figuring out where to work and convincing a company that I am their guy is a process that I truly dislike. (feeling: dread)
  • Maybe this is a good time to start my own business again. Prior to working at Moz I ran a digital marketing agency, Audiencewise, with my long time friend Matthew Brown. While consulting is great for many reasons (working with a lot of different companies, low start-up costs and overhead, ability to stay small and work on your own schedule), it’s not something that I want to jump into head first again. (feeling: free)
  • What business do I want to start? I keep a list of business ideas in a spreadsheet. Most are born when my mind is at ease and contemplative. Some of them are good ideas (if you ask me) but I never committed myself (or my money) to taking the plunge. Ideas are cheap. Execution is tough. It’s funny that the idea we decided to pursue didn’t even come from this list, it came from Alyssa. We were on a date night in early summer eating tacos and drinking margs when the topic of what her next career move should be. This conversation led her to describe to me an idea that she had been mulling over: as a parent it can be difficult to find new things to do with your kids outside of the home. She had the idea of developing curated excursions online that would guide parents on adventuring and exploring their city. And we decided that it was time to invest our time, energy and money. (feeling: optimistic)
Alyssa Margs

Great ideas are born in the haze of margaritas.

  • Man, starting a business takes a lot of time, energy and money (feeling: doubt)
  • Ugh, I have to go job hunting (feeling: dread)
  • I want to work for myself again. I don’t want to worry about work/family balance. I want to merge the two. Why can’t I earn an income WHILE I spend time with my family. (feeling: inspired)
  • Let’s build an app for parents to help them find fun things to do with their kids called weehop. Producing the content will naturally involve doing stuff with my kids. (feeling: motivated)
  • Man, starting a business takes a lot of time, energy and money (feeling: doubt)
  • Ugh, I have to go job hunting (feeling: dread)
  • We can bootstrap a business, right? (feeling: confidence)
  • Man, starting a business takes a lot of time, energy and money (feeling: doubt)
  • Ugh, I have to go job hunting (feeling: dread)
  • I’ve got it! We’ll build a prototype, do some validation in the market and raise some seed money, and then I will take a small salary (feeling: “we got this”)
  • It will take months to build a prototype and validate it with the market, and likely more months to raise money. And, there will be no guarantee that there will be any money to be had (feeling: anxiety)
  • Man, starting a business takes a lot of time, energy and money (feeling: doubt)
  • Ugh, I have to go job hunting (feeling: dread)
  • Screw it, you only live once (feeling: @$#$%^#^&@&%^#%%!!!*@! )

Initial logo sketches by friend and graphic artist Derric Wise.

So, under constant emotional shifts and working through the duality of dread and optimism, we decide to really go for it and take a leap of faith with weehop. During the last few months of building the website and developing the content for excursions in Portland, we did not once talk about dropping everything and traveling the world. The train of thought and decision for that was surprisingly much easier and just felt right. Alyssa wrote about it here. It went something like this:

  1.  These dumplings are good
  2. Paige: “We should try dumplings in China sometime.”
  3. Tim/Alyssa: “We should travel the world for a year. How about 3 years from now?  Wait, how about now?”
  4. Parker: Can I eat my fortune cookie now?
  5. Ok, let’s do it. Let’s go.

The ‘go’ decision was literally that easy and it just felt right. Rather than spending 3 years talking and dreaming about it, we decided in under 3 minutes. After that conversation the wheels were in motion. And while we are going into this with eyes wide open about the amount of work, planning and effort this will take, we feel confident that we can get from ‘let’s go’ to ‘gone’ in a 6 quick months.

As far as the original concept of weehop, the vision stays the same: inspire, encourage and enable parents to experience the real world with their kids. The package has changed a bit. Instead of things to do in American cities with your kids we are focusing on telling you about our experience in planning, traveling and experiencing the world with our family. We don’t know the exact package the content will take but we do know that there will be a lot of pictures, video and insider info of how things unfold. Maybe there’s a business idea to be hatched in our travels, maybe not. Either way, we’re taking the plunge.

Queue freakout.

(feeling: @$#$%^#^&@&%^#%%!!!*@! )

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