I perfectly remember making a search and reading many reviews of companies before hiring the programmers from a big United Kingdon company. It had like hundreds of reviews and the rate was 4.3 from 5 stars on a well-known website. The price was cheaper but not this much, so I had no doubts and chose it.
Months later, after the payment, they delivered a very poor website, what happens on the following months? The UK company was gone and I had to restart the company with 20 thousand USD lost.
It was a hard time to really believe we didn't have anything. Second chance, after being down, we recovered our energy and hired an excellent programmer this time it was a young man from Rio de Janeiro, a place where my brother and partner lived. The guy started with much energy, he was really engaged and inspired by the website, but then, after some complaints of my brother, he started to don't reach deadlines and finally after full payment he also was gone.
The website was much better than the previous one, but it had many bugs, and the guy used a Wordpress platform to build a social network.
One year and a half later we decided to change again the company. More 20 thousand reais lost. This time my partner almost had given up but he kept with me.
We hired a third company, the one we are until now, they are pretty good, sometimes small delays happen but they were able to do everything with high quality.
The website version was finally delivered. It had many bugs in the beginning but now it is far better. The problem was it had passed 3 almost 4 years and my partner just gave up. Nothing that I could say would make him want to come back.
At this time I was alone. You know, sometimes feeling alone can create a bigger impact on my mind and my company. At that time Pervaleo was not just a startup but also an audiovisual producer.
I spend one year just paying the startup bills and feeling overwhelmed. Until the moment I received an invitation to try to participate in an international startup competition and finally realized that I had also given up my dreaming of an inspirational network, without even notest it.
I was overwhelmed with my job as a public employee and the audiovisual tasks. But on the final day of the application, I had decided to give my startup a try. I did my first elevator pitch in 2 hours and delivered it to this big international competition 30 minutes before it closed. It was a Worldcup of Innovation with an accelerator and Fifa together that would take place in Lyon. I didn't mention that but it should be a startup with innovation in the sports sector, especially in football.
Well. I sent it and forget about it for two weeks. Until the day I opened my e-mail and I had 2 or 3 e-mail from the accelerator company telling me that I was chosen and if I would like to accept it! I immediately answered that yes I would accept. In June 2019 we want to Lyon the city that had the name of my logotype :)
I went there with two people from my staff once we had a stand. We had wonderful concept videos. We had made our terrible elevator pitch many times, but one of the guys told me something special. He said how do you monetize your idea? I told him, well when I have millions or thousands of users I will start to monetize it. And he was incisive: it is a big mistake. Let me say you something: No problem if you don't have revenue yet, the problem is that you don't even have a forecast when you are going to generate money.
So I understand, that a social media website without an e-commerce or market place would be just a beautiful and dreaming idea but not a business at all.
The biggest mistakes were I spent much money and time on non-reliable companies. I had to find ways to monetize my website as soon as possible to make it gain traction. I gave up for a while just because I was feeling alone, I was afraid of failing again.
Tips for you:
In the world of startups, people will tell you that you are going to fail and fail and fail again. Once you just have decided to initiate a business that you love, this statement can have a great impact on your enthusiasm. The statement is true, but you can see it as an opportunity to grow with your failures as I did.
Always find the best way to monetize and grow your website with minimum effort.
And most important of all, if you really love your business, never give up!
It will be hard but it will pay itself once you learn from your mistakes!