A couple of things here. First, look for our “words of wisdom” Insiders coming out over the next few months…great for anybody thinking about starting a company or already there. Second, all of the Insiders are now available for download in .pdf format on the website…we’ve even added a few extra bonus features.
OK, so this is going to be the last ‘chapter’ of this version of the MouseDriver Insider. As we mentioned in the last Insider, we’re going to package all of the insights/lessons learned/words of wisdom into the next few Insiders. Basically, it’ll be a retrospective look at what we did right, what we did wrong and, in our humblest opinion, what we think are key things that every entrepreneur and potential entrepreneur should know (of course, this is all based on our personal experiences and is purely subjective). It’ll be cool. On that note, we’ve finally gotten around to putting all of the past Insiders into an Adobe Acrobat (aka .pdf) file and have made this file available for download on the website athttp://www.mousedriver.com/newsletter. Not only will you find all of the Insiders in their entirety, but you’ll also see that we’ve highlighted the business topics covered in each Insider edition and, where possible, have cross-referenced the Insider topics with corresponding chapters in The MouseDriver Chronicles. And for those of you who are really lazy, we’ve actually indexed the topics discussed in an appendix. We’re actually pretty proud of ourselves for finally getting around to doing this…been meaning to do it for a while. Let us know what you think.
So what about the state of our company, Platinum Concepts? Well…it’s becoming clearer and clearer that a sale of the company along with all of our associated MouseDriver assets (patents, trademarks, inventory, etc.) may not happen by the end of the year. Six months ago we were pretty confident that we would have no problems selling the assets to a larger company looking to extend its product line, but now we’re not so certain. And we’ve contacted a ton of companies. Maybe it’s the economy or maybe companies are simply not interested in the product. Who knows? We do know that if the company isn’t sold by the end of the year, we must close Platinum Concepts, Inc. We will still retain all of the MouseDriver assets and will be able to fulfill larger orders (i.e. from retailers or corporations wishing to purchase large quantities direct out of Asia) and/or sell the assets down the road, but the company, and all of the expenses associated with running the company, will go away. For all of those who have never had the pleasure of shutting down a company, it’s actually a pretty monumental task (read: it’s kind of a pain-in-the-ass)….but should be a nice ‘closing’ experience to this phenomenal story.
Given that we’re in the process of winding down the company and now have some time on our hands, the two of us have been busy exploring different options and opportunities. For the first time since graduating in May, 1999 we’ve had time to actually research, network and speak with different companies out there where opportunities that match each of our goals exist. Don’t worry, we are both still very entrepreneurially minded and are focusing on companies that will allow us to continue being ‘entrepreneurial’, either in a small organization or a larger one. One of the tough things about looking for the next opportunity, after being an entrepreneur, is that you tend to be very picky…which is not necessarily a good thing…especially if you’re so picky that nothing seems attractive. However, one the great things about being an entrepreneur is that you pretty much know what you’re good at, what you’re not good at, what you want to do next, etc. And…you have a very good idea of the type of opportunities and companies that you want to target. Neither one of us has made a decision as to which opportunities to pursue, but we have a number of different options and hope to have something nailed down by the end of the year. Until then, we’re enjoying our time “off”!
When you get a chance, go check out the discussion board at http://mousedriver.com/cgi-bin/ultimatebb.cgi. That thing is really starting to gain traction. Due to the number of universities and professors making the book required reading in the classroom, we decided to add a forum that’s dedicated to discussing the book. Hopefully, this forum will be used by students to help facilitate classroom discussion of the book and prove to be a valuable resource for learning more about the entrepreneurial experience. We haven’t done much to actually promote the new site and the board, but hope that visitors continue to register and ask questions. There are some phenomenal questions out there and some amazing answers and insights. We’ll continue to make changes to the board, respond to questions, pass along insights, etc. and hope that it continues to attract visitors. At the least, it serves as a medium for the two of us to continue to give back.
What We’ve Done
- Started to take the necessary steps of shutting down the company. Notifying retailers, working with our accountant, taking inventory, etc.
- Successfully released a paperback version of the book in the UK through Simon & Schuster.
- Spoke to an entrepreneurship class at San Francisco State University. They emphasized the fact that we were a good example of a couple of socially responsible business dudes b/c of our willingness to share our experiences. Good stuff! (the professor actually used the phrase “Learn, Earn, Return”).
- Added a ‘Click to Give’ button to the MouseDriver Insider website page to see if people are willing to donate money to help keep the site, and the MouseDriver community, going.
- Continue marketing and building out the MouseDriver website as an entrepreneurial community where people can go to discuss entrepreneurship, to gather information and to find inspiration and motivation.
- Sell all of our remaining inventory and clear out all units still held in our existing distribution channels.
- Sell the company and/or prepare the company to be shut-down by the end of the year.
- Continue looking, independently, for our next opportunity.
We’re still stoked! We’re also anxious, nervous and a little impatient. Bottom line: we’re ready for some serious interaction, we’re ready to be part of a team, we’re ready to help companies grow (in whatever capacity that may be) and we’re ready to embark on the next challenge. The more opportunities that we see out there, the more motivated and excited we get to make things happen…again. It’s like winning that first Super Bowl…all you want to do next is win another.