Insider #21: The Next Big Thing

Check out all of the book comments on Amazon. Absolutely Hilarious! Feel free to post your own comments if you’ve read The MouseDriver Chronicles…we’re having fun reading ‘em. Also, the discussion board is back up…watch out!

Lessons Learned

We’re selling MouseDriver!! That’s right. We’ve retained the services of an investment banker and have begun the process of searching for potential acquirers of our MouseDriver assets. Now, for those of you who read the book, this shouldn’t come as a surprise. Our strategy all along has been get MouseDriver up and running and then sell it to a larger company looking to expand their product line (aka “An Exit Strategy”). The way we see it, the timing of this sale couldn’t be any better. MouseDriver has plenty of life in it, especially given that we were only able to penetrate about 30% of our target distribution market. The book is helping to bring a ton of awareness, is helping to “brand” the product and will lead to mass exposure in all of the UK and Commonwealth countries once the book is released overseas in September. So, plenty of both domestic and international opportunities exist for MouseDriver. And, quite honestly, we’re ready to move on to bigger and better entrepreneurial things. We’ve learned a ton from bringing MouseDriver to market and now it’s time to apply all of those lessons learned and embark on new challenges…whatever they may be. In the meantime, we’ll continue to update you on the process and progress of selling a company. This should be a great learning experience for all of us.

So, what are we doing now? First of all, we’re still focused on selling MouseDrivers. We have a tangible product that customers still want and we want to continue extracting revenue until the sale is complete. Second, we’re ready to take this entrepreneurial ride all over again! After working and living together for almost five years (in the same apartment), the two of us realize that our ability to work together is a pretty remarkable asset and that we make a great core team. The simple fact that we want to continue working together on the next entrepreneurial gig is a very true display of our trust and confidence in one another. However, we both agree that the next venture will need to have a much larger market potential than MouseDriver and will need to have much more intrinsic value than a novelty computer mouse. We haven’t found that next idea yet, at least one that we’re very passionate about and can see ourselves dedicating the next 5-10 years of our lives to….but we’re looking. And we’ll continue to network with as many people as possible in hopes of finding the next “big thing”. In the meantime, we’re utilizing our knowledge, insights and network to help other aspiring entrepreneurs get their companies off the ground. As of 3/1/02, we started offering Advisory Consulting Services to entrepreneurs. The way we see it, we can provide immense value to those who are fully committed to following their entrepreneurial passions. We only wish that we had somebody like us around when we first started!

We have successfully completed our first (and most likely last) official book tour. Six cities, 25 interviews and 10 presentations/booksignings later, we’re back in San Francisco trying to get back into the swing of running a single product company. For those of you who weren’t able to make it to any of the events, you missed quite a show. Actually, you really just missed the two of us reading passages from our own book, talking about why we thought the passages were significant, answering a ton of questions from the audience and autographing books. A cool experience. It may sound like fun and games, but the book/media tour was actually pretty damn exhausting. In addition to doing a number of interviews and presentations, we had to constantly answer the same questions over and over again and be prepared to answer totally random questions. At times, it was frustrating, exhilarating, annoying, and exciting…all at the same time. The most tiring aspect of the media tour was that we always had to be “on”. That is, we had to be constantly prepared to answer anything and everything without looking like complete jackasses. Our primary lessons learned: 1) Always have three messages that you want to get across when you’re doing an interview. Most likely, you’ll never get to all three messages, so always focus on mentioning one key message. 2) Never show up to a live 6am interview with no sleep and and/or a hangover. You’ll get absolutely crushed!

We’re going to substantially modify the website over the next month or so. It’ll still be the “MouseDriver” website, and visitors will still be able to gather more information on the product, but it’s definitely going to have some noticeable differences. Given that MouseDriver has become a metaphor for entrepreneurship we’ve decided to give www.mousedriver.com more of an entrepreneurial community look and feel. On the home page we’ll have a tab for MouseDriver, a tab for The MouseDriver Chronicles, a tab for The MouseDriver Insider (we’re actually looking into the possibilities of binding all of the Insiders to date), and most importantly, a tab to our entrepreneurial discussion board. Most of you will recall that our last attempt at a discussion board was a huge success. But once we lost all the data within the board due to a technical glitch last Summer we were too lazy to put it back up. Well, it’s time to make the effort and get the thing up and running again. The way we see it, why limit the knowledge and insights of our network of entrepreneurs, investors, professors, students, etc. to just ourselves….might as well open up all of this great information to anybody who is interested. So, when you get a chance, go register athttp://mousedriver.com/forum/forum.htm and let’s see if we can get this board going.

What We’ve Done

  • Put together a company tear sheet and a list of potential buyers of MouseDriver
  • Networked with a number of VC’s, angel investors, authors and entrepreneurs in the Bay Area
  • Completed a six city media tour that included, 15 radio interviews, 2 television interviews, 10 presentations/booksignings and 8 print publication interviews
  • Spoke to 30 different entrepreneurs about their companies and/or ideas
  • Kyle got engaged in Sedona on March 9th, 2002 to his fiancé, Angie

Priority Goals

  • Continue developing new sales channels for our MouseDriver product
  • Prepare for the sale of our MouseDriver assets
  • Continue marketing our Advisory Consulting Services and the incredible value that we can bring to aspiring entrepreneurs
  • Network with as many people as possible and let them know that, as a team, we’re ready for another entrepreneurial ride
  • Make sure that The MouseDriver Chronicles becomes required reading in at least 50 universities across the country!!

Mood Meter

OK, try to follow us on this one: Take yourselves back to college for a second. You’re in your favorite bar (or party or whatever you did for fun in school) with all of your buddies havin’ a good time. You look at your watch and it reads 1:45am. All of a sudden, you’re totally bummed because you know the bar will close at 2am, but you’re not quite ready to call it a night. You want the evening to continue going and going because you’re having so much fun. Well, that’s how we feel about MouseDriver. We see the MouseDriver experience coming to an end, but damned if we’re ready for this entrepreneurial adventure to end!! Guess we’ll just need to find an after hours joint!

 

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