Posted by John O Connor on 17th Sep 2019
Start-ups without Instructions
Start-ups without the instruction manual:
At Kollect, we like to bring you backstage to see how everything works, or in that rare case “ doesn't work. As we have mentioned before “ we're a start-up, which essentially means that we started with an original idea, but had to feel our way forward, through all the unexpected pitfalls, without an instruction manual to guide us.Saying start-ups are hard is a bit like saying climbing Mount Everest is a bit of a hike. The only easy part of the process is the beginning, when you think you can see it all before you. It's like seeing a finish line in the distance but having absolutely no idea what the race track is like. Believe me, that race track contains hurdles and obstacles that we never even knew existed.Getting over them though, is part of the processpart of the achievement and actually, part of the fun.Kollect started with three people, and then within a very short space of time, multiplied by ten. Starting with three was so much better than starting with one though. As our CEO and Co- Founder, John O'Connor explains.“I couldn't have imagined doing this on my own - that just wouldn't be possible, he said. “I'm part of a team that's different, and we have our fair share of squabbles. However, within our differences, are the tools that make our start-up work. If you're reading this, and you're racing the start-up track on your own, then I envy you, and pity you, all at the same time.We are now 40 staff and each person plays a vital role in our growth and teamJohn says that his personal fear of start-ups was whether he brought enough to the table.“Entrepreneurs are generally confident people, from the moment we open our first shop in our parent's front garden, he said. “We're confident, right up to the moment we reach the starting post, and, then we question everything. Are my dreams outrageous? Are my goals unrealistic? Am I completely overestimating my abilities? Thankfully, the answer to those questions, is no, but it doesn't stop me asking them just about every single week.There are many who believe that having a start-up is a bit like having a baby (not the actual biological process of course). It's a good analogy in so far as you can never switch off. There's no such thing as taking time off from a start-up, and if you're familiar with the Kollect customer service model you'll know that to be true.“When I became a father for the first time there were nights when I'd jump out of the bed, full sure that something terrible had happened to the baby, John said. “As it happens, I've done that with the start-up too. And it was all in my head. Sticking with that baby analogy though, start-ups also won't survive without round-the-clock love and attention.All three Kollect team agree that the hardest part of the start-up environment is the volatility and unpredictability of it all, as John Hegarty explains.“To do everything rightto have done all your research and aced your homework, only to be sideswiped by something that you never saw coming, is completely demoralising, he said. “It's also one of the biggest reasons why I prefer to be part of a team. When something hits your plans at 150mph, your team becomes your seatbelt. This is the hardest part though, because we're all control freaks. The moment I learned that we can't control everything, and there are valuable things to be learned from those surprises was the moment that I became just a little bit happier in our start-up.