People find inspiration in the most unusual places. For me, the shower has always been very productive. This morning, between shampoo and cream rinse I decided to start a new business. At breakfast, I asked my wife, “What am I really good at?” Recognizing a trick question if ever there was one, she wisely replied, “Lots of things…”, with rising intonation and a raised eyebrow.
What I am really good at, and uniquely qualified for, is coaching startup CEOs.
I have done four startups in the last 20 years, with three successes. More detail on my alleged qualifications, will come later.
I toyed with the idea of startup CEO coaching once before. But, the opportunity didn’t seem right. Today is different. There are more startups on my block than there were in the entire city when I began my first company. There has been a huge influx of interest and cash into the startup space over the past two decades. In the late 90s there was a dramatic increase in the number of venture capitalists investing in startup companies. In the last five years there has been an equally dramatic increase in the number of startup incubation programs. As a direct result I think there is a large and growing market for startup CEO coaching.
Somewhere around the cereal bowl I decided on the name for this new venture. My first thought was to use my name as the company name, as in Charles Stack Consulting. But, my advice to start up CEOs has always been to avoid the surname named company. I believe it shows too much ego and can limit the directions in which your enterprise can go. The last company I sold was named Flashline. It was acquired first by BEA and then by Oracle in 2008, and it remains a core piece of their Web services solution. Somewhere along the way I acquired the domain name flashstarts.com. I used this domain name once as part of a presentation showing how easy it is today to start a new business. So now I had a business concept, a defined business market, and a name. All by breakfast.
On the drive in to my office, I made one more decision. What better way to market this business while simultaneously educating CEOs than to document the start up of FlashStarts itself.
Accordingly, this blog post represents the first of many entries recording the progress of FlashStarts from concept to success.
Now I need to go set up a web site.