Have you ever had a great idea? A quick guess tells me you have. Most people come up with good ideas all the time, but few of us have the ability or knowledge to execute them.
But what if it wasn't such a struggle? What if you could enter your idea in a database; let someone else bring it to life, and receive a profit from their execution? Or what if you could quickly and easily find someone to help you and work on it with you?
What if I told you that this service actually exists?
Matthew Crowe's startup AHHHA lets you do exactly this; AHHHA removes struggle of bringing an idea to life. It’s almost too good to be true. Read on, dear innovator.
Startup #5: AHHHA
In just one sentence, what is your company offering/what do you do?
We're a platform and marketplace where people can submit their ideas, and innovators and companies can take that idea, execute on it and commercialize it for you -- struggle free.
What is the one thing you love the most about running a startups?
Knowing that if I were to die, I was able to help someone with his or her idea. Even if it was
just one person, or ten people or a thousand people; being able to help someone because of my commitment to enabling them, that is the part that is most rewarding for me; to have been able to make an impact on people. Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime -- that is how our platform is designed.
Do you have a success story (big or small) you would like to share?
To bring an idea to life is super hard -- it’s almost unreal, but it shouldn’t have to be that way. The fact that I’m still going, three and a half years later after I started the company is a testament to how hard it really is -- I’ve built companies before, I have a great network, but it is still incredibly difficult. The reason why I think that most of the startups fail is because it just gets too hard; they run out of money, they get beat up too much and start to get discouraged. I think the fact that I’ve kept going, which will translate into our new product for people to be able to keep going, is exciting.
Because of my personal struggle when starting businesses, I have an inside perspective into the startup world, which allows me to really create a core product which will help people in the same situation. That is something I am really proud of; the fact that I’ve kept going in order to ease somebody else’s struggle. Just imagine how many more innovations we will have in the future and how much better the society will become. The world will be a better place.
How, if in any way, has Foundersuite helped your company?
I was getting so much interest and so many inquires from people, and it was just so hard to keep track of everything; it was hard to keep track of what stage the different investors were at, who I’ve contacted and who wanted to invest. The Investor CRM has been super valuable for me, it keeps all that information in one place, and it allows me to keep on top of my work. It is also easy for me to give access to other team members internally in AHHHA, which allows me to spend my time more productively, not wasting time on backend tasks. I am also looking forward to using the Investor Relations tool, sending out progress reports to our existing investors, instead of using MailChimp, which I’ve used in the past.
Finally, what is your best tip for running a startup?
My best tip for running a startup is learning balance. By default most entrepreneurs end up working like a hundred hours a week and they try to muscle things through. What I found over the years, and being an entrepreneur for 15 years, is that the best thing to have is life balance. I still work a lot, but I no longer work set hours. I go to yoga every day, take a siesta in the afternoon, and I also work all day on Saturday. This allows me to have more flexibility during the week, and also to get more done on a Saturday than I would any other day of the week, because I’m not being bothered constantly. I think that if you’re in a good place; being healthy emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually, everything else follows from that.
The first three years of my company, I was definitely not like that. I got sick, I was put in the ER and I had to have surgery. I was in so much pain, and I just thought to myself; no company is worth this. Life is so valuable, and what really make me happy are the amazing relationships I have. After I got sick, I completely changed my life, and I am a hundred times happier. I am still focused on AHHHA, but I put my relationships and myself first, and all the business stuff second. Which actually is really counter intuitive for an entrepreneur to think, especially a founder. But if you’re not happy, and if you don’t believe in yourself and have the energy and drive you need -- what is a company?
A big thanks to Matthew and AHHHA, we're looking forward to a world with many more innovations! Also -- congratulations on being selected to join the Dell's Founders 50!