There is a key factor that’s helping me on what I’m trying to do with Motoneer, and it’s my passion. I’m passionate about cars, I love cars, simply love them. I spent half of my childhood drawing them, and they were not even good drawings, just average, but they were MY cars. I’m not the biggest expert, I haven’t had expensive, big cars, there are thousands of petrol heads out there with more knowledge or experience than what I’ve got so far. But my strength is that I’m willing to do whatever it takes to learn even more, to feed that hunger for knowledge. And it’s just effortless for me, it’s all passion, and it really feels like a game, when learning about the industry.
My mum always tells me about something that happened when I was a kid. I was two years old, walking down the street with my mum and one of her friends. Then she (my mum) told her that even though how young I was, I was mad about cars, and that I knew every manufacturer and model of nearly every single car.
My mum’s friend was obviously skeptical about it, since I could barely talk… it was hard to believe. And then, I can say I started validating something (given we are talking about startups here :P). I validated my knowledge, at the same time that invalidated my mum’s friend skepticism: I started saying every single model parked on that street, just by looking at their headlights. And did not fail a single one.
Now, as much as I never gave that story a lot of relevance, I think now it’s coming into place. It’s nearly 3am in the morning, I’ve been working about 13 hours today, I’ve got to wake up in about five hours… And I can’t stop thinking on ideas, Motoneer ideas, car ideas, startup ideas, development ideas, apps, customers, buyers, dealers, mentors, surveys, …
But the funny thing, it’s that this is not just about cars. My other passion has always been Lego, anyone who knows me well enough has seen me spending more money than what I should on them (and not so long ago…), or seen my particular collection.
For me, software development has always been about “playing with Lego being an adult”. I have to admit that sometimes I still miss building something up with a couple of bricks in a matter of minutes, but I can say that to start coding in order to give shape to something that previously was only inside your mind, to see that growing, and then to step back, look at it and realise that you made that happen, that moment, is what makes spending 100 hours building something for no money worth. That’s what it makes it like a game.
If not only that, but what you have built is also helping someone, making the world a better place (or not even better, not every idea is world-changing, but at least making it a funnier, easier or just happier place), to make that difference, is what keeps you going when things get harder. Setting up a startup is hard, as I said, it consumes a lot (almost ALL) of your time, it’s one of the most intense experiences you could ever live, and as Alexander Ljung (SoundCloud Co-Founder) says on The Startup Kids documentary, “there are no average days, it’s either the best day of your life, or the worst day of your life”. And I add, that changes every hour, everybody agrees that a startup is an emotional rollercoaster.
But coming back to passion, I still want to recap how important it is (at least for me). Because if there’s no passion, if you don’t believe on the idea, if you don’t believe on making life easier for someone, whichever way you do it, you’ve got nowhere to go as an entrepreneur. Thinking about the last few days, there is a moment that makes me particularly happy, and it’s just after I talk to anyone and they say “oh, I would totally use a product like that” or “I just bought a car, and if I have had something like this it would have helped me”. Before I spent some time analysing my reaction, I thought that was just me thinking “I’m going to make money out of this”. But as I said, the more I think about it, the more convinced I am that there’s an even bigger factor that triggers my happiness… and it’s thinking I could help someone. And in the end, the money my product will generate doesn’t even come from the people I’ve been talking to, so I guess that gives that approach even more credit.
It’s pretty clear that only with passion you cannot build a business, it has to be viable, it has to be profitable… but in my opinion passion helps much more than any other factor. Merging your two passions together, cars and tech?… that’s just like a dream. And I’m living it.
Steve Jobs said “You’ve got to find what you love, and that is as true for your work as it is for your lovers.”. And as you can read, I couldn’t agree more with him. This this the beginning of my very own Lego Car, stay tuned and see it grow!
p.s.: As a funny yet geek story, my Load Balancer for the website is named 4RM, my prod servers are Enzo-0, Enzo-1,… and my testing server is Dino.
On the Blog side of things, the Load Balancer is named ISR and the servers are Aventador-0, Aventador-1,…