What I learned in the first six months of being a first-time tech founder…
- Educate yourself.
- Your network is your net worth.
- Being a sexy woman is a superpower.
- You don’t need a cofounder.
So how did the idea of MAXION: Match & Meet come about… in all honesty, I never thought about creating an app related to the elite matchmaking services I offer at Christiana Maxion Solutions until September 2022. I received a message on LinkedIn from a new connection who wanted to meet for a coffee chat. I thought this person was interested in becoming a matchmaking client and I thought ‘why not’. The conversation quickly moved from potential matchmaking client to AI. Although the AI aspect didn’t appeal to me, the convo put a bug in my ear.
I then reached out to a former client who was in the tech space to tell him my amazing idea and express my readiness to enter the sphere of tech. He said my first task was to create a pitch deck. I pretended to know what he meant by that, but obviously had NO CLUE about the magnitude of tasks that were ahead of me!
What did I do first? Educate myself. Keep in mind that I have never been in this industry before and was very green to all terms, processes and functionality in this new world. I downloaded the audiobook ‘Crack the Funding Code’ by Judy Robinett and studied! I used that book as a how-to in creating my pitch deck and I took dubious notes as I sat by my computer with my AirPods in working away at each slide with a continuous pause–rewind–play loop.
Your network is your net worth.
I told anyone and everyone I could about my plans to dominate the Dubai social scene with my new product. I know that a lot of people preach about working in silence, but I attribute a lot of my success to doors being opened by those who I spoke my wonderful ideas to. One of those doors led me to Cristina Neculcea who not only acts as my interim CFO but has become a source of guidance, support, and friendship 🙂
I also expanded my knowledge by learning from others’ experiences. I reached out to friends of friends and LinkedIn connections to meet. The first question I always asked was: “Tell me the two major lessons you learned and how to avoid making those mistakes.” This information gave me a wealth of knowledge and I used their ‘lessons learned’ to my advantage. Another important note was that I always ended each encounter with: “Now, how can I add value to you?” It’s important to also be a giver 😉
Being a sexy woman is a superpower.
This may be controversial or frowned upon but I don’t care! Being a woman is a superpower in itself and if being a little flirty can open doors for you…why the hell not?! What I’ve learned is that it’s much easier to meet, develop trust, learn, and ask when you are a woman in a room dominated by men. So wear your highest heels, make eye contact, and look hot!!
In the past six months, I’ve spent time with people who were one, ten or one hundred steps ahead of me in this space. I made it my mission to expand my network to include people I could learn from and be inspired by.
You don’t need a cofounder.
Without getting into the nitty gritty details, I had to decline two people that were fighting for co-foundership of MAXION, something I built from scratch and bootstrapped. This for sure gave me more conviction that my idea is golden and my lesson learned is that I can do it on my own with trusted advisors. This isn’t to say that cofounders are a bad idea, but by saying no to others I saved myself in NOT giving away any pieces of the pie too early!
N.B. If you are capable and have an unhealthy commitment to success, you are a deadly combo!!
What’s to come for MAXION: Match & Meet? We are revolutionizing the way high-earning professionals form meaningful connections in expat-dominated cities. Our prototype is nearly finished, branding is secured, the MVP is set to launch in Q3 2023, with a full public launch in Q4 2023. Keep up with our journey here @the.maxion And, if you want to be a part of the beta test group over summertime in Dubai, shoot me an email: firstname.lastname@example.org
My journey will never be a copy-paste nor a bulletproof how-to on creating a future unicorn, but I hope that these key takeaways will inspire and guide 🙂