One Year Anniversary
Whew, what year! We launched jdeal last year on the Monday before Thanksgiving. Our launch was a true testament to entrepreneuerism.
I knew competition was coming and I was adamant that we should be first to market. After a few delays, I insisted that no matter what, Monday, November 22nd would be the day and so it was. We started getting word out about the launch, we did a pre-sign up campaign, and at 8 a.m. on Monday the 22nd, we launched.
Many entrepreneurs have war stories and our launch was no different. On Sunday night before the launch, Allen, my partner, his wife, Frances, and my husband, Gavin, and I worked through the night. Of course, I had a major proposal for a grant for Metroimma that was due on Monday the 22nd and I was working on that at the same time. Monday went well–until I had a car accident Monday night! Then Allen called to say we did not have a deal for Tuesday. We did not have a pipeline of deals and our one prospect fell through. Major scramble! I called a friend who was a photographer at 10.30 p.m. and said, “Guess what? You are our deal tomorrow!” On Tuesday night, Allen was in a freak accident where glass shattered from the window of a building he was walking by and severed his finger. That resulted in surgery and him only having use of his left hand. I had planned a trip to Morocco over Thanksgiving. My parents were coming in from South Africa to look after the kids and flights were not refundable. I had no idea when I booked the trip that our launch would be so delayed. All these challenges happened in week one of our launch.
Yes, it was chaotic but it has been an exhilarating year and I am so proud of what Allen and I have created. We have bootstrapped our venture, with no outside funding. Some highlights:
We started with less than 500 opt-in names and now we have 40,000 names in our database.
-We have pulled together an amazing team of professionals; without them we could not have had the success we have.
-The week we launched, we were mentioned in Fortune magazine. We have since had amazing media exposure including coverage in the NY Times, Washington Post, AdTech, NY Post, NY 1, and many other publications.
-So many daily deal sites have entered the Jewish market and I am proud to be the largest and boldest.
-We have helped launch buyisraelweek.com. This is such an exciting initiative to create real opportunity to support Israel.
-Metroimma.com has continued to flourish and our events continue to sell out.
There has been little sleep and lots of stress. As an entrepreneur, you ride a rollercoaster. One day you see the Blue Sky and imagine making millions. The next day you wonder how you will pay all your bills. It is like running a marathon every month. I was talking to a friend who is also an entrepreneur. While we were both discussing some challenges, we both agreed we would not want it any other way. I love the thrill, I love the challenge, and there is much more to come.
Originally published: November 18, 2011