A little story about perseverance
I was 16 years old when I started what you could call my entrepreneurial journey. The goal was very clear:
making money by adding value to the world and fortunately for us today, three years later, I had decided to document every step of the journey through a Youtube channel.
Let's go through the story of Webbiger, my first project ever, which is still alive today, after more than 200 youtube videos and a lot of pivoting...
It started with a social media
I started to learn about business and money through reading books (while I would not recommend it anymore today, Rich Dad, Poor Dad was a great inspiration to me) and like any 16yo a few years ago, I wanted to create my own social media. The plan was super simple:
- Raise 500$ from friends, family & fools as a proof of concept.
- Create a professional Kickstarter campaign with those funds to raise additional 12k$
- Hire a team of freelancers to build the software
- Launch and become super successful
The goal of the social media was to become a global place for people to meet other likeminded people, through video chat.
While step 1 surprisingly succeeded, the Kickstarter campaign failed and forced me to find another path to build the app (even though I actually got significant media coverage).
I recommend you check out the kickstarter presentation video, it's really fun to watch!
While this was a major drawback, I found out that I could hire Indian freelancers to build the app for less than 1k euros if I sacrificed some non-essential features. #LeanStartup
I ended up doing so and launched as promised, in summer 2017.
Unfortunately, due to the marketplace nature of Webbiger, I was confronted to a serious chicken&egg problem which I could not overcome without significant funds. I actually ended up paying people to just stay on the platform to chat with anyone who would come online. But that was not enough and about two months later, I decided to shut down the website because I was running out of cash.
Webbiger moves to Messenger
Since I was unable to gain enough traction to always have at least 2 people live on my platform, I decided to go the asynchronous way and built a simple Facebook Messenger chatbot that would allow people to debate about topics. While this absolutely failed again, I started to reflect on what problem I was actually solving. In Autumn 2017, I realized that while the problem was real, I went far too broad and needed to solve the problem for a niche first before expanding it.
Webbiger becomes a mastermind
That's when I decided to focus on french entrepreneurs. I pivoted again and decided to start an online mastermind/coaching platform where entrepreneurs would sign up and have a weekly call to discuss their progress and coach each other. It worked pretty well and at some point, I would be moderating 7 weekly calls which became insanely timeconsuming but I never managed to get people to pay enough for it to make sense financially.
Webbiger becomes an entrepreneur community
In early 2018, I stopped participating in the mastermind calls and without a moderator, they all stopped fairly quickly.
But I knew the problem I was tackling still hadn't been solved. So I doubled down and created a Discord group for our community and grew it slowly through content creation (my youtube channel having passed 200 published videos by then).
I launched a multitude of little productivity products for entrepreneurs as a solution to generate revenues from my community:
- Motivator: Pledge money towards a goal, if you succeed, you get the money back.
- Easydvice: Ask any legal question to a lawyer for 20$
- Start FR: Entrepreneur tournament
Webbiger becomes a decentralized community
Later this year, given my passion for cryptocurrencies, I decided to try something completely new with my slowly growing project: a decentralized community, powered by a cryptocurrency. Members could buy coins for real money and every coin represented a vote, which they could use to decide what to do with the money. It was a very simple idea and a fascinating experiment for a new governance system that could be used in many cases.
You can read the English whitepaper here
Webbiger has stayed a decentralized community with 6 people having purchased tokens and a total market cap of over 1k$.
In the past year, I've kept experimenting and sharing my learnings through my Youtube channel.
This is not a crazy happy ending where the founder ends up becoming CEO of a billion-dollar company but who cares. It took me 3 years to grow a community of less than 50 active people and it will take me even more time and effort to build a financially stable business.
Product Market Fit is hard, but trying to get there is a lot of fun.