TranscriptDevReady Transcript E05 – Daniel Mumby

Listen to the full episode here: DevReady Podcast E05 – Daniel Mumby

Andrew Romeo:
Welcome to the DevReady Podcast. My name is Andrew Romeo and today I was joined by Dan Mumby. Dan is known as That StartUp Guy on LinkedIn. He’s a 15X Founder, he took a business from zero to over $10 million revenue in a few years. He’s also a startup mentor, an angel investor, author of the book Before You Quit Your Day Job. Dan and I had a great chat around validating idea, which pretty much turned into validating business model.

Andrew Romeo:
Now we can all start out from a perspective of, we have a tech idea, we have got a concept to deliver our solution through technology, but in reality we still have a business that sits around that. We still have all the mechanics around a business from customer support, customer service, customer acquisition, that all needs to be considered. The technology is really just a tool to allow you to deliver what you’re trying to achieve. Your customers aren’t buying the technology from you, they’re buying the actual value it delivers them or the job that it actually gets done for them. Enjoy the podcast, I had a great time with Dan and I know you’ll get a lot out of it.

Andrew Romeo:
Today on the DevReady Podcast we have Dan Mumby joining us today. Dan is a, That StartUp Guy, he’s referred to, he’s written a book. Check him out on LinkedIn, he’s a 15X Founder, startup mentor, advisor, an angel investor as well. So Dan, thanks for joining us today on the DevReady Podcast, looking to help out non-techs who are looking to build tech and guiding them on that journey.

Dan Mumby:
Good day Andrew, thanks for having me here mate.

Andrew Romeo:
Cheers Dan.

Dan Mumby:
Nice to see you again.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah, you too mate.

Dan Mumby:
This is a topic that’s really close to my own heart, so getting the tech side right of your business, it’s part of the journey. So I’m excited to see where are we’re going to go today and what we might discover.

Andrew Romeo:
So Dan, while you’re here today, we wanted to explore validating a business model and what that might mean to a tech founder, or pretty much a non-tech founder looking to build tech? So Dan, what are one of the first steps? I’ve got this great idea, I’ve got a concept, now I want to explore it, I’m testing it out with family and friends, I’m getting all this brilliant feedback. I don’t know how to build tech, I don’t know what I’m doing, what should my first step be?

Dan Mumby:
Well, I love the premise of the question, firstly Andrew, because the challenge with everybody that’s got a good idea, and I talk about this a lot in my own speaking, and writing, and what have you, is that, what is a good idea worth? Well, a good idea of $4 will get you a cup of coffee. So the idea actually isn’t worth anything in of itself, but it’s the place to start. It’s the place around which we formulate a hypothesis, of solving a compelling problem, or solving a problem, or taking advantage of an opportunity that we see in the world.

Dan Mumby:
So obviously the idea is the first layer that we wrap a business around. But ultimately what you’re trying to build is not a product or a service, but a business, that the idea is wrapped around a product, which is wrapped around a service, which is wrapped around an audience, which is wrapped around a market, which is then wrapped around a business. And which then might, and layers might then be that it’s investible, and then another layer is that you’re building a team, and then you’re building the culture of the organisation around it. So the nucleus of any great venture, and I like to use the word venture rather than a business because it’s a bit like Columbus travelling from Spain to the New World, it’s a venture. You think you know where you’re going, but the journey is going to be a little bit different and you can’t predict all the places and spaces.

Dan Mumby:
So, if you want to think about it like that, when you’re going on a venture you know that you’re going to have to do some planning and some preparation, you can’t just get on a boat and go. You’re going to want to figure out, we’re going to a place that we don’t know where we’re going, we know we’re going to need food and water, we’re going to need provisions. We’re going to need some skills and some experience, we’re going to need a navigator, we’re going to need some people to put the sails up. I’m using the old analogy here, I’m still on the Columbus analogy.

Dan Mumby:
But we’re going to go on this journey together and at the moment it’s just me with an idea or a vision, but ultimately it’s going to be a venture. So you’ve got to start thinking about mapping out the waypoints to, what am I going to need for each stage of the venture? What am I going to need to plan, what am I going to need in order to prepare, what am I going to need to start and then what am I going to need along the way? And these are the things that I like to start thinking about from the very, very beginning.

Andrew Romeo:
Okay. So, in the end, you can have a great idea, but what you’re saying, it’s not about the tech at all, it’s really about the models of business and how you’re going to frame that to actually serve a customer in the end?

Dan Mumby:
Absolutely. Start with the end in mind and then work your way back to where you are now. You may not know all the answers to the questions, but by taking that approach, it starts helping you formulate the questions to other people to get some insight, and some guidance, and some advice, by being able to ask better questions. And I think one of the things I talk a lot about around validating a business model or validating an idea, it’s not actually the product, or the idea, or the tech. Everybody says I’m a tech startup. Well, let’s be honest, 90% of businesses these days would meet that criteria.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah, you’d see that, so who’s not got some from a tech within their business right now?

Dan Mumby:
If you’ve got a spreadsheet or a mobile phone that you’re using in your business, technically you’re a tech business. Unless, you’re a retail business using a cash register. But let’s be honest. So anyone can call themselves a tech business.

Andrew Romeo:
So would you say not to call yourself a tech business, you’re a business, you’re a venture, you’ve got an idea that you want to deliver upon, and take tech out of the conversation because it’s just a form of delivery?

Dan Mumby:
It’s a mechanism of service delivery, you’re absolutely right. It’s the way that you, or it also might also be a mechanism of customer acquisition too.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah, it could be.

Dan Mumby:
So it might be about how you deliver your service, how you support your customers, how you engage with your audience, or how you acquire them. It’s a tool. So if I’m, let’s say if I’m going down to the big-box hardware store and I’m going to buy a shovel. Do I want the shovel? No, I don’t want the shovel. What I want is the hole that the shovel will give me. So when it comes to the tech, the tech is your tool, it’s your shovel, what you want is the hole that it builds. In fact, you probably don’t want the hole, what you want is the piece of timber that goes in the hole, that builds the deck, so you can actually have social-

Andrew Romeo:
A place of joy.

Dan Mumby:
So you can have a place of joy, social gatherings on the weekend, et cetera, et cetera. Or an outdoor room, or whatever-

Andrew Romeo:
Funny thing is, I’m building a deck right now.

Dan Mumby:
Are you?

Andrew Romeo:
So that’s a good analogy there.

Dan Mumby:
Well, I love the building analogy because I’m doing a bit of renovating myself, and I’ve just finished my deck and I’ve got to say, outdoor room, shade sails, misting, chimeneas-

Andrew Romeo:
Misting? Yeah, I saw those in Bunnings the other day.

Dan Mumby:
So I thought about, when I was designing that deck, shall we actually, let’s use that analogy because that might be easier for people to comprehend rather than the Columbus scenario? Unless you’re a student of history, which I am. But the example of building the deck is a really, really good one. You don’t start by just digging a couple of holes, and putting a couple of posts in, and what have you. You’ve actually got to think about the whole design, the design process. You’ve got to think about, what skills do I have, what can I do myself, what do I need to contract out? Do I need approvals, is there a regulatory environment or a compliance element that I have to think about? Which is often true of many ventures, especially if you’re in law, or pharmaceuticals, or fintech, or other spaces.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah, highly regulated industries, right?

Dan Mumby:
Yeah. So there’s a regulatory environment you’ve got to think about. So do I need a permit to put my deck in? Do I have this capability, do I have the tools, do I have some of the really basic skills that I’m actually going to need, or do I have access to them? Do I have the resources where I’ve got mates who are really, really good at things that I’m not good at? Do I have friends that can assist me with the process? Do I have people that can help me design the thing so that when I end up building it, whatever it is, does it do its intended purpose? Is it functional, is it aesthetically pleasing, does it have good design, does it lead me to the type of use case that I’m looking for?

Andrew Romeo:
Get it.

Dan Mumby:
So, does that make sense?

Andrew Romeo:
Interesting way to think about is. The deck analogy is perfect. Like I said, building a deck right now, I’ve got a bit of help from the father-in-law, got my dad doing quite a bit of it. And when you don’t know what you don’t know, I’m not a builder at all, I sit in a desk, in an office, on a phone half my day, that’s what I do. But looking at what goes into it, and you don’t realise the actual complexities in design and the impacts it might have. So we built the deck, and then we had a section off the top, which was probably a little bit high, to walk onto the grass area. So all of a sudden we have to engineer a step into this, which meant ripping off some boards and putting a step in there. But not knowing that, and then pivoting basically, not pivoting, you’re adjusting to solve the problem. So that’s a good analogy in terms of how that can actually suit.

Dan Mumby:
Yeah. Well I’ve renovated seven homes, and so for me the process is now, it always starts for me with a piece of blank paper, a vision in my mind of what I want my outcome to be. And then I design that outcome, and then I can reverse engineer my plans and my designs back to the point of, now I go, “Okay, well I’ve got, what resources I’ve already got, what do I need? What’s this going to cost me? How do I fund it? And how long is it going to take me to actually go from here to there? How much of this am I going to do myself and how much am I going to engage other people to do?”

Dan Mumby:
And by mapping out that process, I’ve very, very quickly got a list of resources that I have and need. I very quickly can look at the materials I’ve got, now I know what I’ve got to buy, and I can very quickly look up online what the cost of these materials are. So now I start to have a budget and I can calculate within … And then I can work back and look at, and map out, have each step of the process, and now with each step of the process I can attach some sort of time component to it. So in the process of building my deck, I actually know that, “Okay, it’s going to take me 60 hours of labour, let’s say, and I’m only prepared to put one day a weekend into it. Oh, okay, so it’s going to take me eight weekends to get this deck built.”

Dan Mumby:
So, now I know roughly what my waypoints and milestones are. And then, “Oh, I’ve got Easter coming up, maybe I can throw in an extra couple of days there so it’s only going to take six weeks or whatever.” So what you’ve done is you’ve actually, by mapping out the entire process, thinking about where you want to go as your end game, which is build the deck, you’ve then been able to bring it back to the daily activities that you need to do, and the things that you need to think about. And also, the gaps that you need to fill in about the things that you don’t know that you don’t know.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah, and you find that pretty quickly when you go into planning, right? I don’t know what I don’t know around a deck, or I don’t know what I don’t know about tech. So how, a non-tech would basically need to get some advice on how to build tech, and diving into … And you mentioned something around, the deck and knowing the outcome. So from a technical perspective, people are coming from the idea, but do they really know what the desired outcome is, or do they really know what the customers want? Would be something I’d love to explore there, and how you actually have those conversations with customers are not just within your own head, and your own people?

Dan Mumby:
Absolutely. So, we might come back to the concept of guidance a little bit later, we did touch on that too. But when we’re doing this mapping out process, we’re really staying at a high level. We’re not drilling into the detail, we’re not building construction drawings or something like that. We’re really sketching out on a piece of paper, if you will, if you follow the analogy through, we’re sketching out on a piece of paper, what does this thing look like? What’s the environment that I’ve got to work with, and how much room and capacity?

Dan Mumby:
And also comparing that, not just to what I’m trying to achieve, but what is my capacity too? If I’ve never picked up a hammer before, or a drill, then I might look at this and say, “Well, you know what? I might need to contract out some more of this process, and maybe just project manage some of these rather than be hands on and do the work?” Or in other cases I might say, “Well, I’m actually quite confident to do this, this is within my skill set, I would like to challenge myself and stretch myself a little bit, but I think I can do this.” And of course, one of the things I’m going to do is I’m going to bring in the friends, the neighbours, the father, or the-

Andrew Romeo:
Any help in can get, free help.

Dan Mumby:
Any good advisory help that you can get. Advisors are one of the most important parts of the process.

Andrew Romeo:
Clearly.

Dan Mumby:
Because you’re going to stand back together and look at it, and arms crossed, and think about it, and circle around it a bit, I say. I say this a lot, circle around the problem a lot. And this is how you actually discover whether you have a really compelling problem, is it’s actually about having people that you can ask questions of, and getting their insight, and their perspective, and their experience. And it’s the questions that really matter as you’re mapping this out. So validating an idea.

Andrew Romeo:
It’s like you said, asking the right question. But you don’t know what you don’t know too. So just be prepared to explore, have the conversations, and ask the dumb questions, don’t be shy of not asking a dumb question.

Dan Mumby:
Well yeah, a lot of people talk about, I should build up a product, a minimum viable product, and test it, and get it out there. And I’m not a fan of that methodology because I think it’s, the problem with running to that MVP is that too often you’re answering the question before you even know if you’re asking the right question. And so, let’s stay with the deck analogy for a minute, you might say to the boss, and because, remember here the Chancellor of the Exchequer who holds the budget and also the design element and final approval on all stages of construction, must be obeyed, let’s be honest. And if you’re going to put together a design thing, you’re going to have the honey conversation. You say, “Honey, what do you want?” And she’s not going to tell you what she wants, she’s going to tell you how she wants to feel as a result of the project finishing.

Andrew Romeo:
Correct. In the space, in the environment, not about how it looks and feels. It’s more, what you’re going to use it for?

Dan Mumby:
Are we going to use ceder, are we going to use redwood, are we going to use … all of those are irrelevant questions, she’ll leave the detail up to you, but what she wants is a nice relaxing outdoor space that she can entertain with, for instance, or it’s the edge around the pool, or whatever the process is. And so you’ve got to then figure out, am I asking the right question? “Honey, how do you want to feel? What do you want this to be?” Because then when you know what that looks like, now you know you’re able to start asking the right questions.

Dan Mumby:
What you very, very quickly find in venture land, or startup land, is that people start going down rabbit holes very quickly. They think they’re solving one problem, when in fact you can get three, six, 12 months down the journey of a venture and realise that you’re actually solving the wrong problem, or that you didn’t understand the problem you were attempting to solve, or you had no perspective on the pain of the audience that you were solving the problem for, or that it wasn’t relevant to you, or that you weren’t passionate about it.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah, interesting. So instead of going down that path, how do you know you’re solving the right problem? Is it better questions?

Dan Mumby:
It’s always about better questions, and I love a good analogy. I don’t know if you’ve ever come across the movie, I, Robot with Will Smith and James Cromwell?

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah, I have seen it but a long, long time ago.

Dan Mumby:
I think it’s probably about 20 years old, it’s a classic movie, it was actually based on, I think, on an Arthur C. Clarke book written in 1955, what have you. So it’s an absolute classic story. The version that I saw, or the Will Smith version, I don’t know if there’s been other versions, Will Smith is a police detective and his mentor, James Cromwell, has been killed. And so his mentor has left him a series of holograms, or an AI has created a series of holograms to help guide Will Smith in finding his mentor’s killer. But the hologram cannot give him the answer, it can only tell him when he is asking the right question. And that’s the phrase that I always have in the back of my mind, “Is this the right question that I’m asking?” Because if I ask the right questions, I’ll get, maybe not the right answer, but I’ll get better my right answers.

Andrew Romeo:
As, I don’t know who said this, but as the saying goes, “Ask a better question, get a better result.”

Dan Mumby:
Yeah, absolutely.

Andrew Romeo:
Get a better answer. So when you’re looking at questioning, you need to be questioning from a perspective of even challenging your own thoughts, and the people you’re talking to, challenging them around the way they’re approaching it. And maybe asking a better question is asking 20, 30, 40 questions at once just to dig in? And don’t be shy on digging in.

Dan Mumby:
Absolutely, yes. And again, to stay with the deck analogy, you don’t necessarily know, at the time, all of the, what material are we going to use on the deck? Well, I don’t know, but we’re not at that point of asking that question yet. Or, how do we seal the deck? Well, we don’t need to worry about sealing the deck-

Andrew Romeo:
Not right now.

Dan Mumby:
Not right now. We need to know the answer to that later, but we don’t need to know the answer to that now. What we might want to be worrying about is, can we afford it? Start with the planning questions first, start with the journey questions. What are we going to need to get started, whose help are we going to need? What have we got now, where are we starting from? And can we get to completion, can we get to success from where we are with what we have? At least in the planning stage.

Dan Mumby:
I talk a lot about, in your planning process, but certainly in your venture process, of having what I call go, no-go points. And it’s really, really important as you’re mapping out this venture journey to build in some go, no-go points. Sometimes you’ll get to the point where you realise that you actually cannot get to success from where you are with what you have. And I talk a lot about this when I’m mentoring founders because often a lot of founders will say, “Well, I’m looking for an investor.” Okay, well investors don’t invest in ideas, they invest in businesses. So what resources have you got to go from here to becoming a business that will become investible? Because there’s a lot more people out there pitching for money than there is money available and unless you’re in the top 5% of businesses, not ideas, you should not waste your time attempting to pitch for money because only the best 5% of ventures will actually get investment.

Andrew Romeo:
Okay, so it is a tough game out there?

Dan Mumby:
It’s a tough game. So you would want to then maximise your chances of success by knowing more, and putting yourself in that top 10 or 5% of potential ventures. And also recognising that, you know what, if I can’t get to success from where I am with what I have, and I don’t know how to acquire the resources, maybe I’m better off keeping my powder dry? As Richard Branson says, “Ideas are like buses, there’ll be another one along in five minutes.” So, I’d like to think that sometimes you actually don’t need to to run …

Dan Mumby:
I’d like to think that sometimes you actually don’t need to run full tilt at an idea just because it’s a good idea doesn’t mean … I’m told by reliable people that once you’re in the process of building a venture, that one of the most important elements is timing. I’ve been … You read out at the beginning when you introduced me that I’m a 15 times founder, and my first venture straight out of the gate was a highly successful venture, generating $10 million in revenue from a standing start in three years.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah, nice.

Dan Mumby:
Okay. But repeating that is challenging. What I’ve realised in a number of ventures is that I was either too early, in some times, a couple of cases, I was five years too early and a couple of couple of cases I was too late.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah, okay.

Dan Mumby:
What I had imagined was great, but then upon some research and a little bit of homework, it was either already being done or had been done or other people had tried and failed, and there was some insight and some learning that was available about why it didn’t work. So keeping your powder dry, not just running straight and going, “Oh, I’ve got an idea. Let’s go out and pitch for an investor.” Or, “Let’s go and build it, hack together a tech product.” Is not actually the answer. Think about where you’re trying to go. There’s another reason why I table this, is that every time you do this process, you get better at it.

Andrew Romeo:
Oh yeah, in the end, it’s like anything. You play, you go to the gym once, twice, you don’t know what you’re doing. You’re in there three, four years, you know exactly what you’re doing, how to get the best outcomes, you’ve researched, you know what nutrition to eat and you know all the ins and outs of your own body.

Andrew Romeo:
Same thing with business. When you walk in, have an idea, trying to deliver something, you really have no clue what you’re doing, especially if you’ve never done it before. And that’s that learning and journey that you’re going to be on. So think of it as a journey, in my opinion.

Dan Mumby:
It is. It is absolutely a journey. But your skill, knowledge, your skills and knowledge and capability go up every time you do it, even if you don’t actually start the venture. So I urge people to actually do the planning, what have you, because you very, very quickly get good at it. Now after having done 15 ventures, one of the things I’ve learned is that 90% of the stuff that people think about in a venture doesn’t matter.

Andrew Romeo:
Go into that. I’d love to hear what that 90% is.

Dan Mumby:
Well, 90% of people, they fuss about the colour of the logo should it be royal blue, navy blue, dark blue, la, la, la. But sometimes a logo’s a logo. Just get it done. Do it. The business car, do I want the big font, the small font with that, oh my god. I’m using these terrible examples, but they’re actually good ones.

Dan Mumby:
We fuss and mimic and worry about the minutia and the minutia oftentimes is irrelevant, till a certain point. But what we should be doing is we should have our strategic vision right. We should have our strategic plan right, our vision right, then our strategic vision, then our plan and then our activity list. And we’re worrying some times about all the bits and pieces on the activity list before we’ve actually got a very clear strategic vision in our mind about where we are and where we’re trying to go and who is our audience and what problem we’re solving for them and how and what pain do they have and how are we going to take it away and who’s gone before us and who’s following after us.

Andrew Romeo:
So you’ve mentioned, you touched upon customer focus there around the problem, who we’re solving the problem for and are we even capable of solving this problem is probably another question you want to be asking yourself and if not, what resources you need. But when asking, you said about strategic plan of vision, what are some of the things that I need to be considering when I jump into a business or idea around that particular area there? What should I be considering around that particular area?

Dan Mumby:
So one of the first things I put in my strategic vision, that I talk, I’ve mentioned twice already, the customer pain.

Andrew Romeo:
Yes.

Dan Mumby:
I think about the audience a lot. Because I think about who is the audience? What is their pain? Are they accessible? Why? I mean that’s the most important. If you cannot reach the customer or readily reach them without spending $5 or $10 million … I mean if you’re building a brand and you’ve got a budget of … If you’re a large corporation, they would budget $5 to $10 million to build a new brand. So if you’re building a corporational venture, you’re going to have to recognise that you’re going to need $5 or $10 million. And if you haven’t got $5 or $10 million to build a brand, then in the absence of “going viral” with some sort of guerrilla marketing campaign, you’re going to really struggle.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah. Unless you strike gold basically.

Dan Mumby:
Yeah. So staying on the value, staying on that scenario and thinking about the audience for a second, are they accessible? Can I reach them? Do they have the capacity to pay? So I may be selling a product to an audience that either doesn’t have the capacity to pay or doesn’t want necessarily to pay for the product. They want the outcome that the product will give them, but they may not be willing to pay for it.

Andrew Romeo:
Yes, okay.

Dan Mumby:
So, yeah. So, why does the audience care and then I also want to know about the lifecycle of my business and I want to know what will it cause an audience or a customer or a potential customer to recommend, repeat, refer, rebuy up purchase, repurchase, et cetera, et cetera. So I want to know about those elements of the business. So when I’m building an offering, I’ll always be thinking about the audience and what does the audience think about this? And I say audience, other people might say stakeholders or shareholders or customers. I say audience because they’re all audience in some way, shape or form. Investors are an audience, you know?

Andrew Romeo:
So to get to the audience you need to be talking to the audience. So what would you recommend? Someone’s got the idea, would they go out and flesh out the plan first, then talk to the audience or should they be really getting in there and talking to the audience from the get-go?

Dan Mumby:
Yeah. Now there’s a lot of schools of thought on this around focused feedback, do market research, go out and talk to 10 people. That’s why the MVP model is often there cause hack together a product and then show it to a hundred people and see what they think. I’m not a fan of that because the problem of course is you’re channelling them whereas I like-

Andrew Romeo:
Dig into that a little bit more because it is obviously a school of thought around MVP and building your first, your minimum viable, but are you building minimum viable on what you assume or are you building minimum viable on the customers actually may want.

Dan Mumby:
You’re right.

Andrew Romeo:
Would be a different way to phrase it or think about that on its own.

Dan Mumby:
Yes. I think we’re on the same page here. The challenge is that when you think that you’ve hacked together a minimum viable product, you don’t know whether what you have is a viable business.

Andrew Romeo:
Yes. Oh, that’s a different conversation.

Dan Mumby:
Because you haven’t got the layers around it yet. So you’re absolutely right. You’re targeting the customer to say, “Does this work? And how does it look?” And what have you. But you’ve taken your eyes off of the audience and you’ve put them back on you.

Andrew Romeo:
Yes.

Dan Mumby:
Does my product … Will you buy my product? That’s not what you’re interested in. And what you should be looking for is what’s the pain that you have Mr customer now? And what are your alternatives? What are the substitutes? What looks like a great ideal state for you? And what would you be willing to give up or to acquire or to put in, in order to get the outcome that you’re wanting?

Dan Mumby:
So it’s a bit like you were talking about the gym analogy before. This is the old analogy of the vitamin tablet versus the headache pill.

Andrew Romeo:
Okay.

Dan Mumby:
Okay? So now obviously there are a lot of people out there when they’ve got a headache, they’ll take him a headache tablet. Not as many people will take vitamin pills. So there’s got to be a compelling reason for that person to want a cause to take action.

Andrew Romeo:
Yes.

Dan Mumby:
And your offering has to be, some people say 10 times better, maybe twice as good, maybe 50% better. Forget about what the percentage is. Your offering has to be the gap between the current state and the future state, or your gap state if you will, has to be large enough to overcome the inertia of inaction.

Andrew Romeo:
That’s a challenge. You mentioned about the vitamins, right? It’s only someone that’s really attuned to their body and wants more of a longevity. That’s like an insurance policy in their mind, what that’s doing for them. And growing in the science behind it. Right? If you’re not, there’s no initiative, there’s no pain now.

Dan Mumby:
Yeah, it’s a bit like you might think of it like the car. Taking vitamins is a bit like getting your-

Andrew Romeo:
Service. Yeah.

Dan Mumby:
Well it’s get car serviced versus getting your car repaired. You service it so that you don’t have to break down in the middle of the road and get it repaired at an inopportune moment.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah, makes sense.

Dan Mumby:
So yes. Today we’ve … I think we’ve used four different analogies. Yeah. So, the thing that we were just touching before about minimum viable product, the thing that I love is the concept of minimum lovable product-

Andrew Romeo:
And I’ve heard you use this before. Lovable is obviously not about your product anymore, right? So someone, who’s going to be loving that?

Dan Mumby:
Well, it’s a … This is about the audience now because a minimum viable product doesn’t tell you whether you have a viable business but if you have a minimum lovable product, you put it in an offering, in people’s hands. This is when you build, actually are building a working version or a test version or you’re demonstrating the example for the audience of how to solve their pain. And if you put it in their hands and they go, “Oh that’s really cool.”

Andrew Romeo:
Yes.

Dan Mumby:
You want to hear the three little words.

Andrew Romeo:
That really cool, yes.

Dan Mumby:
That’s really cool. Or, “I love this” or, “Where can I get it?” These are words that you want to hear because it tells you then that you are intrinsically developing, you’ve built into the model that you’re building or the offering or the service delivery model, you’ve built in and enough desire or appetite for the audience to actually want to overcome their inertia.

Andrew Romeo:
Now that’s one of the most important things you can do. If a customer’s not interested or has no desire for your product, you’re not going to sell many. Right?

Dan Mumby:
No.

Andrew Romeo:
So now I get the point, minimum lovable. I still feel that’s more of an end result. So what would you call the difference? Obviously the end result between minimum viable product, viable meaning it’s viable, it’s working, to minimum lovable, it’s actually hit the goal and desire of the customer. It’s targeting a different result.

Dan Mumby:
Well, you said it right there, it’s desire of the customer. It’s how do they feel about this and what do they want to do as a result? So you know, there are four stages that you take a customer through. So attention, interest, desire and action. So A-I-D-A.

Andrew Romeo:
A-I-D-A. Okay.

Dan Mumby:
AIDA. So again, so a minimum viable product might get the customer’s attention and for a certain percentage of them you’ll get their interest. “Oh that’s interesting. It’s got bells and whistles on it and gizmos and it’s the latest”-

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah, looks okay, yeah looks all right.

Dan Mumby:
Yeah. But the problem is of course that your business isn’t viable based upon the ones on the small amount of fan boys and fan girls that you’ll get that you’ll show the product too. So if you show your product to a hundred people and then you base your decisions based upon the five people who are fanboys that go, “Oh, I love this, this is great” what have you. Yeah, yeah yeah and then they cause them to take action.

Andrew Romeo:
Yes.

Dan Mumby:
It’s only a very, very small percentage of the people.

Andrew Romeo:
Yes. 5 out of 100, 5%. It’s not a big market.

Dan Mumby:
Not a very big market. Remembering that you’re ideally should be showing your product only to people that have the pain that your offering is attempting to solve or that you’re iterating around the compelling problem that the audience has.

Andrew Romeo:
So to get to minimum lovable in this phrase, we will continue to use it. I’ve put a strategic plan together. Am I talking this through customers? What am I doing? Am I questioning customers? Is that where I should be, to get a minimum lovable, to define what that is? Should I be working with the customer to define that or should I go on, build that in a quiet corner?

Dan Mumby:
Well, your strategic plan, theoretically, if you talk to 100 customers that are in the target audience. Okay, let’s assume that we’re a target audience of a hundred people who have the pain. Instead of showing them the product, whether it’s minimum lovable, minimum viable, et cetera, et cetera. If you spent 10 minutes asking every one of those hundred people, what’s your pain?

Andrew Romeo:
Yep.

Dan Mumby:
What are your substitutes? What are your alternatives? What have you seen before? What have you tried and what would you love to see?

Andrew Romeo:
They’re all really good questions because they’ll get you straight to this, the answer of pain and then love and then all the

Dan Mumby:
And desire and action.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah.

Dan Mumby:
And the customers will tell you how to solve their pain. What you will realise very quickly is that they don’t want your widget.

Andrew Romeo:
Yes.

Dan Mumby:
They want the outcome that your widget will give them. Maybe. Or they’ll want the outcome that somebody’s widget will give them, which may or may not be you.

Andrew Romeo:
Yes.

Dan Mumby:
And you’ll very, very quickly realise, by the 10th or 12th conversation, that in fact what you thought was your offering, maybe it wasn’t.

Andrew Romeo:
It wasn’t. Yeah. And I get that too, because that’s … Your offering is generally built on assumptions. It’s an idea you had in your head and you could be of one of those five that are in a hundred that loves this concept and put yourself out there and build a MVP, is generally a direction people might take, and I’ve seen this before. I’ve had customers come to us. I’ve had startups come to us, we’re advising one at the moment that’s gone and built a product, invested over a 100K into an MVP, still nowhere near it and hasn’t even had a conversation with any customers. Scary thought.

Dan Mumby:
I have one similarly, they’ve now spent $700,000.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah. That’s not bad. Yeah.

Dan Mumby:
It’s a lot of money to be betting the farm on because remember, thinking about this, we were talking about the chancellor before. Everybody has a partner of some description or well not everybody has that. Okay. Most people when they reach our age, they have someone significant in their life who helps them guide them from the decisions. You know, not necessarily your parents anymore. Maybe it’s a close family member or close friend. Maybe it’s a partner, maybe it’s a father-in-law, mother-in-law, what have you. People that you trust and respect, whose opinions you’re going to seek and gather.

Dan Mumby:
And if you make a mistake, let’s say, let me pick the example of a couple of founders that I’ve seen that have made this very, very terrible mistake where they’ve gone down that path that we’ve talked about there, they’ve borrowed against the mortgage,

Andrew Romeo:
Mm-hmm(affirmative). That’s pretty scary.

Dan Mumby:
And then the venture isn’t working and they’re still 6 or 12 months away from even being to the point where they could launch a product and then generate some revenue.

Andrew Romeo:
Yes.

Dan Mumby:
Remembering of course that they’re going to need money to market their offering. We said before $5 or $10 million is what it takes to market a brand properly. That’s what it takes.

Andrew Romeo:
If you’re looking at a big, scalable brand, yes.

Dan Mumby:
Yeah, yeah. But any brand is going to take that over time.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah.

Dan Mumby:
It’s just ideally you’re going to generate revenue and put it back in. It’s going to take a while for a business, maybe 12 months, maybe 18 months, maybe three years, to generate a profit. So the founder of the business or founders, can expect to be paid out of profit. So it’s going to take them a while before they’re going to get paid.

Andrew Romeo:
Yes.

Dan Mumby:
Now, if they’re in a scenario where they’ve borrowed against the mortgage to get the product to the point of being able to launch it, and then now having to have that conversation with their partner at home, I’ll call it the honey conversation, where you go home and she says or he says or whatever, “Honey, the mortgage … There’s not enough money in the mortgage for this month.” You’re in trouble.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah.

Dan Mumby:
You know?

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah.

Dan Mumby:
That leads to the-

Andrew Romeo:
No one wants that conversation really.

Dan Mumby:
That’s an interesting conversation because one of the things I talk about a lot that we’ve found but I almost never hear it talked about, personal runway. Your actual individual capacity to go for a period of time without income.

Andrew Romeo:
And that’s obviously a big save in the bank to be able to do that, right? Or working two jobs, three jobs, whatever it means.

Dan Mumby:
So, I love a side hustle because I think a side hustle is a great way to go because all of this stuff that we’re talking about around the planning and the strategic vision and all of that can all be done from the safety of your after hours weekend.

Andrew Romeo:
Yes.

Dan Mumby:
And as long as you’re not impinging upon the customers or the intellectual property of your employer, then they’re not entitled to anything that you create. You can’t build anything from their existing business but neither you should. I mean that would be a completely unethical, I couldn’t espouse to working with anybody who is trying to white-add their customer or their bosses.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah, it’s not a good position to be.

Dan Mumby:
You should never be starting a great venture from a position of questionable integrity. It’s just …

Andrew Romeo:
Not going to work. Not going to fly.

Dan Mumby:
You’re building your castle on sand, let’s be honest. And it ain’t going to last long.

Andrew Romeo:
It’s going to be a rocky ride.

Dan Mumby:
Yes.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah.

Dan Mumby:
So yeah, so personal runway is that question I always ask when founders say to me, I say, “Okay, so if you quit your day job tomorrow”, by the way, title of my book is called, Before you quit your day job. Just I get the plug in there, but to give the audience some sense of what we … that I know what I’m talking about here, is that what is your capacity to go without income?

Dan Mumby:
So what are the things that you have to think about doing before you quit your day job? Well, one of the things that I say is give yourself some time to create some capacity. Now, if you know that it’s going to take, let’s say from the time that you quit your job to the time that you were profitable and you’ve mapped out your strategic vision and let’s say that you knew it going to take out 18 months or maybe you might provision 24 months, but for the first 12 months before it’s generating any serious revenue, you may not be able to draw a salary all. So you might want to figure out, how do I get 12 months worth of personal runway into my life now-

Andrew Romeo:
Before I actually make this move.

Dan Mumby:
Before I make the leap of faith. And that part of that planning process might be, well maybe I need to get rid of the paid TV subscriptions and the newspapers I get delivered and cut down on some of this subscription apps and cut my costs and just reduce the cost of your life.

Andrew Romeo:
Sell the car. Use the bus. Use the train.

Dan Mumby:
Yeah. I mean seriously. I think my, not my last venture but the one before, I actually had a motorbike which I loved. Sold it.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah.

Dan Mumby:
Probably sold it and I lost five grand on it. It was a joy, passion. But the vision of where I was going was more important than one specific toy.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah, a toy or an item, yes, and everyone’s got a toy or item they can sell that will give them at least a month’s runway, maybe more.

Dan Mumby:
Absolutely. So, the cash in the bank alone, but then not having the expense of the registration and tyres and servicing and all of that created more capacity. Getting rid of your paid TV subscriptions and all of those 12 different applications that you’re subscribing to on a monthly basis. Can you cut back to the free version thinking about this, because a couple of things.

Dan Mumby:
What have I got in my cupboard that I could put out on the online platforms and sell and just convert 50 bucks here, 100 bucks a day, a thousand dollars there. The golf clubs that I haven’t used for three years, sell them, seriously. Give yourself some capacity and some runway so that you can then say, “Right, now I’ve reduced my monthly expenditure from, maybe it was, I don’t know, 10 grand a month to seven.”

Andrew Romeo:
Yep.

Dan Mumby:
Well there-

Andrew Romeo:
There’s three grand a month. Awesome.

Dan Mumby:
There’s three grand a month now that you’re not spending. So that increases your buffer. But it also increases your runway because you no longer need 10 grand a month, you can seven. And over a period of time, you might be able to bring that down to six or five and a half even.

Andrew Romeo:
And one thing you did touch upon. So you’d need to obviously plan out a buffer for that period before you assume profitability or find profitability, right?

Dan Mumby:
Yeah. Yeah.

Andrew Romeo:
Now you also

Andrew Romeo:
… assume profitability or find profitability, right? Yeah. And you also mentioned go/no go. Now, what would that be in that time frame? Just say you’re doing an 18 month runway, you’ve got that covered. You’re looking at getting profitable by 18 months in, 24 months, whatever it may be. Go/no go. How would you bring that into your strategic plan and what things could you consider as a part of maybe I’m running three months and then I find what … should I stop? Should I keep going? What are the things that may halt you and may change your thinking?

Dan Mumby:
Well, in the same way that you’re going to have a personal runway, you’re also going to develop a business runway. And so by having a buffer of cash reserve, if you will, you’re then going to be able to allocate, and with approval from the boss at home, about saying, “Okay honey, we’ve now been able to create an asset of 10 grand. I’d like to keep five grand of that as a home buffer. So we’ve always got an extra five grand and I’d like to put five grand into starting the business.” So you might start with a thing and then at some point in your strategic plan, you’re going to design in … you need to do a financial plan.

Dan Mumby:
So you’re going to do your projected marketing costs, your potential milestones, all that sort of thing. And you’re also going to have an expectation of how much the things are going to cost you. You see you’re going to have a profit projection there. So that’s going to feed into your business buffer. You’re then from that projected profit that you’re going to be making on a monthly basis, you’re going to be able to then pay staff, and pay people, and grow and expand, and buy stock, and build more product or what have you, or expand the business.

Andrew Romeo:
One thing you mentioned at the start of this conversation is an idea is an idea and everyone’s got one. Now we’re talking not about a concept or idea that we’re trying to build tech, we’re talking about a full business and how are we going to operate it, how are we going to management, working that out at the beginning. Not going to just build some tech.

Dan Mumby:
Absolutely. Because you’re going on a journey here. You aren’t Christopher Columbus going to the brave new world and you’re surrounded by sea so you’re going to have to take all your fresh water with you. You’re going to have to take your food and provisions with you for an indeterminate period of time that you think might last you three months. But what if it’s twice as far and what if it took you six months to go on a journey? You can’t just get to three months and then turn around because hang on a minute.

Andrew Romeo:
I’m stuck in the middle of nowhere.

Dan Mumby:
We’re out of food, you know, I mean what can we do? We’re out of water. We’re out of provisions. Or the wind stops and suddenly what you thought was going to get you there isn’t going to get you there in the speed that you wanted to get to. So you actually have to think about having a contingency buffer in there. And the reason I like to map out the venture journey for every venture, and I’ve done this for every venture I’ve ever done, the reason I like to map out the venture journey is because now I know that I’m prepared for the things that I should be prepared for. So I only have to worry about the unplanned contingencies, the things that are going to happen that I can’t see. But it’s not that the things that happened that I should’ve seen and this is where the go/no go points come into play. I’m now planning for things that I can see.

Dan Mumby:
So I can plan for running out of money. I can plan for not having enough money in the mortgage. I can plan for not drawing down 100,000 out of the mortgage and not telling the missus about it. And then having to have that honey conversation. Because if you’ve ever been in a scenario where your partner says to you, “Honey, if we don’t go … but if you don’t go back to work on Monday, go back to your professional career, we lose the house and the kids, and we’ll be out in the street …” I might explain this a little simpler. I had my 42 laws of success.

Andrew Romeo:
Just 42.

Dan Mumby:
Why 42? Hence the life, universe, the meaning of everything. But the first three are the ones that matter. Number one in a venture. Have fun. And it’s going to be hard. You’re going to know that. You can see that from the beginning once you start mapping out a strategic plan. So if it’s going to be hard, why not enjoy the process, have fun with the challenges and the difficulty. Relish them, look forward to it. It’s like going to the gym, it bloody hurts when you’re lifting those weights, push those last couple of reps out, you know it’s going to hurt. But I’m going to have fun with it. When I’m in the gym and I’m working out, I’m ina hiatus at the moment on that, but normally speaking, I’m loving the process because I know I’m thinking, I’m focusing on the outcome and the result. And so I love the process. I do like the pain.

Dan Mumby:
The second thing is never bet more than you can afford to lose. And so having that buffer and having that strategic plan means that you are not only fully informed by it, you’re able to involve other people in the decisions of that process. You’re having to get some guidance around that, you’re able to ask people, is this big enough buffer? Should I use more? What provisions am I going to need? What contingencies do I need to be thinking about? So you’re now ideally asking better questions around your go/no go points. The third thing is 90% of ventures that you will start or imagine are going to file.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah, be aware of that.

Dan Mumby:
Design it into the process.

Andrew Romeo:
You’ve got no guarantees.

Dan Mumby:
So if I didn’t bet more than I could afford to lose and I follow law number three which is figure out how to stay in the game between ventures, I’m keeping my powder dry because my go/no go points that say, oh my God, XYZ corporation in the US has just released a product which is 97% better than ours that we were designing and if we launch, we’re dead in the water. A go/no go point might be that by the time you get to launch before you launch is that you actually do another quick scan around the market because when you did your original business planning in your market research and competitor analysis, there might not have been anything going on and suddenly, there are three or four other companies that are out there.

Andrew Romeo:
Yep. And that’s, as you said, ideas come from everywhere and everyone has … an idea is if … I find it funny when you talk to a founder who says, “I’ve got this brilliant idea, can you sign an NDA?” That’s one of the things I find funny. the only person who has this idea and it’s never come from anywhere else and it’s not taken from something else.

Dan Mumby:
Yeah. I don’t sign them and there’s a reason I don’t sign them. I mean, there’s the obvious reason. If somebody approaches me with the NDA, and I never sign them, is because, well actually it’s two reasons. Firstly, so you’re asking me to invest in you, potentially. So you need my money to build your idea. And you want me to sign an NDA and if I breach that nondisclosure agreement, you’re then going to sue me. With what money? But actually it’s just that, so from a practical perspective, it’s just, it’s nuts. But more importantly, what that person is demonstrating is that they’re an amateur.

Andrew Romeo:
I like that, that you’re going to sue me with what money, is a great point there.

Dan Mumby:
Hang on. So, so you’re going to use the money that I invested in you for you to sue me because I breached disclosure? Now my dad passed away a few years ago, but he had these great phrases. And I’m not sure … it wasn’t his, but very wise man, my dad, and could remember some really good quotes. Between two people of integrity, no contract is required. And where one has none, no contract is strong enough. So the question of if you need a nondisclosure agreement between people talking about an idea, then you’ve already lost. Now what most people don’t understand is that you should use nondisclosure agreements with organisations, with corporations, with employees. But that’s a different purpose. Because you’re protecting something like intellectual property or trade secrets. With a nondisclosure agreement, you are protecting technically the method because that’s what’s patentable is the method.

Andrew Romeo:
And that’s all it is really. An idea-

Dan Mumby:
And if you’re talking about an idea, then there is no method yet. So you can’t sue me for an idea because … Alexander Graham Bell was credited with inventing the telephone in 1896. About the same time in, I believe it was Croatia, there was another fellow who 90 years old that was working the same thing. Everybody remembers Bell as being the one who invented the phone. Ideas are very ethereal. They arrive to multiple people at about the same time.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah. Because what’s happening in the environment, right?

Dan Mumby:
That’s right.

Andrew Romeo:
It runs in the people in the same environment, the same time, have the same problems. Come up with similar solutions or other solutions.

Dan Mumby:
That’s right. So there’s no way I’m possibly going to go, well, this guy’s come up, he’s got an idea to solve world peace and somebody else has come up with an idea to solve world peace. But this guy says, sign an NDA because I want to patent the rights to world peace. I’m using this as a bad example specifically because it’s a good example of why would I … So I’m an investor. I want to invest in world peace. I want world peace. If I invest with that guy and sign his nondisclosure agreement and he doesn’t work, this fellow over here, I can’t work with him because I’ve got a nondisclosure agreement, says no insights or benefits that I’ve got from my whole entire inside my head can I use with the guy on the right. And so what the world misses out on is world peace.

Andrew Romeo:
I think you touched upon it, but if you didn’t, I’ll say it anyway. It’s the idea is worth nothing. It’s all about the execution. And it’s more about the people. From investors looking at the people and the concept. Yes, that’s one thing, but can you execute? Can you deliver?

Dan Mumby:
And now you’re leading to somewhere that’s really close to my heart as well because the question around execution. So I’m looking at two guys who are pitching world peace to me, and one person has got a nondisclosure agreement and the other person has got this strategic plan that’s roughly mapped out with all the waypoints. Now all their method or their trade secrets and secret sauce is hidden away. But I know their roadmap. So the question becomes, who do I want to work with? The guy with the roadmap or the guy with the nondisclosure agreement? Because I can’t work with everybody. I can only work with some people.

Dan Mumby:
So the strategic plan, the roadmap is what great investors are looking for and what great founders should be doing because as Kerry Packer used to say, operate from document, not from thought. If you’ve got a roadmap, that’s all your waypoints. you’re projecting then, you’re mapping out the things that you can see or can anticipate. So you’re then free to respond to the things that you can’t see or can’t anticipate. Whereas the fellow who is still just hacking together a product and is worried about nondisclosure agreements, he’s in a scarcity mindset and he’s not someone that I can work with, but he’s also not thinking about the journey.

Andrew Romeo:
No, he’s focusing on the tech in that world, not about the holistic project. What a business is and what the ventures, as you call it, alluded to. You talked about strategic planning quite a bit in this conversation. Now we can all get, or some of us can get stuck and maybe be working on a strategic plan for three months, six months, nine months, 12 months. And others might work on it for a day and think they’ve got a runway and they’re good to go. What would you recommend to start-up founder to be looking at the key areas, maybe some timeframes around what you should be investing into this to make sure you have something that’s going to move you forward?

Dan Mumby:
Okay, I think I can give you a really good summary here of some of the most important elements along the process. I said before that 90%, we didn’t really sort of get into it, but I said 90% of the stuff doesn’t matter and 10% does. Okay, so think about the number of ventures that you’ve done. If this is your first time up at bat and if this is the first time you’ve done anything like this, then I think you should spend a good six months circling around this. And remembering of course that we talked about creating personal runway as well, that six months timeframe is not spent in isolation because you’re not only going to be thinking about the audience and the market, you’re going to be talking to people, you’re going to be asking questions, but you’re also got some time to build and prepare some runway, and get some insight.

Dan Mumby:
Maybe you might need to do a course at a local TAFE around financial management because every venture is going to be living and dying by its numbers. Again, I was saying about Kerry Packer before. Another phrase I love about Kerry Packer knew more about his numbers guy than his numbers guy did. Kerry Packer didn’t do his numbers but he knew more about it. If you don’t know your numbers in a business, if the math doesn’t work, the business won’t. So if you’re not great on numbers, two things. Either find somebody who is great and then can explain it to you in simple terms or learn to do it better yourself. And if you can’t get your personal finances in order and create and know what your personal runway is, how can you possibly do that with the business?

Dan Mumby:
So for your first venture out, you’re going to want some time to do that. And I say take six months, 12 if necessary. If it’s not this idea, it’ll be the next one or the one after that, or the one after that, or the one after that. None of this is wasted. You’ll start to develop … Now if it’s your third or fourth venture, now maybe you’ve built some runway up, you’ve got some capacity, you’ve started getting some advice and some guidance together, and some sources of influence, and started building a network, and you’ve got some more insights and perspectives. Then maybe you don’t need six or 12 months because you’ve done your planning on certain portions of that all well. Now maybe you only need two, three, four months.

Andrew Romeo:
Get it. So you understand what you need at that point. You understand the financial components. What will hold you back and you’ve really got clarity on that and that’s around working out the audience, finding what, ask me those key questions that you alluded to. What are your key problems, what would you love to see, and those specific problems are going to slowly get you to that plan.

Dan Mumby:
Exactly. So you’ve solved the internal questions and then you’ll focus on the externalities that are the audience and the market. But you have at least addressed your internal stuff. So you’ve reduced your, you’ve increased your capacity, you’ve increased your runway, decreased your expenses. You know what budgets you would have and you’re starting to get familiar with the process. And that, by the way, does lead to the concept of eventually, you can move from a point of being an entrepreneur or a founder to a serial entrepreneurial or a serial founder, to eventually becoming what’s known as a parallel entrepreneur where you’re actually able to build multiple ventures at the same time. Why? Because you’re only doing the 10% that matters because you know what the 10% is.

Andrew Romeo:
Interesting. A different way to think of it. I’m in the school of thought of focusing on one thing and one thing at a time. That’s me. Just getting that, driving that home and I find that it delivers better outcomes when you’re just pushing pretty hard on one objective.

Dan Mumby:
And for some people, that’s perfect. For me, I have a singular vision but I have multiple ways of doing that but that’s different because I’m a polymath and so I’m interested in lots and lots of different things. For me, my capacity to see the big vision is actually about standing back and looking at the whole picture, and joining the lines between dots. For some people, the best way they work is absolute laser-like focus and that’s fine as long as you’re making sure that you’re not just doing things right, but you’re doing the right thing.

Andrew Romeo:
And that’s a better question. It’s are you doing the right thing? might be doing a great job at something that doesn’t mean anything to everyone else. You need to do a good job at what people care about.

Dan Mumby:
I suppose I could come back and summarise this a hundred different ways, but I maybe want to iterate those three laws that I said is again, in terms of figuring out what my process of validating an idea is, have fun. And there’s another reason for that too is because if this is something that I can’t find a way to have fun with, that I’m creating a business or a venture around it … there are certain industries that I would never be involved in just because I don’t like those industries, or I don’t feel like they’re ethical, or I couldn’t enjoy them, or I don’t feel like I can have fun in them. So I wouldn’t do them because you’re going to be in a business for 20 years, or a venture of five or 10 or 20 years and you’re going to live it, then shouldn’t you want to love it?

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah. You need to love what you’re doing. And if you’re not going to love it, stay in your day job, I think. You may not love that either, but at least you don’t have the headaches behind trying to run a business and build a team, build capacity, and actually serve customers. There’s a lot more that goes into it than just rocking up at nine o’clock and leaving at five.

Dan Mumby:
Absolutely. And that’s an important thing. And the second thing is don’t bet more than you can afford to lose. If you’re on a journey with your partner together in life, then the last thing you want to do is put the idea of a venture in the way, jeopardising that longterm relationship. You might have kids, you might have goals, and visions, and plans together of your own. And the last thing you want to do is put all of that … I think we’ve got rats on the roof, big bloody rats. The last thing you want to do is put that longterm relationship in jeopardy. So yeah, certainly don’t do that. Keep your powder dry. And the third thing is figuring out how to stand in the game between ventures is really key. I mean that’s probably the best advice I can give you about any idea. Not about the process but about your planning.

Andrew Romeo:
Yeah, no, and I think this is a really good conversation to people that have that idea and are at that point and they’re thinking, who’s going to develop this for me? Because that’s a question that pops in their head and that’s clearly the wrong question you should be asking. And yeah, I think that conversation around looking and digging in a little bit more around the strategic plan, understanding the business before you actually try to deliver a product that may be solving the complete wrong problem. I think that’s a really important insight for people out there listening.

Dan Mumby:
Yeah. I hope its been a help. This is certainly a topic I love talking about and I hope that this sparks further conversations because that’s really all this is about. It’s a conversation and I think for those aspiring founders out there, if you’re out there, the more conversations you can have, the more with different types of audiences, the more insights that you can get, the more perspective you get, the more well-armed you’re going to be in whatever idea it is that comes along because it’s never about the product.

Andrew Romeo:
No, it isn’t. It’s about solving the problem and serving the customer. And yeah, I think that’s a good summation, Dan. Thanks for having it. Thanks for coming in today. I really appreciate it and sharing your knowledge and thoughts on the topic. And we’ll have you in again, I’m sure.

Dan Mumby:
Thanks for having me.

Andrew Romeo:
We’ll talk about other topics in different areas and categories. Thanks, mate.

Dan Mumby:
Love it. Looking forward to it. Thanks.

Andrew Romeo:
Cheers, Dan. Thanks, buddy.