2014-08-07-the-struggle.md 3.67 KB
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---
layout: post
title: "The Struggle"
description: "Our path to fundraising took many detours and caused a lot more stress than I imagined."
category: openphoto-trovebox
logo:  site-logo.png
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tags: [trovebox]
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image:
  feature: so-simple-sample-image-2.jpg
  credit: Michael Rose
  creditlink: http://mademistakes.com
comments: true
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---

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There were many days and even weeks where I was convinced all this was a huge mistake.
Ben Horrowitz, a well known venture capitalist, blogged on this topic in 2012 in blog post also called [The Struggle](http://www.bhorowitz.com/the_struggle).
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## It's complicated

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Us humans are neither binary or entirely logical; thank goodness.
We're complex creatures and what constitutes happiness, contentment, joy or any of the opposite emotions depend on a large number of factors.
This makes *The Struggle* even more acute.
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## No funding in sight
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The struggle started near the end of 2011 when we were failing to raise funding.
I knew we absolutely needed to secure funding to succeed.
I won't go into the details of our fundraising journey in this article but you can [read about it here](../fundraising/).
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There was a clear consequence of not getting investment; we'd have to abandon and shut down OpenPhoto.
Founders start companies for various reasons but there's always a common thread of believing strongly in something.
It might be a belief that building something will improve people's lives, make you a lot of money or change something that's in need of change.
It's often a combination of these that drive founders.
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I believed OpenPhoto needed to exist.
I'm a bit of a nostalgic.
I love to relive past moments.
Furthermore it became really important to me to preserve the memories of our family's everyday life.
One day I hope to sit with my kids and show them photos of their childhood; much like my own parents did with me.
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I believed something needed to be changed. Looking around at how everyone dealt with, or didn't deal with, archiving photos I knew something had to change.
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I believed we could build a successful busines. Despite having to open source our work to accomplish what I mentioned about existance and change.

As with any strong belief it's difficult to come to terms with the idea that things won't pan out the way you believed.

But there's a tougher reality that had dawned on me.

*Does shutting down mean failure?
How would I explain this to friends and family who thought I was making a mistake 6 months ago?
Do I just go back and get a normal job?*

Hello ego, pride and insecurity.
Not traits I'm particularly proud of but they helped motivate me to continue building OpenPhoto.

## The effect of having no money

Louis C.K., a comedian, has a great bit titled *[Being Broke](https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J0rSXjVuJVg)*.
Besides being hilarious I felt like I could relate.

> You ever have negative money? You look at your bank account and you have negative $10. [...] I wish I didn't have anything but I have less than that. If it's free I can't f*****g afford it.

Just a disclaimer that I'm not implying I was poor.
When I think of people being poor it's not just a lack of money but a lack of opportunity.
I empathize greatly with people who find themselves in that situation.

My family has always frugal in some aspects.
We're not big spenders, have no debt and have always had financial headroom.
I mean, I still drive an old '98 Honda Accord.

Generosity is a big priority and something we want to model for our kids.
When friends, family or strangers need help we want to be in a position to help them.



Despite not having money I had the privilege of knowing I could find a job.
It wasn't that I was afraid of not being able to pay rent or feed our kids.