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Bob’s Manhattan Adventure: Fox News, Forklifts, and Food Fights

| April 28, 2014 | Comments (1)

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I have changed since we started 52businesses, 6 weeks ago–we all have.

Now, if I tell you that we need something, and you don’t tell me that it’s impossible, I know that we’re not on the right track. In fact if you don’t tell me it’s impossible while laughing at me, I’ll know something’s seriously wrong!

Don’t get me wrong, we’re not superheroes–heck, we’re not even as cool as their alter egos. Our experience ranges from college sophomore to successful serial entrepreneur.

We often attempt what others would consider to be the “the impossible”–more often than not we succeed (to some level). These are not the reasons for any of our accomplishments:

  • We’re not smarter
  • We’re not better connected
  • We’re definitely not better financed
  • Not because we’re getting more attention than you think your endeavor would
  • Not because we’re in any way special
  • Not because we’re only doing it for week (that’s not actually the case)

We’re able to accomplish what we do, because we simply removed “the bar” that people try to set “higher” or “lower.” That “bar” is collecting the proverbial dust, right next my Palm Pilot and VHS copy of Wallstreet. (Greed was never good).

So, what are some of the reasons that we would attribute to any of our successes:

  • We respect and listen to the experts have experience in our fields
  • We ask for help when we need it (which is pretty darn often)
  • We give leadership opportunities to anyone brave enough to ask
  • We force ourselves to take on “more than we can chew”
  • We simply take the 1st step (responsibly), then if it’s appropriate, take the 2nd step, etc.
  • We learn more from our (constant) “failures” than we do from our successes
  • We have fun

To illustrate what I mean, here’s the short version of what’s (almost) become the “typical” entrepreneurial experience in the current market. Drop me a line and I’ll tell you the long version over a beer–it’s pretty ridiculous–haha.

52 BusinessesLast week were invited to park Bob in the heart of Manhattan, as part of the honor associated with our being asked to be on Fox News. Getting Bob, a 1987 school bus, ready for a 2,600 mile road trip (roundtrip) was not an option…but that’s part of the beer story.

Soooooooo! There we were, in New Orleans…on a Friday…at 6:00pm…the weekend of French Quarter Fest…with no ready funds…aaaaand we had to be in NYC by Sunday night. What could we do? What options are available? How would you raise the funds? Which forms of transportation are available to move a 30,000 lb school bus, when driving was out of the question. But, most importantly, how were we still going to start our 5th business with half the team in NYC. Well…we spent about 20 seconds figuring out who was responsible for which tasks and then we discovered the answer to all of those questions (and more).

Long story short, I was in charge of acquiring sponsors to pay for our trip. (Again, this was at 6:00pm on a Friday during French Quarter Fest). Colin was in charge of finding someone who would take the money that I was supposed to raise, in exchange for transporting our 35-ft friend, Bob, to his destination–which was 22-hours away, within the next 48-hours. And, Max was tasked with putting remote businesses practices in place–for team that has never worked remotely. After spending the next several hours on the phone, we all failed. (Except Max, he fails way less than the rest of us! He may actually be a superhero).

Seriously though, I can’t tell you many times we heard:

  • If you gave us another week, we might be able to help you
  • If you have $30,000, we might be able to help you
  • And, most often: “Haahahahah, seriously?!”

Oddly enough, I wound up finding a buddy who could supply the potential method of transportation. (Speaking of which, huge shout-out to Aaron Hurd for calling in several years worth of favors.) And, Colin was the one who found a sponsor, who shall forever be our hero! 365connect is really the organization that made it happen. We truly can’t thank Kerry Kirby enough!!! He was instrumental in our being able to make the “impossible,” possible.  (A lot happened in between those initial phone calls, and our finding a way to make it happen…but, that’s beer story stuff!)

Oversimplifying the rest (and best parts) of the story (which again, can be appropriately protracted with that beer you promised me), I’ll say this:

  • Over the course of 48-hrs, the three of us racked up a (cumulative) total of 10-hrs of sleep
  • We recruited a truck driver that had never driven into Manhattan before
  • Apparently you need special permits to drive into Manhattan (which we didn’t have)
  • We had to hire a specialized tow truck and two forklifts to get Bob into Manhattan
  • Our hotel room, for 3 dudes, which had 1 bed, was EXACTLY 170 ft²…try to picture that
  • We accidentally brought the Ginger intern with us
  • There was a lot of alcohol consumed…which may have led to at least one food fight

Anyway, if for some reason you’re unable to obtain the “beer version” of the story, I’ll just say this: We set out to do the “impossible;” we never once thought about whether or not it was possible; and, our big, blue bus, Bob, has now seen more of the country than I had ever imagined seeing at his age.

So, in closing, go NOLA!

 

 

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Category: #NOLAtech, Economic Development, Hackathon, Incubators/Accelerators/Coworking, Innovation, New Orleans, Startups, Technology, Uncategorized

About Jason Seidman: View author profile.

  • Ben Fisher

    Go team!