Startups – Tough, But So Rewarding
The closest thing to launching a startup is having a child...
Hi, I’m Ken. I’m a co-founder of a fast growing website called Happipad, a rental website that helps connect landlords and tenants. My partner, Cailan, and I launched one month ago in our hometown of Kelowna and have been swamped trying to keep up with user questions, media requests, partnership inquiries, and site improvements, all while maintaining an active social media presence on all major platforms. Being a tech startup founder sounds sexy, but most people don’t see the tough side. Cailan and I are working around the clock, we spend most of our days in a 100 sq ft office with no sunlight, and we often have the all-banana diet – a banana for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. In fact, the entire experience can be most closely compared to having a child. Everyone is happy for you and wants to celebrate, but really you just want a nap.
Don’t get me wrong, launching Happipad has been one of the most rewarding accomplishments in my life and continues to inspire me everyday. The beginnings of Happipad were so humble. A year ago, Cailan and I were sitting in my basement imagining Happipad as a way we could make renting more human. I recall the excitement of that brainstorming session – we were so full of hope and energy. As we slowly built Happipad over the year and shared our vision with anyone who would listen, that initial excitement turned into a quiet confidence – a readiness to show the world what we built, it was like an amazing secret that you desperately want to share with a friend.
On the night that our website went live, we hosted a launch event that had only 10 RSVPs. I was so nervous that night that I couldn’t eat. I had worked so hard on building this site, but I was overcome with fear. What if people hated it? What if no one uses it? Why are so few people attending our event? I remember sitting quietly in our office, nervous about what I would say to these 10 attendees. Cailan saw the fear in my eyes and gently reassured me that we were doing the right thing – we built this thing out of love and the community would respond in kind. When I arrived at the launch event, I was blown away – over 100 people showed up! Happipad was going to be ok, a healthy, baby website was born.
Happipad is now one month old, and like a newborn, requires constant attention. We hired our first employee, Stephanie, who is bringing a new energy and fresh perspective to our team. As a team, we are dedicated to our users. Every new user is so incredibly valuable that we bend over backwards to ensure that they are satisfied. That means driving out to the user to help them sign up or list a property. We are learning about who our users are, why they choose to use us, and what they are looking for. Every new interaction is fresh and full of possibility.
As parents of this website, Cailan and I are so proud. We’re so excited by the promise and potential of this new entity. Our small but growing Happipad community continues to share suggestions on how we can make Happipad better. Our partners are encouraged by our growth and want to work with us to provide more Happipad services, like built-in credit checks and rental insurance. We are slowly creeping towards the vision of an all encompassing rental experience, a place where landlords and tenants meet and get immediate access to all the services they need to ensure successful and stress-free renting.
This is all really exciting, but first, we need to take that nap…
This post was written by Happipad