All told, Brian Wiegand and Mark McGuire have started and sold three companies in the past +10 years, most recently selling Jellyfish.com to Microsoft Corporation in October, 2007. This blog will document their attempt at number four with Alice.com.
Why are we Blogging?
There are a lot of start-up entrepreneurs Twittering about what airport they are in or what dinner they just enjoyed. But we couldn’t find much content online that followed the actual day-to-day decisions that make or break a new start-up. Flywheel is our attempt to share this experience with you.
Because the start up process can leave you feeling like a genius one day and an idiot the next, this won’t be easy. But we hope it helps a few other start-ups learn from both our mistakes and (hopefully) our brilliant decisions. We also hope it encourages a few more would-be entrepreneurs make the leap and stop waiting for the perfect time. And, truth be told, we hope it gives our new start-up a little extra exposure too.
Why the Name Flywheel?
Jim Collins, in his book Good to Great, used the flywheel analogy to highlight the tremendous effort it takes to get a company moving in the right direction, and the amazing power created when you do. Here it is, in his words:
Good-to-great transformations do not happen overnight or in one big leap. Rather, the process resembles relentlessly pushing a giant, heavy flywheel in one direction. At first, pushing it gets the flywheel to turn once. With consistent effort, it goes two turns, then five, then ten, building increasing momentum until—bang!—the wheel hits the breakthrough point, and the momentum kicks in its favor.
The New Company?
Alice.com is a new online retail platform that better connects manufacturers and consumers in the giant consumer packaged goods (CPG) market. The service makes it easy for consumers to buy all of their home essentials—items like toilet paper and toothpaste—online with always free shipping and competitive pricing. Instead of offering these goods as a traditional retailer, Alice.com provides an open platform for CPG manufacturers to sell directly to consumers, passing along significant cost savings and transforming mass-market advertising dollars into direct consumer value. Sign-up for Alice.com today, and never run out of toilet paper again.