Jordan Raynor is co-founder of Tampa-based CitizensInvestor — the largest crowdfunding platform for government projects in the US.
“The launch of any startup is intoxicating. For us at CitizenInvestor, it felt like we were on a rocket ship bound for the moon. Before we even launched, we were featured in seven publications and asked to give a TEDx talk. Then, out of 200 applicants, we were selected as a finalist for Code for America’s first startup accelerator program. Former life as a political executive.
“It was the last week of August 2012, and I was spending most of my time at the Republican National Convention in my hometown of Tampa. I was on my way to a briefing from the Romney campaign’s digital director when I received an email informing me that CitizenInvestor’s $5,000 event at Rock the Vote He was chosen to receive a grant. I couldn’t believe we didn’t have a product or a customer yet, and here someone was going to give us $5,000 because they thought our idea was cool.
“We were asked to pick up the check that night at a club in Ybor City. [Citizinvestor Co-founder] Tony [Desisto] He used to call him ‘DJ Oki Doki’. That night, my wife and I had tickets to the opening of the Republican National Convention, but I figured we could go to the party to pick up the check and still have time to get back to the convention center to hear Ann Romney. Chris Christie says. We couldn’t have stuck around more if we tried on our way to the club. Tony, [my wife] Cara [Raynor]And I could best be described as a costume straight out of the Brooks Brothers catalog, crammed with light, waving young adults on an alcohol-fueled dance floor.
“While the club was in decline (kids still say that, right?), we sadly went up to raise $5,000. After the organizers of the event praised Citizinvestor, we were greeted with enthusiasm. As the station was about to start, everyone. Around us to the sound of DJ Oki Doki and the sound of his screaming fans. We were setting expectations: we couldn’t avoid mistaking the hype for success.
“While press, speaking engagements, and events promoting CitizenInvestor were great, they weren’t the most important thing for our core business. A year after launching, Tony and I were overwhelmed by the amount of things we were doing. So we took the time to clearly define what was most important to growing our startup into a sustainable business: to two Things we were able to mention: getting municipal governments to post projects that required a lot of money and funding those projects were just two. With those two things clearly defined, we had several ‘stop’ meetings where we looked at each task on our to-do list and We asked ourselves if it would work for us. Do we get projects or fund it? If the answer was no, we quit without hesitation. At the first ‘stop’ meeting, we quit half of the things we were working on and the company was better for it.
“In a startup, it’s easy to trick yourself into believing that the most fun things are the things that will help you build your business. And maybe they are! But in our experience, they’re the most important things. They’re the hardest and least fun things to do. Speed Focus on what matters most.”
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