Creating Diary of a Young Start-Up

Website Users; 23
Going Right; Only a few bugs left before launch in a few days, ahead of current schedule. Hurrah.
Going Wrong; 2 months after original schedule launch. In debt.
Comment; Never, never put your trust in a web developer you cannot sue. Bastard.

My boyfriend said. ‘So not only are you going to create a website with a blog, but you’re also going to create a blog about the website with a blog.’

It was a statement, not a question; but the tone implied that he thought I was mad. Or at least English which to his Swedish mind, might have been the same thing. As well as being female (which might also have been the same thing).

Knowing that I might make a spring pop out of his already incredulous mind, I said.

‘You never know, other people may even blog about my blog about my website which already has a blog.’

‘What are you going to call it?

‘Well I thought, ‘Diary of a start up’, but someone’s already bought that name. They want to resell it to me for thousands of dollars and having invested all our money into the other site, I can’t afford it. So I’ve gone for ‘Diary of a Young Start-Up’, you know like ‘Diary of a Young Girl’. It might not sound as good, but it only costs 8.99.

He stared at me blankly.

‘Anne Frank? Remember? Jewish Girl – kept a diary otherwise known as the diary of a young girl and would have been a zillionaire from publishing her memoires if the Nazis hadn’t got to her first?’

‘But start-ups are by definition young. So your title makes no sense.’

Logic and efficiency were his watchwords. Not only in relation to me, but in relation to the whole world. Everything was illogical, inefficient and thus unforgiveable.

‘Well anyway, I can’t have the other one and I can’t be the only one who appreciates the literary reference.’ I said.

‘Maybe you’re the only who knows about it.’ He replied.

My boyfriend, adored playing devil’s advocate and despite ostensibly coming from Jewish lineage had barely heard of Anne Frank. Then he said

‘Maybe they’ll think you’re belittling the Jewish experience. Chronicling the adventure of your first year in business is hardly akin to growing up under the threat of extermination.’

Do not of course have any intention of making a mockery of Anne, nor of really mimicking her diary in any other way but with the title. But his words troubled me inasmuch as yet again, he made me think of all perspectives and all stakeholders. Would the Jewish people be angry? I’ve no desire for any locusts or frogs, thanks very much.

This issue, over the past few months, has been one of the greatest trials (not frogs obviously, but the multi-stakeholder perspective). Building any online business is about imagery and first impressions, even for strategic finance website like mine.  I have spent hours scrutinizing photos wondering whether I should plaster naked models all over the front on the basis that ‘sex sells’.

I have tried to make sure that my final choice give the right flexible, world-friendly, non age-ist, non sexist, non-homophobic, image of the company I have come to love [almost] as much as my child.  I have hand-picked little gold stick figures to represent concepts on my consultancy site – Investment Impact – because they are associated with excellence as well as being neutral in race and color.

But my biggest issue is both personal and professional. Where’s the line between being a people pleaser and being an inconsiderate jerk? I don’t want to be either. Because at one end of the spectrum, people shit on you and at the other you shit on them. And preferably I want to avoid all the shit, altogether and just make shitloads of money.

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