Back to business, the variety of tech and Buffett investing

Hey folks, back with another solopreneur blog update for ya.

Let’s jump in:

My last week(s) in business

I’ve noticed things pick up in the last 2 weeks. By “things”, I mean people getting back to business-as-usual. In the summer – at least here in Canada – a lot of folks tend to take vacation time, so everything quiets down a bit.

This means fewer emails, calls, etc. I found the end of June and early July really slowed down, but things are picking back up.

This also means I’ve been having more meaningful calls with potential investors for our fundraise (woo!) and we’re almost at our goal. My hope is to close the fundraise by end of August, which we’re on pace to do.

We’re already starting to build the technology either way, which will make it easy for companies in Canada to find engineers from around the world, and sponsor them so they can come to Canada asap. Super exciting, especially going through the process of planning, designing and building it.

I’m learning more about what goes into designing the technology, how the app will look/feel, determining which functionalities we want, and more. The level of detail that has to go into it is somewhat surprising as a tech newbie, but is definitely interesting and fun.

Will keep you posted as we continue building, with a plan to launch in November.

What I’m thinking about

As our fundraise is hopefully nearing its end, I am excited to shift my focus more to the product and sales side. It also makes me think about the variety of things to do and focuses to have when living the tech cofounder life, as opposed to a more traditional business.

Caveat: I don’t think one is better than the other. They are just different. One of the reasons I’ve really enjoyed tech is the shuffle between major focuses. When I was building my solopreneur business – a more “traditional” service business – the focus was usually on either sales, or providing the service (immigration file work in my case). Some admin, bookkeeping and other little activities sprinkled in as well.

I’ve really enjoyed tech because of the major shifts, which provide a lot of variety. One month is a focus on fundraising, with the next on product design, followed by a shift into sales.

As someone who can get bored after long stretches of doing the same thing, tech keeps you on your toes.

What I’m Reading

Last week I finished “Buffett: The Making of an American Capitalist”. Aka a biography on Warren Buffett, who I’ve always been fascinated by. A great story and great read, especially in light of how popular and more mainstream investing has become lately (with apps like Robinhood, crypto, NFT’s, REIT’s, etc.).

Anyway, the book tells the story of how Warren become obsessed with making money at an early age, and how he built one of the greatest companies of the 20th century (Berkshire Hathaway). 

It was a great read, and I found it interesting for the following reasons (and more, but I suggest reading it yourself too):

1) the book came out in 1995, long before Buffett even considered investing in tech companies (he still shies away from them). Buffett made most of his money starting or investing in “boring businesses” like insurance, textiles, consumer goods, etc. This was a good reminder that your investments don’t have to be flashy

2) I’ve always been interested in buying and growing already existing businesses, and Buffett is the king of doing just that, with a surprisingly hands-off approach (in most cases, he simply invested in companies he trusted would continue to grow and wasn’t involved very much). Instead he focused on finding great management teams that he could trust to handle the day-to-day operations.

3) His investment criteria wasn’t overly complicated at all. He looked for companies that were generally under-valued (so he could get them for a good price), in industries that would be around for a long time with good products (he’s not one to buy-and-sell within a few years – in fact, he looks for companies to buy and hold forever), and great leadership that he could trust. 

While very simple in theory, this meant Buffett spent his weeks pouring over annual reports and financial statements like we browse Instagram feeds (but he doesn’t scroll as fast…).

Anyway, overall a great read and great mind to learn about whether you’re trying to build a successful solopreneur business or any other kind.

That’s it for me – have an awesome week, feel free to share or forward this to anyone you think might enjoy hearing about my updates and book recommendations, and keep grinding.

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