Logan & Chester
The Inventive Journey
Podcast for Entrepreneurs
My piece of advice would be to trust yourself. You are going to make mistakes. I am sure there is not an entrepreneur out there, there is not a business owner out there who said oh yah this is a very smooth process and I came up with this idea, I built it and everything worked perfectly just like I thought it would. Everybody goes through these growing pains, struggles and self doubt. Every entrepreneur has these stories of yah we are struggling, things are hard, a lot of night working, trying to make this work. If you don't believe in yourself, if you don't believe in your product then you will never go anywhere.
The Inventive Journey
Starting and growing a business is a journey. On The Inventive Journey, your host, Devin Miller walks with startups along their different journeys startups take to success (or failure). You also get to hear from featured guests, such as venture firms and angel investors, that provide insight on the paths to a successful inventive journey.
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piece of advice would be to do trust yourself you know you're going to make mistakes and i'm sure there's not an entrepreneur out there there's not a business owner out there who has said oh yeah this was a very smooth process and i came up with this idea and i built it and everything worked perfectly just like i thought it would you know everybody goes through the these these growing pains and these struggles and and the self-doubt like everybody has every entrepreneur i think has these stories of of uh yeah i was struggling things were hard spent a lot of nights working um trying to make this work and if you don't believe in yourself if you don't believe in your product then then you'll never go anywhere but [Music] hey everyone this is devin miller here with another episode of the inventive journey i'm your host devin miller the serial entrepreneur that's built several uh startups and small businesses the seven and eight figure companies as well as the founder and ceo of miller ip law where we help startups and small businesses with their patents and trademarks and today we have a another couple great guests on the episode i think this is only the second or third episode where we've had more than one person on at a time so we get a special treat today but we have logan in chester and uh kind of an amalgamation of mostly on chester's kind of background but uh they were did some bitcoin for a while and worked on that built it out built out a product and spent over 200 000 on it or around 200 000 only to figure out it didn't work it didn't work how they wanted to so rather than continue to dump money into it he just said okay i'm gonna go back to school and get the expertise and the skills and so i can do this right went back to schools got a master's in computer science decided to pick it back up and short story is that's kind of where it leads up today so with that much as an introduction welcome to the podcast guys thank you great to be here so i gave a very brief short quick overview but maybe if we want to jump back in history and start at the beginning uh tell us about your journey and how you got to where you're at today yeah so kind of jump back a little bit uh i had this idea um probably in 2012 and didn't do anything with it then about 2016 2017 i had enough belief in this idea that i started to put some money into it but i didn't have the expertise like you're saying to to even know what i didn't know and so i was hiring a lot of people off of top tall and and upwork to do a lot of the coding um and all the wireframes for me and uh and eventually we came out with this product and uh it was somewhat successful people are downloading our our application and uh but we ended up getting so many downloads it wasn't even that many downloads it was a few thousand downloads that it ended up crashing our back end yeah and then i decided i can either continue to pour money into this um and into people that i i just i just trust to do things right without really knowing what they're doing or i could uh get the expertise myself to at least be able to express my ideas in a better way to know what is possible to know how it should be built to understand more the architecture of the back end and so that's whenever i i came back to school that's whenever i decided to get a masters in computer science so so i'm talking about there just for a second because you've glossed over which one of the interesting facts so you had the idea worked on it for or kind of shelved it and then said hey i've got enough faith in it going to start doing it and as you realize i didn't have the expert so expertise to build it yourself so you sound like you kind of went and got a lot of independent contractors freelancers to help build it up and i think when we talked about a bit before on the the partner before the podcast was you spent upwards of i think you said about 200 000 to with all of those independent contractors building it and getting it ready to launch and doing that is that about right yeah that's about right i went through a lot of different iterations you know a lot of different ideas that i had and at first my first idea that the scope of the project was ginormous but i didn't realize how big it was and how impossible it was to build at the time because i didn't i just didn't have the experience and then over time as i started whittling that down you know cutting off features and got back got it down to just the bare base model this is what the company's going to do so no that makes sense so question i'd have is you know 200 000 dollars to me into most people and i'm sure to you is not a as it's not a small sum right in the sense that that's a pretty sizable investment both in time and effort and also in just monetary investment so how did you say you know and then you finally get a product you develop it you launch it start to get some downloads start to see some traction and then you say it starts to crash as it gets too many users on it but you know by that point you've invested a lot of time money and effort how did you make the decision that rather than try and fix what you have and keep building it you're gonna put it on pause or walk away for a period of time to get the expertise you know to kind of do it right or to do it or how you intended to do it how did you make that decision or do that transition well that decision was kind of made for me in the sense that i just didn't have the funds to continue to fund this you know it probably would have cost another couple hundred thousand dollars to continue to build this out and to continue to pay people to to do things that i don't even understand what they're doing um like the people top tall is known for having great programmers but they're very expensive so i was paying 150 an hour for a programmer to come in and program a back-end that's supposed to run like a stock exchange and it did kind of you know and he put it on on an amazon instance and that was running so i'm paying for for amazon instances and relational databases to continually run this program that only halfway works so so so the decision to to put it on hold was a financial decision i just couldn't afford to continually pay out money and hope for the best so it was if i were to not put words in your mouth but put words in your mouth is it sounds like you know so you basically got to the end kind of had a a product that was semi-working but in order to really take it to the the fully functional to get it out of beta and actually make a full-fledged product would have taken more time money and investment in dollars that you simply didn't have the dollars to continue on so you had to say what can we do alternatively or what can we or how if if i can't if i don't have the money to invest what do i do next type of thing which is then led you to kind of go back to school and acquire some of the expertise that you needed in order to do it or understand what was possible and be able to be a bigger contributor yeah that's exactly it thank you yeah just just not knowing what you know just just shelling out money continually to to hope for the best wasn't a very good business model and uh it was frustrating for me just and it's probably frustrating for the developers as well as they're trying to communicate to me what's even possible and things that i see and i'm like why can't you just implement this this this seems like a very basic feature and to them it's you know they're like well that's hundreds of hours of work but i don't understand that on my end at that time so so i think it was frustrating for for both the developers and myself just not knowing um what was possible okay so you make that decision said so when you made that decision was that hey we're going to just simply shut it down we're no longer going to continue to develop it we're going to put it on the shelf was it more of a we're putting it on a pause where i go get the additional expertise and skills in that we're just saying hey i'm just going to shut it down walk away from it for a period of time and if i can pick it up later great if not i'll move on something else so i just was curious is it more of a pause versus a shutdown um that's a good question i i don't know if i have a direct answer for that i at the time you know i was a little disappointed i still believed heavily in the product and so i was like well ago at the time i was getting a uh my undergrad in chemical engineering and so i decided to pick up a minor in computer science and so as i was getting my mind i was hoping that the minor would contribute enough knowledge that i could pick this up again but but really i guess it was more of a shutdown than a pause i was hoping it was a pause but it felt more like a shutdown okay so you go back to school you get the education you know you go originally to do an undergrad and i think you went and got a master's is that is that right i'm working on my masters right working on your masters now um so then you know you put it on the back burner and you i think as you guys mentioned in the beginning of january you started to pick it back up or pick something back up along those lines so how did that how did that go or what problems you needed to get back into it to pick something back up and to keep your continuing on well uh you know as i was working on my minor and i took a i took a few extra classes beyond my mind or even just to try to help me further um focusing specifically on how these classes would help me with bitser i got to know logan last year you know he's a he's a nikon major was also getting a minor in computer science has a minor in math um so so we kind of developed a friendship and uh i realized that his expertise as well as mine that together coming together that we could really make this work and so in january we're like okay we have a very good base at least we have you know a lot of original code we have all these other all the software available to us we have all this knowledge but let's make this happen we we know we can do this so so in january we really decided we're going to do it and over the summers when we really started you know we spent a lot of hours you know late nights coding over the summer okay so you started that in january now let's say we and you guys you guys teamed up he said we're gonna make a go of this we're gonna we're gonna do it right we're gonna build it up how has it gone since then you know you've got start in january we're now you know you know in october how is that how's that process gone and how's it how's it turned out for you uh it's been a lot of work honestly there's a couple uh the the crux of our our software is that we created a plug-in that has to be very easy for developers to implement and uh as i as i was trying to create this plug-in um i hired a couple people i tried to hire three different teams of people and they all told me hey this is impossible you can't do this you're working software backwards but i knew it was possible because i knew facebook had done it i knew google had done it um so so it took me you know several weeks and a lot of you know very frustrating late nights but but we finally got that to work and that that was a pretty big moment for us but but uh yeah there is times where we're like this might not work out like if we can't make this piece work then we don't have a product so have you cracked a nut solved the issue still figuring it out been successful don't know yet or where yeah oh no we cracked that over the summer okay so you cracked the nut it's correctly not do you have still working on it you have a viable product out in the marketplace in beta when do you plan on releasing or kind of where you're at in the development now oh yeah we have a viable product uh we released a couple of beta versions and we got a production version uh google's reviewing it right now uh we're talking to other developers about implementing our our uh our software into their products now okay so have it have it out in the marketplace now you say take the next uh six to 12 months where do you think certain things are going gonna finish a master's degree drop out of school keep building this do both at the same time hi you know kind of for the the next six to twelve months where do you think things are headed um you know it because our software runs on a a cryptocurrency that we made as we're hoping that as volume increases we'll put our cryptocurrency on different exchanges and we'll use that we we give our cryptocurrency away to people who created an account on our platform but we're also hoping to be able to uh sell our cryptocurrency on exchanges to finance growth okay so you you you do that you figure out a way to do with cryptocurrency then is it is the intention hey you're going to go out build a company around it market it bring people on make it into full-fledged company do you hope to get acquired or bought off or bought out before then or kind of where you take the business right now we're kind of planning by ear but but yeah you pretty much hit the nail on the head that we'd like to hire bring on more people and build this out into to a bigger company okay so hiring people logan and i have talked about it as soon as we hire somebody then we need to quit the master's program we don't we don't think it's fair to hire people um if we can't fully invest ourselves into the project so now we've heard a lot on chester's side now logan how do you fit into the picture or what's your journey along this along this path yeah so uh so chester and i met taking some computer science classes uh not not like this summer but the summer before and uh uh i guess we just started talking about stuff eventually started talking to me about uh like his project he was working on bitzer i was pretty intrigued and i thought it was like a really really neat idea and so we started working together after that um and so yeah we kind of like split up the work we kind of uh we kind of have different areas that we emphasize in chester does it pretty much everything that you can like see and like uh uh he does um he doesn't think you can see it he does like the game everything and then i've just done like some of the content stuff as well as like server side so i'm in charge of like making sure that everything that broke last time doesn't break this time so so that's that's kind of generally how i fit into it um i wasn't i wasn't necessarily uh going to school planning on like working working for like a startup and stuff but but when you hear a good idea and you know it's a great opportunity you have to take it up okay no it makes perfect sense so well awesome well so looking at your journey interesting journey so maybe now as i always have a couple of questions i asked uh during the podcast and maybe we'll jump to those now so and we probably hit on them a bit but you know first question i always ask is during your journey what was the worst business decision you ever made and what did you learn from it um the worst business decision i ever made i i think i i i do a very poor job at hiring people evaluating talent and so i hired people who um uh it's hard to hire good working honest people i guess you know people billing extra hours without delivering any products um things like that that that would that was pretty hard now that was a tough learning curve okay so learning curve so what have you figured out how to hire better you still figuring that out or kind of you know learning from it what would you do differently as far as looking at hiring um so now whenever i hire somebody i can immediately recognize the warning signs before like i won't name any names but i hired one individual and his only job was to create wireframes he'd worked on aaa games you know he had a great website so i hired him he's very expensive and he built you know a lot of hours and really delivered nothing um but as we're at each week i'd be like hey what do you have what do you have he's like i'm working on it you don't understand how long this takes and nothing ever really materialized but he kept telling me you know i'm working 40 hours a week and he kept billing me for 40 hours a week without delivering anything and now you know i can immediately recognize those warning signs i don't pay by the hour anymore just pay for for products services if somebody's good enough and they've done this long enough they know uh how long it takes them to deliver a product so just just uh set things up up front be honest with people i i think that that has really helped because we still hire people uh to do small things for us a lot of ui stuff neither one of us are very good at user interface okay perfect fair enough so now second question i always ask is so talking now to someone that's just getting the startups just getting into small businesses would be the one piece of advice you'd give them my piece of advice would be to to do trust yourself you know you're going to make mistakes and i'm sure there's not an entrepreneur out there there's not a business owner out there who has said oh yeah this was a very smooth process and i came up with this idea and i built it and everything worked perfectly just like i thought it would you know everybody goes through the these these growing pains and these struggles and and the self-doubt um like everybody has every entrepreneur i think has these stories of of uh yeah struggling things were hard spent a lot of nights working um trying to make this work and if you don't believe in yourself if you don't believe in your product then then you'll never go anywhere but but take that first step get out there even if you don't know everything even if you know you don't know everything um at least take that first step at least believe in yourself enough to to try that that'd be my advice what do you think yeah yeah like uh if something if like if there's a clear path for what you need to do chances are somebody's already done it because you're probably just been uh like facing your mental model off of something that someone else has done uh but like if you're gonna do something that like actually matters and can like make a difference in the world you're gonna be doing something that's never been done before and with that there's always gonna be a lot of uncertainty um like you're not necessarily gonna know for sure how you're gonna get to the destination and you're gonna hit like crazy roadblocks along the way but you kind of just have to have like enough uh belief in yourself and enough like perseverance and hard work that you know that you're gonna get through it and then you're gonna figure it out i i certainly agree on all of that so well as we now wrap up people want to find out more about your product want to reach out to you guys want to be part of the team want to invest in you want to acquire you they want to work for you any or all of the above what's the best way to reach out to you the best way is through email probably um we have uh the the email that i think would be most most related with that would be sales at bitzer.com i think i think that's uh like we're always checking our emails so we'll we'll get back promptly all right well perfect well i certainly encourage people to reach out to you if they have any interest any questions or want to make a connection with you now for all of you that are listeners and they're one area have your own journey to tell make sure uh if you like to apply to be on the podcast feel free to go to inventivejourneyguest.com love to have you on and hear your journey if you're a listener make sure to click subscribe so you can get notifications as all the new episodes come out lastly if you ever need help with pat or help with patents and trademarks feel free to reach out to us at miller iplaw well thank you guys for coming on to the podcast it's been fun to hear a bit about both of your journeys and look forward to the uh seeing how things continue on on for you and wish the next leg of your journey even better than the last thank you thank you appreciate it you English (auto-generated) All Related From Miller IP Law Recently uploaded