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From Surfer to Startup! Ben Fisher of Appdrops

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by Startacus Admin

New Startacus member, Ben Fisher of Appdrops share's his story with Startacus on his journey from Surfing to Digital Marketing to Tech Startup...

A little about me. I’m from Cornwall where I spent most of my early days surfing and hanging out on the beach with friends. For the last 6 years I have Ben Fisher Appdropsbeen based in London working in digital marketing. I decided last year that it was time for a challenge and began work on a burning idea I had called appdrops.

Primarily it was a way for me to work on something in which I could bring together everything I had learnt in my professional career and combine it with something I’m fascinated by software. Now to most, software is a very boring subject and you’re probably wondering where the link is between a surf bum and software. Well, when I was a kid spending my days surfing I would spend the evenings learning how to code. I built a couple of websites back in 2005 and I had somehow caught the bug. I was never destined to be a developer as I didn’t have the natural desire to take that route. However, I had built a mutual respect for developers and I’m continually fascinated by how computers work and the development of technology.

When starting work on appdrops I had an idea for how tough it was going to be but you never know how much it will actually impact your life. Working on appdrops literally consumed my whole year last year in 2013. I started in January after spending some time in the French Alps pinning down my first moves. The plan was to launch a simple app discovery platform which made it easy to discover deals and smaller developers than just the big hitters you see in the App Store all the time.

AppdropsSo the vision was clear and I had hoped the team and I would have a working version by the summer. Fast forward a whole year and we have finally launched that first version with still a lot of loose ends to tie up. But the good news is it is working to spec.

Looking back at the past year and what it has taken to get a concept to market I have the following advice for others who are at that early stage.

1. You have to be passionate about what you’re doing and the vision has to be clear. I would have quit so many times if I didn’t believe in what I was doing. As I was told by my mentors ‘Ben, if it were easy then everyone would be doing it’ rings so true. Expect it will get hard but know that what you’re doing is worthwhile even if ultimately it doesn’t work out. Because you believe in the cause you just start again on a slightly different path.

2. Find talented people to help you. Passion and vision will get you off the mark and in the right direction but if you haven’t got the right team to support you then you’re not going to get very far. One word of caution; the team you build is not there to serve you but it’s your job to serve them. Together you will reach the same goal.

3. Things usually have a cost and money certainly plays a factor in whether you will succeed or not. Having a startup is a lot like having a baby, only in this instance your  baby consumes money and poops problems. Try and get the balance right where you have sufficient resources to keep you and your baby fed. Most of my stress has come from the worries of running out of money.

Hopefully these 3 key points if anything will help others who find themselves in the same situation know that they are not alone and that I expect most of us go through the same challenges when on our journey.

Anyway, I’m here to offer lots of encouragement and if anyone ever wants to grab a coffee in London and talk through some of these early stage challenges then I would love to be able to help.

Cheers Ben and welcome to Startacus!

If you like this Startacus member’s self interview you might want to read this recent self interviews (and if you fancy self interviewing...yourself on Startacus, here’s the self interview info you need)

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Published on: 20th February 2014

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