This is not exactly board business, but I figure it was the best place for this.
Most of you know I am a software developer. I have a "day job" as lead developer for a very popular piece of SEO software. Over the last several years it has been dropping in popularity as the market shifted, as markets do, and my work has gone from 200 hours per month, to around 50 (lol). In my downtime I have been working on a side project that I have been working on now for the last 7 years off and on. The project has a lot of sordid history regarding one of my previous clients that many of you have heard me rant about on various bar crawls.
The short version of that story is that this client owes me a whole lot of money, and years of promises have amounted to nothing. Nevertheless about 7 years ago I started working on the "next generation" of his business software, as his promises always included funding for that next version... and I had nothing better to do, so I worked on it. And it helped that he was/is a damn good salesman. He did not know I was working on it, and my intention at the time was to just pay for it as the money was available... which of course never happened.
9 months ago now I had to shut him down completely for non-payment of his server fees, and despite the last 9 months of promises of a catchup payment, none has come. His employees are unpaid for over a year and no longer willing to work with him, and among all his other issues, he is well in to his 70s and shows no inclination to try to pick things back up.
He lost the business on account of a serious gambling addiction. 100% of the money he made went to the track, until he had nothing left, and no employees left to make more. Martin and I spoke many times about me launching my version of the website, which is almost completely automated, and he even offered to fund the remaining development, which at the time would have been about $30,000. I said no, for the same reason as I did not do it the year before, or the year before that. The guy was still up and running, and I was not going to "Steal" his business from him, no matter how legal doing so would have been.
Now however, things have changed. He is no longer in business, and despite his claim of ongoing efforts to get back up and running, nothing has been done in the last 9 months to do that, and I have decided to move forward with launching my own software. To that end, I have spent the last 6 months working 70+ hour weeks, some on my day job, but most on this project. I now have almost everything done, except the parts that I just cannot do myself. I am not a graphical designer - I am not good at making highly reactive user interfaces that do so well in selling products. What I can do, I have done - and now I need to hire out a few experts to patch the holes. I could fund it myself, which would take a year or so at my current hours... but the amount I need to outsource these small portions of the site is so small, and the profit potential of the website once launched is so high, that I have decided to solicit investments to complete it quickly so that I can launch it before the end of the year so as to catch the market as it peaks.
To that end, I have created a simple (but highly functional lol) website to solicit and track investments from individual people. Rather than attempt to find a single person to fund this project, I am going to try "crowd funding" - but with a monetary return guaranteed by me. I wrote this website to relay the entire story and history of the applications, the owner of the original and my relationship and interactions with him, just for clarity. On the various pages of the site I go in to great detail about the project, what it does and how it works, how its designed etc. It explains my offer for potential investors and will track the money(s) paid in to the program for complete transparency.
In short, I am trying to raise $11,000 USD, of which $2540 has already been pledged. A person can invest as little as he or she wants, and the return will be 150% of the amount invested. The timing of the return depends on how long it takes to raise the full amount needed, or the amount raised if the target of 11k is not reached, but at worst case I am guaranteeing the return within 18 months. Furthermore, I am personally guaranteeing the return, even if the business fails after the site is complete. I am supremely confident that it will not fail however, and I anticipate all investments paid back by the end of Q1 2019. For obvious reasons I cannot guarantee that date, which is why I put 18 months in the guarantee (That is how long it would take me to repay using my salary 555).
To be clear - this is me offering this deal. Not some 3rd party. I am offering it to anyone, but am partial to people who know me, which is why I am posting it here first. In a week if the target is not reached, I will post it on Facebook where I am confident it will reach its target fairly quickly, as I am known to be trustworthy and, if I do say so myself, an awesome developer :) - I would rather not post it on facebook however, as the moment I do so ill get hounded by the old owner and his employees, and I would rather that not happen until after I launch. It is very probable that I will end up hiring his old business manager, with whom I have been in constant contact over the last 15 years, and while not very computer literate, she is an expert in the business and how to handle the customers. She is more than willing to come work for me, though I have not yet offered her the job :)
I already have over 2500 hours invested in this... and those of you who know me know I would not put that effort in unless it was a sure thing. And I am sure that it is. Just need to get it kicked up a notch.
For the full story... or if you want to partake, visit the website I set up: http://invest.nwrh.org
Warning: The bio / about and various other pages that deal in the history of the project are quite long. Sorry about that :)