Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Back in Alberta for the Summer

Mike managed to squeak out a week in Maz with me before we both flew back to Calgary on the 22nd.  We used some timeshare points and stayed at El Cid for the week.  That gave me a chance to go to the apartment and pack it up - some stuff to go into storage and the rest to cull, wash and bring back to Alberta - without having to live in a state of disruption.  And its nice to have your room cleaned every day.

The internet connection is okay at El Cid - if you sit by the window facing the pool, or on the little patio over the pool.  If Mike and I tried to get online at the same time, it would act up.  And they made a big deal of not charging us for internet!  Mike did have to spend more time working than he wanted to - there were Skype meetings every day for several days - but he got in lots of pool time and getting around town, eating and drinking.  The ocean for some reason was VERY rough the whole week, with big waves and high tides, so we didn't do much swimming in it.

I have been home since late Saturday night (or, really, early Sunday morning) and I haven't been outside or gone anywhere yet.  This is Tuesday night.  I picked up something nasty on the plane ride home and have not been well ever since.  Still, I've got a lot of work done, catching up on mail and bills.  My garden (such as it is) was full of weeds, and the grass is green, trees are with leaves.  But my mind is still in Maz.

Mike has some following up to do on his investor presentation - everyone that expressed interest had asked him to wait until June 1 anyway.  The May long weekend is a biggy here and a lot of people take a vacation around it.  He also has a new consulting gig lining up in Miami.  He'll have to spend some time there this summer but some of it will be done remotely from here.  I really have no interest in going to Miami in summer so I will just stay here.  It would be so great to get a nice investment in OFE so that he didn't have to go off and do consulting elsewhere, and just focus on OFE.

Maybe you can tell I am a little down in the dumps right now - combination of readjusting to being back here and being sick.  I'll get over it.

Monday, 10 May 2010

Everyone - Cross your fingers!

Its amazing how one day just flows into another here in Maz.  When I came back down last time on April 6, I thought I would just be here a couple of weeks and go back.  I needed to come down to pay April's rent in cash but thought, well, its spring in Alberta, I won't feel the need to stay in Maz as much as I do in mid-winter.  Plus, I thought no-one else would be coming down and I would get lonely since all the snowbirds were heading home.  But here it is a month later!  The days just fly by even when I'm not doing much.  And now Mike "thinks" he will be able to squeeze out a week down here, starting Saturday.  Ditto one of my sons, Tim.  So, I'm content to be here.  It really is a great pleasure to me that I can wake up and do whatever I feel like, eat when I want to, cook or not cook (mostly not cook) and not have to consult anyone else.  I wouldn't want to do that forever though.  I love being married to Mike, and being with him is almost as easy as being by myself.  I must be some kind of weirdo to love my solitude so much.

My writing project is cancelled.  Lets just say personality conflict and leave it at that.  I found a book recently that I have ordered online called "Nothing to Lose" by a young, serial entrepreneur who has started 6 businesses by the age of 30 and has made multi-millions.  The book is his autobiography and a "how-to" book.  I haven't read it yet so I can't attest to whether its any good, but his story certainly impresses me.

One day, I am going to write a book called "Everything to Lose".  To my mind, starting a business with nothing to lose is a lot easier, especially when you are young.  Mike and I have everything to lose.  Such risks are not for the faint-hearted.

Tomorrow, Mike is presenting to a group of angel investors after toughing out the criticism and feedback from the workshop guys.  On Thursday, he will present again to another group.  All of them are Albertans.  He has been before these group before, 2 years ago, and got nowhere.  Still, our hopes are high.  Its a different business and we have "matured".  To these guys, the fact that we are still around to take another run at them is very positive.  We have also submitted the Executive Summary to a group in Silicon Valley, California which runs annual events to bring startups and investors together in a marathon of presentations.  Only 30 startups are chosen to present.  Two years ago, Qtility was chosen as one of those 30 and Mike went down to attend and give a  presentation.  Again, it went nowhere - BUT, like this local group in Alberta, the fact that we are still here and re-submitting should garner some attention.  We'll see.  They haven't finished choosing the 30 yet.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Some hopeful signs

Mike has been working with a group of fellow startups and potential investors to perfect his presentation for raising investment in OneFileEverywhere.  He is taking a thumping!  Mike is very good at what he does, but presenting and creating presentations is not one of those things.  He has a very technical mind and tries to put too much techie stuff into it, assuming everyone understands it too.  They don't.  So, he has been sent back to the drawing board again and again - make it simple, take out 90% of those details!  He also gets to see others presentations and learn from them.  However, one guy paid $2K to a professional to create his presentation for him!  I said, well, maybe its worth it.  One investor who was there, helping to coach, said to Mike - see what that guy just did? Just do that.  Mike said it was a great presentation, very relaxed and simple.  But the investor guy also said to Mike - while your presentation kind of sucks (not really, I'm paraphrasing), your idea is extremely exciting and has a far bigger potential than that guy's.  Mike was very pleased to hear that!

So, its back to the drawing board for Mike.  The other positive development is the working prototype.  Andy and another developer in India (an employee of our partners) have been working together for months and have made great headway lately.  There was a demonstration done last week for the team (they do these things online through GotoMeeting or somesuch because the team is everywhere on the planet) and it got them all very excited.  I can only imagine how much more could be done if everyone could work on this full-time.  But without investment, everyone has to work elsewhere to pay the bills.  But I am more and more confident that you will see OneFileEverywhere and our logo soon!

I am still here in Mazatlan but will be heading back to Okotoks on Friday, I think.  Maybe the following Wed.  We'll see.  Still working on lining up a place for next winter.  The weather is still great - not too hot, always a breeze.  We are no longer cash-strapped so I don't have to pinch pesos and can enjoy going out more - even taking the occasional pulmonia instead of a bus!