The road to success is filled with many parking spaces. Most of them are at the base of a huge mountain or a steep valley. Along the road to success, you will pass by countless others who started out on the same or similar journey. For one reason or another they picked a parking space and ended their quest. It is a rare quality to continue on in the face of untold obstacles.
When I began the journey to establish and build tagvillage, inc., I knew there would be mountains and valleys we must surpass. Of all the various struggles we would encounter, known and unknown, I was keenly aware of two major obstacles we would continually encounter. From the outset I knew we would face continuous financial hurdles, as most fledgling enterprises do. In addition, I was extremely concerned with an issue that could undermine our entire business model if we were not able to find a solution.
It is purpose that drives one to success. The journey is not enough. When one faces overwhelming obstacles, the only thing that will push them through is purpose. Every day, I envision a time when tagvillage will be delivering millions, even tens of millions of dollars to worthy causes around the globe. It is the unquenchable desire to see our company positively affect the globe forever that drives every minute of my day. And, it is this purpose that forces me to persevere, no matter what obstacles we face.
From the beginning, we have struggled financially. We anticipated financial capital that never materialized as expected. Even though we continue to struggle to find investors we still continue to operate and move forward each month, although I admit it is at a snail’s pace. From the very beginning we have faced a major issue that could undermine our entire business model and put us completely out of business. Yet, we continue to face this challenge head on every day. I will not accept failure as an option. I have mandated to our developers, board members, directors, and others directly involved in company operations that the only option is success. Our purpose is too important.
One of my jobs as CEO of tagvillage is to assess the obstacles we face as a company. I must prioritize each challenge so that our energy is properly deployed. For the most part the obstacles we encounter are manageable. Very few obstacles are outside the scope of our intelligence, experience, skills, or desire to overcome. However, from the onset of our business until now, there is one major obstacle that seems to be our Mount Everest.
When I formed tagvillage, inc. in September of 2010, I expected capitalization from investors to be difficult, but not impossible. I knew we were facing a dismal global economy. I knew very few people or organizations were investing in start-up enterprises. However, I knew we had a solid concept, a capable team, and a winning business plan. I thought for sure we would be able to raise at least $1 Million our first year and $3-5 Million our second. Unfortunately, to this day, investment capital has been our greatest struggle.
I am proud of the fact that our company is open and honest with our members, clients, and investors. We tend to communicate more than most businesses would consider. So, in keeping with our nature of transparency, I must admit we are very far behind our plans for development. We are at least one year behind the point I expected to be at this time. Due to a severe lack of capital, we have been forced to make continuous cuts to our development team. Therefore, progress has suffered. To this date, we have only been able to raise an accumulated amount of under $100,000 from investors during our first 2 years. We are over $2 Million behind our capital needs and expectations.
Without investment capital, we simply cannot move forward quickly. It takes capital investment to pay for programmers, servers, trademarks, patents, managers, offices, phones, and all other things necessary to develop and grow a business. We have somehow managed to get this far with under $100,000 in capital. If we had the capital necessary, we could grow much faster. We could hire more developers. We could more effectively manage and operate the business. We could reach milestones in a more timely fashion.
Failure is not an option. Our only option is success. Our purpose is too important. Therefore, I have challenged our board of directors to form a capitalization committee with the sole purpose of seeking and attaining investment capital. As they hunt for investors, we will continue to develop our software and grow our business, at a snail’s pace. One way or other, we will scale every mountain and cross every valley. We will persevere.
An Incurable Disease
When we began developing our business model I noticed a very important issue which I felt we must address. The issue directly affects proprietary concepts and software relevant to the entire operation of our company. I established a team including myself and three of our most brilliant developers to address the problem. We began working in October of 2010 to find a solution. We have struggled continuously to this day.
The particular issue we are facing is so severe that it has completely prevented the release of our advertising platform. It is so severe that it stands directly in our way of engaging advertisers with long-term commitments. It is so severe that over 90% of the advertisers we have negotiated with refuse to engage our services at all until an acceptable solution is provided by our company.
I have begun to think of this particular issue as an incurable disease. It is the current opinion of the team working to resolve this issue that our company needs around $2.5 Million dollars, 2 years, and ten or fifteen full-time developers to resolve the problem.
Unfortunately, two weeks ago, we reached a point in our development cycle where nothing can move forward until this incurable disease is cured. There are no other aspects of our site that can be developed, advertising sales that can be made, or platforms that can be released or enhanced without a solution. We reached a point where everything must stand as is until this problem is resolved.
Failure is not an option. Our only option is success. Our purpose is too important. One way or another, we will scale every mountain and cross every valley. We will persevere.
A Brilliant Stroke of Genius
Let’s pretend you were the developer of a brand-new high rise building. You spent years creating the blueprints, acquiring the land, receiving the zoning and construction rights, and raising the capital and assets needed to build the project. According to your original plans, the project would be completed one year after construction began. However, three months into construction you found there was a fatal flaw in the design that would cause the entire building to collapse the first day you opened the doors.
You scramble to find solutions to the problem. After weeks of engineering meetings, you are offered two solutions:
|1.||You can retrofit your current design and construction with an engineering solution that will allow your existing building to stand. This solution will cost three times as much as originally planned. It will cause construction to expand to three years instead of one. And, in the end, there is a 5-10% chance the building could still collapse at some point.|
|2.||You can demolish the current building and start over again with a brand-new design. This new design is solid and will not collapse. The new design will cost you half as much as your original design. And, construction will be complete 6 months after it begins.|
Which option would you choose?
I think it is safe to assume you would choose option number 2. No matter how much you love the way the existing building looks, or would look when it is completed, you realize it is not worth the investment or the risk. No matter how it may hurt your feelings or affect the feelings of others, you know it is best to demolish the existing structure and start over.
Last week, a similar proposition came across my desk. We have been struggling with a fatal flaw in our design for nearly two years now. Our team currently feels we can retrofit our software at a cost of $2.5 Million, 2 years, and added manpower. However, they feel their solution only has 50-50 chance of success. The entire operation may still come crashing down. Or, we can demolish our existing platform and build a brand new one with a better design. This new design will cost less to build. It requires fewer developers. It will take less time. And, we are confident it will meet the needs of advertisers globally.
Last week we began reorganizing our capitalization plans, management operations, and development processes. We believe we have a solution that will entirely remove our need to cure the incurable disease. We can eliminate all the energy, time, and money needed to address this critical issue. We can deliver a product to market in a timely manner. We can market this product and attract advertisers of all sizes and types. For the first time in 2 years, I see a light at the end of an overwhelmingly long tunnel. You cannot begin to understand the relief I felt as the weight of the past few years was lifted from my shoulders.
Our capitalization committee still needs to find investors. However, they now have a much smaller need to meet. Our development team still needs to work diligently on our software. However, they now have a blue-print in place that is without permanent roadblocks. Our marketing team still needs to develop plans to sell our product. However, they now do not have to overcome an almost impossible objection.
I have been dealing with an incredible internal struggle for many months now. Sometimes I felt like we were giving our members promises of a future that would never come. It was a heavy weight to bear. I wanted to encourage our members to keep the faith and continue trading Tags. However, I knew we were facing a challenge we may not overcome. I was dreading the day I would be forced to admit we had failed our purpose, our members, our investors, and ourselves. For almost two years we have struggled against an insurmountable obstacle. We have trudged ahead until we reached a point where we felt we could continue no longer. I was beginning to feel we had begun an unrealistic journey to reach an impossible goal. I was feeling I it was time to disclose the inevitable.
It’s funny how moments like these bring unexpected vision. Facing a giant mountain in our path, our blinders prevented us from seeing the obvious. It is far better to go around the mountain than attempt to climb over it or tunnel through it. We are now already well on our way around the mountain.
I know you have been faithful to tagvillage all this time. I know you believe in our purpose as strongly as I do. I know you anticipate the day tagvillage will provide the steady, growing income you so well deserve because of your Tag Trading efforts. I want you to know that I am as committed to your success as you are. Failure is not an option. Our only option is success. Our purpose is too important. One way or another, we will scale, or go around every mountain and cross every valley. We will persevere.
I know this is a very long article filled with far too much information. However, I want to tell you what we are working on now and what you can expect over the next few weeks and months.
| ||Our capitalization committee is working diligently to find investors and attain the proper amount of capital needed to complete our project. There is no way to determine how long this will take, but they will work every day until they complete their task.|
| ||Our development team is already working on our new blueprint. While this new blueprint is easier to develop, it will depend entirely upon the ability of our capitalization team to bring in capital. Therefore, the time necessary to complete the project can only be determined by the time necessary to find investors.|
| ||Many members have invested a lot of money into the Millionaires Club. I want you to know that I personally feel obligated to you. I will do nothing less than to ensure this is the best investment you ever make in your tagvillage business. There are only a few positions remaining in the club. We will NOT accept any memberships after June 30, 2012. Due to delays in software development and delays in negotiating with advertisers, we may be forced to delay the distribution of referrals. We may also be forced to extend the distribution period. I want you to know that we will expand the distribution of advertiser and publisher referrals to whatever point necessary to ensure that every single position in the club will receive a MINIMUM of 5 advertiser or publisher referrals IN ADDITION to any bonus referrals they expect. No matter how long it takes, every single position will get a MINIMUM of 5 advertiser or publisher referrals.|
| ||As a side note, if you are expecting a payout on June 20th, you can convert it into a Millionaires Club membership for a discount! If you are expecting a payout, you can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and ask them to convert it to a membership position. Send them your username and the type and quantity of each membership you wish to convert.|
| ||Base Member Conversion Price - $45|
Power Member Conversion Price - $80
Mogul Member Conversion Price - $100
We will work as hard as we possibly can to reach our goals. I feel much more confident we have achievable objectives in front of us now. We still need to raise investment capital, but it is a much more attainable amount now. We still need to develop our software and reach certain milestones, but they are much more reachable. I have never before felt more confident in our ability to accomplish our mission. Failure is not an option. Our only option is success. Our purpose is too important. One way or another, we will scale, or go around every mountain and cross every valley. We will persevere.