Hi, I'm Jan König 👋. I'm one of the founders of Jovo, 28 years old, and live in Berlin. < Go back to learn more.

What do cereals have to do with cockroaches?

When money is about to run out (and the business model doesn't provide enough revenue to grow organically from the beginning on), many startups take freelance jobs or do other stuff to get some money, besides an investment. 

We chose to walk this path a few months ago, and it has been a rough ride, as we always had to juggle between agency work and our own product. This is why we're constantly trying to come up with creative ways to make additional revenue, to give us room to focus on HashtagNow.

Sometimes, this reminds us of the AirBnb cereal story: during the presidential election 2008, they designed boxes of cereal with the faces of the presidential candidates, and sold them for $39 each. A PR stunt that also made them $30,000.

2008, due to the economic crisis, it was tough for founders to attract investors, and reportedly Paul Graham, the founder of YCombinator, wasn't too impressed by the idea. But when he heard about their grit, and creativity to fund their startup with cereal boxes, he accepted them to the accelerator. Because at the time he was looking for cockroaches (rather than unicorns🦄,) that can survive a crisis.

Disclaimer: I'm not a huge fan of all these different terms! However, I really love this Airbnb story as it shows that you don't necessarily have to do the conventional way all the time.
 
Keep cockroachin'
-Jan

Sign Up

In this newsletter, I try to reflect on my learnings of building an open source startup. Join 89 subscribers who receive a weekly email from me: