Dan Oshinsky is a 2011-12 Reynolds Fellow, and the founder of Stry, a news service launching in Spring 2012. Here on the RJI blog, Dan's putting himself inside the fishbowl to document a year in the life of a startup. Dan hopes that by being transparent with the process, others can learn from his successes, mistakes and failures.
Right now, I am in the process of hiring someone for Stry. I have never hired someone before. The person I'd like to hire is a web designer. He's the guy I want to design this website. He's got all sorts of experience. We're having a Skype chat this week to decide if we like each other and want to work with each other. (Or, more accurately: We are having a Skype chat to see if he likes me enough to work for me.)
He is going to cost me $8,000. Possibly more.
This... this is a strange thing. This is a lot of money to pay a man to, essentially, make my website look pretty. And it is especially a lot of money when you consider that a year ago, I had a budget of about $150 to get Stry.us up and running.
So for a few minutes this morning, I thought, Maybe $8,000+ is too much to make words on a screen look appealing.
But then I remembered why I had been looking for a designer in the first place: To attract new clients, I have to put myself out there. Right now, I'm the only employee at Stry, so there's only so much selling I can do in the day. I need a beautiful website to help me sell this thing.
When I put it that way, $8,000 suddenly didn't seem like that grand of an investment.
And when I think about the scale at which I'd like this business to exist, $8,000 doesn't seem like that much at all.
Want reward? Then you've got to take risks.
I just didn't know that signing a check could be so risky.