This is the beginning of Sage’s blog to document our journey from idea conception to eventual realization and ultimately, success. It’s nice to meet you, dear readers. My name is Peter Yeargin. I’ve been working in the IT field for my entire career, and pretty much, my entire life. I didn’t begin getting paid for it until after I graduated from Clemson University with my degree in computer engineering. But I did have a TRS-80 from the time I was 4 years old.
I remember those days fondly as I was learning the basics (pardon the pun) of basic programming, figuring out how to move my cursor around on a “graphical” screen, and changing text colors. My favorite experiences were dialing up with my 1200 baud modem to bulletin boards, taking my turns on the first versions of multiplayer online games, and then heading off to school in the morning. Galactic Warzone was the name of one of those games and it was absolutely addicting to a little kid getting his first experiences in the online world. I also had a few cartridge games like Dungeons of Daggaroth, a game made famous through the publishing of the book, Ready Player One. This one also consumed countless hours as I tried to make it down to level 5 and defeat that evil wizard.
But I digress. We’re here to talk about the founding of Sage, an on-demand advice platform. Before I get into what Sage really is, I want to explain why I’ve created this blog and what we’ll be writing about here.
First thing’s first – creating a startup is HARD work. Let nobody tell you otherwise. The number of moving pieces and parts required to pull together an outcome worthy of “launch” is difficult to fathom until you’re really in the thick of things. To that end, I’ve decided to write about my journey in founding Sage, including all the various steps I took to create the vision, the struggles I went through to finally get Sage off the ground, and hopefully, the insider’s view of how a startup can become successful.
This will include many different aspects of founding a startup. To name a few:
- Defining a Startup – what makes up a startup and what does it mean to actually found one?
- Assessing validity – when is a good idea worth pursuing?
- Getting it off the ground – shepherding an idea from your head to something real?
- Establishing your trusted board of advisors – creating a network of advisors and coaches
- Finding a Partner – sole proprietorship or with a partner(s)
- Spending intelligently – identifying what expenditures are necessary or just nice to have
- Choosing the right tools – what are the critical apps and tools every startup should know and use?
- Pivoting or persevering – making mistakes quickly and iterating fast
Some of you may ask from whence came my inspiration for this blog. Yes, I just used the word whence and I’m quite proud of myself! Back to the question — in 2014, Alex Blumberg made the decision to leave the NPR podcast, This American Life, to start his own podcasting business. Being an amazing content creator, he decided that an audience would be thrilled by taking the journey with him and watching his terrible mistakes and crash and burn experiences. The name of the podcast he created to track this is called Startup and you can find it on iTunes. Alex ended up founding Gimlet Media and earning enough seed money ($15M) to create a formidable lineup of new podcast content. Ultimately, he had the last laugh on himself when Gimlet was acquired by Spotify in 2019 for $230M.
I happened upon Startup very early after its launch during a long road trip and was instantly enthralled. Here was a moderately successful guy, taking a chance to get into the startup world, and absolutely AIRING out his dirty laundry along the way. It was fascinating content and still my favorite podcast of all time. Do yourself a favor and download the first couple of seasons from Spotify or iTunes.
That said, Startup the podcast was and is my inspiration to create this blog. I plan to document as much of my personal startup experience as humanly possible. It’s important to me and I believe it can help many others. I think people want to learn from others, and they also appreciate a beginning and an end to a story. It’s why we read books still, despite so much overwhelming content on the Internet.
We’re at the beginning now. I’m not sure where or when the end will come, but it sure will be a fun and crazy ride. I’m looking forward to sharing it with you.