As entrepreneurs, most of us should be lucky if we can start 1 company that survives the 2-year mark. According to statistics, an estimated 90% of new startups fail. 34% of startups close within their first two years.
I consider myself to be super lucky to be a part of 3 companies that did not just survive the 2 years but actually thrived.
- Misfit Technologies — A technology development company with local and global clients that even during this troubled year raked in almost 1.5m USD in revenue and offices in Bangladesh and Myanmar
- Alice — A Bangladeshi AI startup that boasts fortune 500 clients. Also hoping to share some good news on the investment side soon (not going to jinx it)
- iFarmer — Closest to my heart. iFarmer crossed 1m USD in annual revenue in 2020 and has impacted the lives of more than 6000 farmers.
When I look back, it all started with 4 people, who wanted to work with crazy ideas and yet turn them into sustainable businesses and naively named themselves “Misfits”.
When we started we were kind of outsiders, a development practitioner, a sales and marketing person, an engineer almost fresh out of University, and a Project Manager, we did not really know what we were doing, and we never wasted any time trying to connect the dots. We were passionate about the products and services we wanted to build and ignored every rejection, and people telling us “oh this will not work”.. “ it is not scalable”. Who cares whether your idea is sustainable or scalable when you are having fun building it,you are like a sculptor with a chisel and a hammer, turning your ideas into reality, and not giving it a damn whether it turns out to be a masterpiece or not.
Over the years, things have changed from doing things out of passion to getting more organized, thinking about scale and sustainability. But one thing that hasn’t changed is probably the four of us still being naive and foolish :D.
I don’t think we are successful yet as statistics also say only 50% of businesses make it to their fifth year. We still have a lot of things to prove to ourselves, to our partners, investors, and customers, and our mission to put Bangladesh on the map. Hats off to all the startup founders in the country who, beyond building successful businesses are also on this mission.
But today, I don’t want to look back, I want to look forward and this team (of Misfit, Alice, and iFarmer) that turned from 4 to 80+ over the last 3 years gives me and the 4 of us the strength to constantly remain naive, continue to question the status quo, and yet dream big.
I don’t want to thank the team yet, because I believe we have just started, but I am grateful to them for believing in us. But I do want to thank our family and friends without whose support 4 of us might have gotten lost in our journey.
With that and a quote from Mark Twain, signing off from 2020 and Wishing You all a HAPPY NEW YEAR. May the force be with us!
“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover”