This is a story. A reflection. It’s why we started our Co-Founder Startup Studio and it’s a flavour of where we’re going.
First, a bit of a backstory.
Before MOHARA was born to this world I founded a digital agency with my Dad and a friend called Prisha called Say Digital in 2011. Say Digital was a simple-ish web design and development company where we built everything from small brochure sites in 2011 to Virtual Reality content management systems by 2016 (yes, a VR CMS in 2016 – defo before its time, probably before a time that will never exist).
Throughout our glorious 5 years as an agency and rather by chance, the vast majority of our customers were early stage startups or founders. In fact, Ben Blomerley, MOHARA co-founder and COO was actually Say Digital’s first customer following his MBA at INSEAD.
What did I learn from those 5 years working with founders?
Honestly, they were struggling. They couldn’t find a partner to build their tech for what they could afford nor could they find an engineer to become their technical co-founder. If they could find someone, relationships often broke down, there wasn’t true alignment in their goals, money was spent poorly and the same mistakes were made all the time. Genuinely the exact same mistakes – another article will come on that doozy of a topic.
Almost all had been burnt and all had set some cash alight along the way. These founders were totally unsupported. However most were great, very bright people who were brave enough to give it a crack but were non-technical and often didn’t know the first thing about building products.
Through 2016 I came to realise that the opportunity of continuing to work with these driven, demanding, capital light, time short, sometimes brilliant founders was way too much to pass up ;)
Did I want to build a lifestyle agency business or build something more significant, something with a fresh take on how to build startups between the stages of pre-seed and series-A: the key formative and critical stages of every startup.
Say Digital was retired. MOHARA was born.