A couple of months ago, I walked past a quote someone painted on a NYC sidewalk that read: “your life is more important than your fear.” I took a picture, Instagrammed it, and posted it on Facebook, because it completely resonated with me. And I can’t think of a more perfect quote to open with, because being part of a startup is terrifying. The startup is the quintessential steel cage match between fear and life. It makes you question your abilities, your instincts, and your ideas.
Human beings have, on average, 70,000 ideas per day. If you’re like us, those thoughts can range from “what is a reasonable serving of potato chips?” to “are these jeans flattering on me?” to “I’d love to move to the Caribbean.” And sometimes, somewhere between the thoughts of self-doubt and fantasy, an idea plants itself. An idea that doesn’t let you go; an idea that you obsess over. BattleShop began with that idea.
It also began in a living room on Long Island. One minute we were a couple of friends having a conversation and the next, we were plotting the outline of a game. It happened that quickly. We knew we were on to something, but couldn’t even anticipate that someday we’d make it to beta testing. We weren’t well funded (and are, in fact, still bootstrapping it!). We’ve watched Project Runway and What Not to Wear, but never considered ourselves fashion experts. We had never created a website from start to finish. We all have other jobs, families, interests, and hobbies to occupy our time. But the idea had us. Whether we sold the idea to ourselves or it sold itself, we’ll never remember. As anyone who has started a venture into the unknown will tell you: you didn’t even know what you could do, until you had to do it. And here we are, hoping to make a place for BattleShop at the fashion table.
We see fashion as a platform for conversation, connection, and expression. We see fashion as common ground to connect with others and share ideas. We want our players and our peers – shopaholics and fashionistas alike – to feel like they’re a part of a community. Fashion isn’t just what we wear or the clothes we buy, it’s an expression of who we are and how we feel. Fashion isn’t just on the runway, it’s in our hearts and our minds – the identities we present to the world are formed where those hearts and minds meet the street.
Don’t get me wrong – being part of a startup isn’t always sunshine and rainbows. The downside of an exciting idea is the tendency to overbake the cake. The last thing you want to do as a startup is let the evolution of the idea prevent you from getting to the product itself. There is a natural tension between the creative process and the production process – and the very best ideas can get bogged down in scope creep (which is the business equivalent of overdoing it at the fro-yo toppings bar because everything looks awesome). You love your idea, so you spin it out a thousand different ways and directions, but the at some point you have to say: “we’re going with this.” As Sheryl Sandberg once said, “Done is better than perfect.”
Well, being done is finally within our reach. And we know it will be just the beginning – the real work of a startup begins once it actually starts doing its thing. So to you, our blossoming community of peers, influencers, and followers, we’re asking for your follows, your likes, your retweets, pins and plusses, but most of all, we’re asking for your support and your feedback. Thank you to those who have supported us so far, and we look forward to great things ahead.
We’re going to put out teasers and explanations of the game within the next week, but until then, if you have any questions, please feel free to message us and ask! (And, we’re looking for guest bloggers, so hit us up!)
[Beta testing starts February 17th! Check out our first press release!]