It’s as simple as the title reads – Always have a backup for a fuckup. Be it life, work or play, always have a BUFU. Because ol’ man Murphy came up with a law “Anything that can go wrong, can and will go wrong”
It’s a term I’ve been living on, off late. Been going through a Rahukaala (bad omen or phase) of sorts and some sheer bad luck. It can hit anyone of us. But the backup is what always saves you at the end of the day. In today’s world, you can’t afford to go wrong on something you’re working on. Clients will have insane expectations from you. Failure is just not acceptable. You need to figure out a way to get it done, without the client noticing the fuckup.
I’m discussing about BUFU’s because today was the third time a close friend is telling me of wanting to quit their job and startup
on their ‘ideas’ or ‘plan’. It’s either frustration at work, or not being appreciated for their talent, or just plain just bored.
But here’s the thing you need to know before jumping the bandwagon. Almost nobody makes it through smoothly. There’s so many things that can and will go wrong.
The first 3 years will be your toughest. You’ll go broke multiple times, scream your lungs out at the govt., run behind clients for payments, and crib that customers don’t appreciate ‘art’.
Unless of course,
- You have some heavenly angel investing a truckload of money in your idea.
- You’re a child prodigy. And if you’re reading this, you probably are not.
First off, when I was done with college and started my own venture, in no time I was hired by another company(1st December) to work there part-time, and then later on full time. I worked there for 5 years, and only left when I was no longer of value to them, and I was able to run my own venture on my own. Come to think of it, I was relying on my BUFU, even before I knew what a BUFU was.
The second thing was that I always transitioned. I started off as a backend web developer, making websites. Then became a front end designer. Then slowly I picked up photography. Then again transitioned into a filmmaker. Not once did I say ‘Hey, I like this idea better. Let me do this instead’ and jump ship completely. There was a lot of trial and error. Lots of learning. In fact, it took me 2 years to transition from covering weddings to only adventure sports full time.
Lastly. No one is going to invest in your idea, just because you think it’s going to work. You have no proof of concept, sales or customers. You need all this to convince someone to part with their money. This takes time, and money, which you most likely don’t have after quitting your job(well maybe time, you do). You’re banking everything you have for this to work at the first go. It rarely happens that way.
The ideal solution however, is to start working towards your goal while you still have your job, while you still have a backup to fall on, incase things go south. Start cheap. Start small. Make demos and hand it out to friends. Take critical feedback. If they like it, they will automatically recommend you to others. And that’s how word of mouth with help you grow initially. Reach out to friends in the same industry for help.
This will also give you insights on what works and doesn’t work. Refine your product. Know what your market truly wants. You are able to make changes easily when you’re small. Imagine launching a new product, having thousands of them ready, only to realise it would’ve sold only if you had chosen a better colour? The loss would’ve been lesser if you had to just change the colour of 10 pieces.
TL;DR (Too long, didn’t read)
- Always have a backup for a fuckup.
- Don’t quit your job suddenly, but transition from job to venture when your idea is working well.
- Ideate and iterate when the idea is still small.
- Buy me beer if this has helped you. Or a hard disk. I’m running out of space to backup.