Diary of an Internet Startup Part 1

shoutOut on 17/6/08 by Eric in paparazzi

Issued on our biz community press office

Highlights and lowlights of Internet startup as experienced by CEO Eric Edelstein.

15th May - realization setting in that manufacturing of the first month’s design competition winners are not going to be ready in time.

21st May - second meeting with the post office. We’ve decided we’re going to do as much as possible South African. So we’re featuring South African designers, & manufacturing all parts of the Tshirts in South Africa (including buying the cotton, cutting it into Tshirts, printing the designs & all the Tzatke’s such as the badges & postcards). Wonder why we don’t make life easier for ourselves and go the “import from Asia” route like everyone else.

28th May - give a talk at the Heavy Chefs monthly get together on challenges & achievements in my life. That night get two emails from people telling me that I inspired them. Decide that although I’ve still got a lot to learn, I also have a lot to give.

30th May - lunch with a partner at a European Venture Capital firm who is considering moving to South Africa & is looking for an interesting opportunity. He likes the springleap concept.

31st May - It’s Saturday night, so allocate 2 parties 60 minutes each, and home at 10pm. The developers have been hard at work the entire week on the new website which goes live at 12.

1st June - Midnight comes and springleap is now selling tshirts online.

4th June - First 7 designs arrive in Big Blue in JHB. Realising it will take a few months to get the system closer to perfect.

5th June - The first designs arrive in Cape Town & Duncan won’t open the first box, until Josie & myself are both standing next to him to appreciate the moment.

6th June - launch the bloggers special and Chris Mills, the SA Blog Awards tech category winner, takes up the offer to buy1, blog, get1free. As I strongly believe customer service is essential to a successful business, I spontaneously decide to set a new record for delivery of an online purchase, so just before midnight (after convincing my girlfriend that a midnight drive is far more exciting than getting some sleep), drive to his address in Claremont. (I do know Chris pretty well, and know that he’ll still be hard at work). I call him outside to surprise him with his new springleap Tshirt and get a surprise myself - Chris has moved to the CBD a few days earlier but still gets his post to that address. Do a 180 and he still has a look of amazement when we arrive a short while later.

7th June - first big order online - 10 Tshirts from one customer!

11th June - give a passionate overview of springleap at Kelvin Grove to 20 Norwegian students who are in Cape Town for an Intern program. Ten of them want to do their internship with springleap - arrive at eSquared after leaving my phone off during afternoon meetings to discover 10 interns waiting to be interviewed. Allot them time slots of 15 minutes and spend the new 2.5 hours deciding I want them all, but having to make a decision which two will spend the next 3 months with springleap.

12th June - I’ve signed the lease for our new office, but the landlord first has to get the current tenants to sign a cancellation agreement before he can sign the document as well. The remainder of the first months designs arrive in Cape Town. A few days late, but we’ve got through the first month in one piece.

13th June - heated conversation with our ex CMT on the phone. He’s refusing to give us back our cotton till we’ve paid his invoice. He should be paying us after the mess he made. We wish each other a pleasant weekend, hang up and reach for our lawyer’s hotlines.

15th June - should be a peaceful Sunday before a public holiday, but feel an urgent need to have a catch up with Eran about the manufacturing side of the business. Kulula flights are more expensive than SAA, as luckily there is one of the SAA “cheap” flights remaining. The flight is less than a grand, but taxes bring it to double that!

16th June - 5.45am! Arrive at the airport to catch my flight to Durban.


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tx to everyone that sent me a mail or contacted me on skype to tell me they enjoyed reading the update

will try update the tails and chronicles of springlia (a take on narnia) on a regular basis

shoutBack on 20/6/08 by Eric

YOH man, things sound pretty heavy!
spending time with Eran I have got to see first hand how hevy the pressure really is!
Guys, this is a great concept and the peeps out there are loving it,Springleap will grow to something great!
GO Springleap GO

shoutBack on 18/6/08 by blue

can’t believe i have to wait 30 days till my next update!

SOOOO much happened during my trip to durbs the last 2 days

shoutBack on 17/6/08 by Eric