@everyone Just a heads up, since posting this I took the advice and went out on a limb. I pitched the idea at a Techstars Startup Weekend event and won 1st place! The second I got off the stage I was surrounded by VC stating "Stay here in San Antonio, build the company here and you have funding." I was shocked!
I quit my job as an engineer 2 days later and went full time on this new venture. That was in September 2016. Since then we (my team of now 12) have built out a manual beta version, gained traction and are preparing to accept funding for our seed round of investments :) In just 2 weeks of launching our manual beta we have already secured hundreds of dealerships as well as multiple paying customers. Take in mind that this was just supposed to be a manual test to validate the model so we could justify spending money to develop the software, we were in no way prepared for the overnight adoption.
Without the nudge from you guys/gals I would not have taken that leap to talk about my company.
Long story short, Thanks.
@David Thank for the support! I would love to give some feedback.
Q1: The idea was already out there (not exact but either way, my assumptions changed once I tested it with REAL customers)
Q2: We do have a legal team who is protecting our proprietary information (things we've learned since) but no we didn't protect the idea, not before disclosing at the competition.
Q3: Ideas only matter in the sense of, it needs to make sense (to be a viable business) but beyond that.. it truly is all about execution.
Just because I won a business competition based on an idea, that means nothing.. I had to my amazing team, we all quit our jobs to work 7 days a week 12-16 hours a day for 3 months before ever launching even our manual beta. There have been 5+ companies that tried to do something similar and have failed miserably, it was truly about execution, smart spending, timing and a little bit about luck.
I would love to share my experience in depth with anyone who would be interested. Feel free to reach out.
Congratulations Bret, saw your story here:
Fun to read what had happened in your world in the past 9 months! :-)
This is a great story Bret. You have inspired me as I am in a similar situation that you were in - afraid to share my good idea but know I have to to get it launched. I need a great team to get my project launched. Thank you!