The Founder’s Fumble

Founders Fumble - Reagan Pollack

The Founder’s Fumble

When I was 20, I launched my first Internet company out of my dorm room.

The idea was simple – solve the pain for emerging, un-signed music artists struggling to get ahead in their careers in the music industry, by connecting them with record labels, managers, publishers, agents, venues and music studios on one platform.

A big goal, yes, but I knew the need was real, as I had been struggling myself to break into the industry as a musician.

Most startups emerge from a moment I like to call – the Founder’s Fumble.

The Founder’s Fumble is a moment in time where you’re up against the wall, and you can’t find a solution that solves the exact pain that you’re experiencing in your own life. Small or large, pain comes in all forms, and instead of feeling threatened by it, defeated by it, I say f*ck it, let’s solve this for everyone.

If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Why is this so hard to accomplish X”, or “How come there isn’t an easy solution that just does Y”, then you are in the middle of the Founder’s Fumble.

This is the perfect time to quit being a victim trapped by scarcity, and instead, flip the problem into an opportunity that you can capitalize on, and possibly solve for others.

Most problems that we experience as humans are shared by millions of others, however we often feel as if we are alone in the world facing that dilemma ourselves. Not true. If you’re facing it today, chances are that others have faced it before and more will face it tomorrow. Markets are only a virtual collection of humans with a shared problem set and shared solutions attempting to tackle that problem.

Problems are one of the best indicators of opportunity. Become great at identifying MORE problems, instead of just trying to think up something to “sell”.

Use the Founder’s Fumble to score a game winner for you and others. Don’t get derailed by problems; they are the hidden keys to unlocking great startups.

Here are just a few of the fumbling questions that start the journey off:


●  What’s always preventing me from achieving my intended task in this job?

●  How do other people accomplish this?

●  What are some alternative ways this can be improved?

●  Wouldn’t it be cool if this [solution] existed?

●  What if we could [do this cheaper, faster, easier, more effectively, etc]?

●  Can you think of another question you’ve asked yourself _______________?

If you have asked yourself any of the above questions, during the normal course of your life, then you could be ready to start the process of developing a potential venture, whether you know it or not. You see, not all new startups come with a formal business plan, or are conceptualized at a top Business School, rather, they happen when you’re actually failing at achieving a desired outcome that you would think, logically, should really exist, but just doesn’t.

The Founder’s Fumble: frustrating moments of life that are actually entrepreneurial kindling where sparks are [potentially] lit.