Straight lines and failed business plans

Aaron McHugh

A+B=C… right?

The shortest distance from Point A to Point B is a straight line. In mathematics this is true, but is it true in life?

What if life doesn’t work this way?

Straight lines and failed business plans - Aaron McHugh Work Life Play Podcast

Let me tell you a story.

A buddy and I had an idea for a company in 1999, It was going to be brilliant. Long before social media, before Facebook, Ning, Twitter, Flicker, LinkedIn, we had this idea that people in cubicles wanted to be socially connected. We envisioned each cubicleplanet member being united in the Global connection by plotting their cubicle with GPS coordinates on the Global CubiclePlanet map.

Every college kid in his dorm was getting $2.xM in funding, or so we thought. So, we entered contests, wrote a business plan (which was pathetic), printed t-shirts, cut a radio commercial, and waited for our millions to roll in.

Nothing happen.

We did not win any of the “Eat dinner with a VC” contests. No rich uncle stepped up to offer us seed money.


I was doing some guiding in the mountains on the weekends. And one of my clients left his shovel in my car after our winter survival outing.

He was a CFO at a local software startup. I had to drop off his snow shovel on Monday. I asked, “Would you read my business plan?” He said “Great idea, but you’ll never get money for it. Come work for us instead.”

The straight line theory is idea>business plan>funding=millionaire.

Or, is there another theory? What about having the courage to dream the outlandish, ridiculous, bad idea (too early for the market) that leads the way for the next opportunity.

idea>business plan>forgotten shovel>want a job>launches a career in software sales=priceless

So, is it failure? Or, is it courage? Failure is a perspective.

Which will it be for you?

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