The goal of Hardly Hustle is to provide inspiration, drive and motivation in a 10 minute read or less. What you see is what you get. This is hot off the press without an editing team.
Davis Clute is up.
Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Davis Clute, and I am the CEO & Co-Founder of Hiccapop. We design, manufacture, and sell baby products over the internet - primarily on Amazon.com. I've been working on it for 5+ years, and I started it while I was a junior at Stanford University. The first business I tried to start was while I was at Stanford & it was called 'Zool.' It completely failed, and it was a great learning lesson. I then started Hiccapop 6 months later because I felt I had learned a lot & was excited to try again. I got into baby products because both my parents were in the industry & I love product design. So, I had a unique advantage & pressed it.
What did it take / how did you get started?
I mainly just wanted to start another business, and I was looking where my comparative advantage was greatest. I once heard a quote saying, "Your first business should be to make money, and your second business to leave a legacy." I always really liked that philosophy. More practically, I raised a round of funding from friends/family to buy our first product.
What does the future look like for you and your hustle?
We'll just keep doing what we're doing: selling thoughtfully-designed products with fantastic customer service. I feel we're on a good, sustainable track. We're prepared to run it indefinitely...we don't necessarily have any exit strategy. We'll continue running it like we'll own it forever. Just trying to continually improve our products & customer service.
What drives / motivates you?
Learning in general, and learning useful skills in particular. Entrepreneurship is probably the most useful skill in the world -- it's about solving problems & getting things done. It's multifaceted and endlessly fascinating. I learn a lot by reading, but I also learn by doing. Entrepreneurship is the ultimate "learning by doing" activity, which explains its appeal to me.
What advice would you give someone interested in doing what you do?
Go out & try something right now, and keep your initial commitment small. Just get going with your idea & try it. You'll mess up & learn as you go along. Secondly, though, is to keep your risk minimal. Don't quit your job & take out a second mortgage. Avoid committing resources whenever possible...keep the journey low-stress. If you're doing it correctly, the only "risk" you have is a bruised ego.
What has been the hardest part of the hustle?
Patience. Business does not happen quickly. A tree will grow at the rate that it grows...you cannot speed it up. Recognizing that has probably been the hardest part for me.
What are a few resources that you'd recommend?
Jeff Bezos and Warren Buffett are great resources for any serious businessperson. Y Combinator has some good resources as well.
Side or full-time hustle?
List the founders
Myself & 2 other co-founders.
How many hours a week do you work on this hustle?
# of Employees?
When did you start?
How much did it cost to launch?
What were your funding methods and ballpark amount raised?
The only money we raised was an initial family/friends round. We've built the business 100% through internal cash flow since then.
Any call to action?
If you're reading this: go out & try to start something tomorrow. Don't worry about being perfect. Just pick an idea that's relatively simple & run with it. Don't bite off more than you can chew, and start small.