The Start-Up Diaries

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Do you know what these letters mean – MVP, CAC, LTV? Good for you if you do. If asked that question two years ago I would have suggested: a) Morse Code b) Freemason’s titles or c) an entirely new form of gibberish.  A year ago, I still wouldn’t have been able to answer. However, I would be able to sprinkle them into conversation with seeming authority. And now today, I can reel them off with my eyes closed, standing on my head – Minimum Viable Product, Cost of Acquiring a Customer, Lifetime Value. The last two years have been a tornado of sales pitches, work-appropriate dresses, customer acquisition and animal print IPad cases. It was two years ago since the Mc Ginn sisters made the brave and bonkers decision to quit their full-time jobs (the security! the wages!) and hatch together a business of sorts. Giddy with enthusiasm and naiveté, we fashioned together what we thought was a business plan explaining our aim to take over the world. Somebody, somewhere took a chance (pity?) on us and decided to give us an opportunity to enter the Irish ‘start-up’ scene.

For those of you unaware, the Irish start-up-scene is a collision of business entrepreneurs, fast-moving technology and weird and wonderful ideas. We went from fashion blogging in our bedrooms into a business programme that nurtures start-up talent through mentoring, seed-funding and investor pitching. We rocked up on day one in our heels and our wowzer trousers and our statement jewellery and were confronted with a sea of men wearing matching jeans and shirts talking about how they were going to build the next great Dropbox or Facebook. We nearly trotted right out of there. But we persevered and got to know these men in their jeans and their new language and we ended up on a journey that took us through two businesses, right to this point – about to launch a new piece of technology that we hope will disrupt the online shopping model. A two-year crash-course in real-life business. We won awards, we broke barriers, we got rejected, we got rejected again, we cried (yes we cried – in the office), we froze in front of audiences, we did outstanding sales pitches, we hired people, we managed people, we almost quit and then really almost quit and we kept going and we’re here. We’re still here. We’re still here and we know all the business jargon that counts. And we’re more determined than ever. This is going to be the first column of what we hope will be a fun and educative piece about OPSH and the Mc Ginn Sister’s journey through a fashionable business life.

Jennie McGinn @jenniemcginn

Photo by Anthony Woods

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