Cast Blog: #SILICONVALLEY

Kim Quits!

Kim Talks Shonova

Ending the Friendship with Sarah

David's GoalSponsors Progress

David's Start-Up Advice

Hermione's Start-Up Meltdown

Is Sarah the White Oprah?

Ben and Hermione's Brawl

What's Ben Worth?

Sarah Defines Date-Cheating

A 'When Harry Met Sally' Relationship

Sarah's Guide to Dating Geeks

Sarah, Jay, and Hermione's Love Triangle

"Dating in Silicon Valley Sucks!"

Stuck in Between Sarah and Jay

The SXSW Debacle

How (Not to) Pitch for Investment

Just Say "Yes"

No Such Thing as a Free Lunch

David's 'Twilight'-esque Complexion

Kim Quits!

Kim dishes on her big decision.

New beginnings and sudden endings! Episode 4 we cover me FINALLY quitting my job to do my first start-up Shonova. Many of you saw this coming. We also cover the less glamorous side of start-up life, which happens to include emotional breakdowns (which we all have). Hang in there, Hermione!
 
Quitting
 
Moving to San Francisco was purely a career move for me. My original plan was to join an education start-up in New York. Like many people who move for work in the beginning, I had no friends, worked insane hours, and was terribly homesick. Most of my friends in Chicago I had known for 10+ years.
 
Quitting was a huge and very personal decision for me, since I felt I sacrificed so much of personal life the past two years for Ampush.
 
My boss Jesse is the best (and last) person I’ll ever work for. Needless to say I was nervous about giving my notice. When you are at an early stage start-up, you become a family.
 
Understanding the risk, I give up half of my equity to leave. A typical vesting schedule at a start-up is 4 years. This means if you own 4% of a company you will vest 1% each year. Equity a big incentive to join a very early stage start-up. You usually take a large pay cut but are also compensated with equity or stock options. If you leave before you are vested you lose the equity.
 
Sometimes you have to give up good for great. I don’t think everyone should quit their job and join a start-up, but in my case it was something I had been planning on doing for 3 years. I want to build a great product (and company) that delights users. I prepared for not being able to pay myself for a year or longer (not uncommon for a start-up founder).
 
Calling Mom: I'm So Gen Y
 
I didn’t tell my parents when I was quitting my job in Chicago to move to SF. Most people told me it was a dumb/terrible decision. It was high risk at the time. However no one understands your situation as well as you do. I'm 30 and it was important for me to make the decision myself. This case was similar.
 
Why leave without a concrete idea? Ideas matter but aren’t as important as you think. It’s more important to solve a problem in a big emerging market. For me it’s luxury fashion. Equally important is building the team and execution.
 
Oh and then I cry over my cabernet. It was an incredibly overwhelming day for me to share on camera. My job was a huge part of my identity and it was strange to be leaving it behind for the unknown. But this place does something to you and you become a product of the environment.Girls’ Night + Dwight: New Beginnings
 
I have a close group of girlfriends I lean on for everything, and yes, we buy our own bottle service! There are amazing start-ups out there that will also help you easily split this cost between friends like Crowdtilt and Pay by Group that can also be more economical options than paying for one off drinks – especially if you drink as much as we do! It's also really easy to get a ride home with Uber or Lyft, which are both computerized dispatch applications.
 
I’m not a big club goer, but I try to go to some a few times a year when I feel like getting dressed up. Dressing up doesn’t happen often in Silicon Valley. At Harlot we toast to “new beginnings, sudden endings, and female domination.” There is no way I could’ve done this without the support of all those women around me.
 
Yup, Dwight is extended an invite to girls’ night. Normally a party foul, but it’s my night, right? We’re really close friends and our relationship is, well, complicated. You’ll have to keep watching!
 
xoxo,
 
Kim
 
Thanks so much for tuning every Monday at 10/9c on Bravo to watch Start-Ups: Silicon Valley! Follow me on Twitter (@kimmytaylor) and subscribe on Facebook (www.facebook.com/kimtaylor10).
 
Follow me on:

Shonova: www.shonova.com
Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/kim03182
Facebook: www.facebook.com/kimtaylor10

Ending the Friendship with Sarah

David reacts to Sarah's accusations.

Building a product is hard enough, but launching it and putting a big event together to generate marketing buzz for it at the same time was almost enough to put me over the edge! But I've been working my butt off to get GoalSponsors out the door and launched, and after several months of effort, I was able to have a successful launch event and gain enough buzz to get a great set of beta users to test out the product! It's live in the app store if you'd like to give it a try:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/goalsponsors/id563679640

I'm proud of myself, for sure, but I definitely didn't do it alone. There were several other companies that have helped me quite a bit, including NoXcuses Fitness and especially Appcelerator, who has gone above and beyond the call of duty to help me make my app and my launch a success. A good number of people showed up to the launch event -- not an AMAZING number, but a strong 100-150ish, and after all the beta signups, I've been able to test my product out on real people, get feedback, and launch something that's now helping people achieve their biggest goals in life! In fact, the total weight loss of our users is in the hundreds of pounds, and we've only been live for the past month or so! On the business side of things, life is going well.On the personal side of things, not everything is so great. It's really hard to see someone that you've been close to turn around and do something to hurt you. When Sarah asked me to meet with her that day, she sent a text asking if I had time to get together and when I asked what it was about, she alluded to it being about business, and then quickly changed the subject. Nevertheless, I showed up in generally good spirits, so I was caught completely off guard when she accused of "physically assaulting," even "tackling" her -- thank goodness the world was able to see the moment she was referring to, in which she tries to interrupt Hermione's presentation at my event and I come to her calmly and escort her away from the stage, smiling and being generally friendly, as I didn't want to create drama at my own event.

So that hurt me quite a bit. Also, she was upset that I didn't provide a booth for her, but she literally never asked me, and the truth is (and I told her this) that if she wanted a booth, all she had to do was tell me and I would have given it to her. Ben and Hermione asked, and that was why I gave them one. Sarah never did.

There's a lot more to that conversation at the Four Seasons, from accusing me of trying to keep her and Hermione apart to trying to take credit for someone else's work in helping put together my event, the list of things she threw at me that day was quite large, and to this day I don't understand why she did it, knowing that I was her confidant, that I was there when everyone else was against her... why me, of all people? Was it just to create drama? Just to establish herself as the queen bee or, dare I say it, the villain?Needless to say, that was the last conversation I had with Sarah. I'm all for second chances when people make mistakes that were unintentional, but the kind of cold calculation Sarah did that day made me realize that it is better for me to let the friendship end and not do anything further to try and continue it. For once I was a part of the drama, not just the instigator of it -- and boy was that a reminder that it's better to be on the sidelines when the poo hits the fan!

Thanks for watching Start-Ups: Silicon Valley! Feel free to check out my app, follow me (Facebook, Twitter), or book me for speaking engagements by emailing the address listed at the bottom of my website!

Cheers,
Dave