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A startup business in 24 hours
Written by Greg Soffe   

Rob MosleySo, what does it take to startup a business in 24 hours? We find out first hand when we interview Rob Mosley one of the minds behind the Internet business sensation 24hour-startup.com. Currently 15 hours into the creation of their new 24 hour startup Dr. Hue, a business that will allow people to shop for their favourite things in any colour they like.

The best thing about it is that the moment the 24 hour build time is up, Dr. Hue hits the auction block & you can have a chance of buying a great online startup business, brand new!


SG: Give me a brief background of yourself and your role in 24hour-startup.com ?

RM: I run a digital creative agency in London called Nonsense. My business partner, and Creative Director - Robbie Greatrex had this idea, and we got together with our friends at White October... a web development house we collaborate with a lot, about doing this. Dave (WO's MD), Robbie and I were the only people who knew about this until midday today, when we briefed the rest of the team, sent out a press release and set the auction live!


SG: 24 hour start-ups where did you guys get this idea?

RM: Well, we love start-ups (we've also just launch Schport.com, which took us 2 years and several months to get to where it is now... actually went into open Beta today!) and we wanted to do something as cool project / publicity stunt / team-building exercise. So, we put 2 + 2 together and got 24hour startup.


SG: I know experienced entrepreneurs who couldn't pull off a start-up in 24 days. What makes you think you young whipper snappers can build a successful startup business from scratch, in 24 hours? What is your drive to build a functional business so fast?

RM: It wouldn't have been fun if it wasn't a tough challenge... and I guess we think that a lot of people take far too long to get something "out there". It's fun to be able to ignore the secretive world of the startup, where you keep your cards close to your chest. This lets us shout about it the whole time. We think we can do it because we're willing to give it a go in the first place.


SG: I was looking through your financials, no staff costs (other than pizza), obviously this is not realistic is it? but team is important, How did you get the team to sign on?, where did you source them from? & What's in it for them?

RM: OK, Nonsense and White October are taking a financial hit to arrange this, and losing out in fees for two full days... we think it's worth it for the team-building aspect, the publicity, and the experience we're giving ourselves and our staff. Even when the guys had no idea what the project was, they were all willing to work over night, because it sounded like a cool thing to do. When they found out we're making a business we've already listed for sale on eBay, and that they would share 50% of any revenue we make, well that was just extra motivation.


SG: Dr Hue, your 24 hour creation for shopping by colour. What did you give yourselves as the earliest starting point for the idea that ended up as Dr. Hue? And how did you come up with that as a starting point? Obviously you didn't pull ideas out of a hat, did you?

RM: The briefing presentation is in the 1st progress blog post we did. Basically we wanted something simple, that stood a chance of making money, and that we could probably build in the time! The entire team brainstormed for 1hr, with a group discussion, then we got to 3 ideas and picked the thought of "shopping by colour"... it seemed like an area we could do something good with, and that had a ready revenue stream from afiliates.


SG: Say I buy Dr. Hue off your Ebay auction, do you provide the new owner any support to get/keep the business up & running or do you cut the umbilical cord at 24 hours & run?

RM: You're not the 1st to ask! In all honesty, we hadn't thought it through... but have assured other bidders that we would do a handover session with them to explain how everything works...


SG: Where do you see Dr Hue 48hours on? How about 24 months?

RM: Hopefully after 48 hrs we'll have a bit of a bidding war on eBay. I think people will be prepared to pay quite a lot for the manpower of 12 highly skilled people for 24hrs working harder then they ever have before!! In 24 months, I'd like to see the new owner having taken the initial thinking and run with it. So, hopefully the buyer will have money they can put into it to develop it. I think that putting colour first and foremost in the shopping experience is - on certain occasions (something blue? black tie? white wedding?) the best way to shop.


SG: What has been your biggest business challenge in the last 24 hours building Dr Hue & how did you overcome it?

RM: Well, it's not over yet, but the biggest challenge HAS to be spinning the numerous plates. With design, build and marketing teams all in their silos (even though we're in one room) we need to keep a really close eye all the way through. Robbie, Dave and I are all trying to do that!


SG: Given your experiences over the last 24 hours, what have you learned? what is the one piece of business advice you would pass on to would be entrepreneurs?

RM: Take your time! No, seriously... it would be JUMP. It's what I've said ever since starting Nonsense, and throughout Schport too... don't wait for stuff to happen to you, just jump in and start doing stuff.


SG: Where to next for 24 hour start-ups, is this the end?

RM: Someone from Scotland has already said they'd like to do one up there. I was thinking we could give them the Word-press site we've used for them to customise themselves a bit and get on with it. I'd love it if more people took on this challenge all over the world. It's bloody hard, but frankly, just awesome.

Awesome Rob, Thanks for your time.


Check these great links for more information on 24 hour startup & bid on the EBay auction to own Dr Hue yourself.


24 hour startup on twitter.

Dr. Hue.

Ebay auction for Dr. Hue




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