February 7, 2012 - A Craigslist ad titled "Product Development Opportunity" goes live in Arlington, VA.
"A very small startup is seeking a product development professional to assist with a product redesign... The right person will have some experience working with rubber or other synthetic materials. Even better if you have any experience with hair accessories or similar products... Looking for someone for a short-term project or potentially a long-term partner."
Shelly - We had just relocated to Arlington, VA and I was hoping to focus on 'the hair tie start up' full time. I knew I needed a partner, but I hate networking. Cue Craigslist...
Jacob - I had just moved to the DC area about a year prior and was feeling a bit stuck. My product development job mostly entailed making spec sheets for the marketing department. I was passionate about entrepreneurship and had recently attempted a start up with a friend.
Shelly - I thought, in the best case scenario, I would find someone who really wanted to be a true partner in this business. The ideal person would understand the opportunity, have experience with product development, be passionate about entrepreneurship, and be dedicated to making the business successful.
Jacob - Sometimes I would check out Craigslist to look for product design gigs hoping to find something fun.
Shelly - Rereading this posting is ridiculous! Let me translate what I really meant here...
"A very small start up" = just me
"assist with product redesign" = start from scratch with no idea where to begin
"Compensation: TBD" = I'm broke, so I don't have any money to pay you
Jacob - I thought it was a diamond in the rough! That's why I responded so quickly. Worst case scenario you were an overseas prince looking to scam on me.
Shelly - I remember in your reply you described the best job that you ever had. You had worked at a startup where the owners treated you like family - with respect and appreciation. I thought that was so genuine.
Jacob - I heard back from the person, who ended up being Shelly. We met, and I was excited to help. The rest is history!
Shelly - PS - Dude, have I told you how happy I am that you replied to that post?
Jacob - Yes.
Shelly - PPS - Dude, have I told you that you're the best case scenario?
Hair Up, Game On,
Shelly and Jacob