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It’s been a while since I’ve blogged mainly because of an unexpectedly busy half a year. A lot of stuff has happened and I want to take a moment to reflect back on my experiences and off course take a look at what’s coming up next.

Reality 2 – Me 1. Let me explain.

During last half a year three significant events have shaped the path of my entrepreneurial career. Two failures and one success.

  • My first proper startup – Pinevio - has failed.
  • The co-working and events center the Switch has failed
  •  Startup Monthly Vilnius conference back in April was a major success.

Reality 2 – Me 1. 

What I would like to do is reflect point by point on why I think things happened the way they did. I hope that all of you who will hopeful read this have something to take away. Lets start with Pinevio.

Pinevio.com is a startup, which got more PR and press coverage than users traction. J Here is why I think it failed.

  • Wrong team composition. Co-founders must be diverse in skills and outlooks in order to compensate for each other’s weaknesses and accelerate strengths. Having two nonetheless talented sales guys driving a tech company is tough.
  • It was never a good business. Maybe just a good idea. We might never know for sure but I think this is exactly why we struggled to raise capital in Europe. Yes I’ve got some money from Silicon Valley, however, they invested more in the positive “craziness” and bizarre determination of founders rather than the product. Actually we raised money with product vision only, which speaks more about our sales skills and determination than anything else.
  •  Mistakes. Mistakes. Mistakes. We’ve made every single startup mistake in the book. Team, fundraising, product development, strategic partnerships. We’ve made a mistake in every single area but we’ve still managed to persevere enough to come out with relevant experience.

 That’s why I’m super happy with experience I had with working on Pinevio along side my co-founder and wouldn’t change it for the world. I think failing your first start-up this way is probably one of the better ways to go. Fail harder, right?

Now, the Switch. The idea has failed because we didn’t manage to fund raise in time. Unlike the Pinevio failure, this wasn’t as rewarding or worthy of time invested mainly because it failed for subjective reasons which are rather obscure and would take a long time to explain properly.

  • Maybe we wanted to something on a European scale and Lithuanian startup eco-system is not yet ready for it?
  • Maybe we don’t have the right (wrong) skills necessary to successfully operate in our home environment? And boy I don’t want to acquire them. No one should.
  •  Maybe it’s ignorance to compromise with present reality?

However, there is one thing I know for sure. Lithuania needs a quality events and start-up orientated co-working centre because it will be the backbone structure for startup activity in the country.

I sure hope someone executes something similar. Otherwise we’ll definitely come back to this idea in the future.

OK. Finally – Startup Monthly Vilnius conference. That’s the success and I barely look back on it anymore.

Success is difficult to learn from because it covers up the small set backs on the way, which are worthy of analysis.

I think the main reasons for the success were:

  • Finding a diverse team of Pros (something I’ve learned from Pinevio).
  • Fundraising enough money to sustain the Star Team.
  • Strong governmental support from Enterprise Lithuania not only with $ but by opening the right doors. Big Thanks to them!
  • And off course our Silicon Valley connections with Startup Monthly, which enabled us to bring people like Yuri, Vadim, Greg Kidd (Twitter, Square) and David Weekly (Mexican VC) for the first time to Vilnius.

All an all, it was super awesome. I remember the feeling I felt on the last day of the conference was similar to the one, when we’ve raised capital for the first time. It’s absolutely remarkable. 

What’s even more astounding is that after 3 months of super-hard work our team became better friends then we were before, which is a dream for any leader.

Huge thanks to Mindaugas, Julius, Jonas, Egle, Ugnius and the amazing volunteers who made it happen.

Reality 2 – Me 1

So… what’s next?

I am coming back to startup mode. Hell yeah! Something I really love.

I’m now turning a new page in my career and look forward to meeting new people, startup teams and growing together.

So if you a getting together a great team or think that my skills would complement an existing one lets get together have some coffee and talk about it. I’m completely open.

It’s been a wild beginning of a long journey. Can’t wait for what’s coming up next.

Thanks for a half-year to remember.

All the best,

Daumantas Dvilinskas


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