Cyberbore's Blog

Tales from a Venture Capitalist

If at first you don’t succeed…

Posted by cyberbore on 1 July, 2011

… invent jump suits for dogs.

I was walking my dogs through our woods at the weekend, which are bounded on one side by a public footpath.

It’s not unusual to find alien dogs in our woods, since the public right of way is not particularly well fenced – but I was quite taken aback to see bounding towards me what appeared to be a four-legged child in an all-in-one jumper suit!

As this thing got nearer it turned out to be a dog in a baby grow!

My dog Dippy photoshopped into a jump suit.

Now the interesting thing about this is that a few years earlier we were asked to find funding for a start-up company who wanted to manufacture these all-in-one trouser suits for dogs…

I thought the idea was insane. Who on earth would want to wrap their dogs in a boiler suit to take them for a walk. The dog would hate it. The owner would have to be one slice short of a sandwich.

Well obviously somebody would want to… so I went up to the footpath in search of the owner:

A) to see this person on earth and
B) to enquire about where the garment was purchased.

It didn’t take long before I heard a lady calling foo-foo (actually it was Barnie, but if should have been foo-foo in my already prejudiced view of things).

“Very interested in that coat you’ve got Barnie in” I said, ignoring the apologies about invading private land.

“Oh, ” she said, “Actually we bought it online. It’s marvellous, especially on a muddy day.”

Today is not muddy. Score 1 click on the insanity meter.

“Barnie doesn’t get covered in dirt and I can just pop it into the washing machine – the coat, not the dog!” she chuckled “… I’m not that daft!” 2 clicks; 3 and I’m running.

“Are those grab-handles behind the neck and at the tail?” I asked, spotting them as Barnie started to settle down to business.

“Oh yes, I can pick him up without getting myself muddy. Straight in the car and I can wash the coat at home.”  (With the dog still in it?  I wondered.)

Barnie’s business was now going all over the bottom of the coat where it sags.

“Where online did you find it?” I ventured.

“Ah, that’s the thing. You have to know what to search for, then there are quite a few choices” she said with a knowing smirk.

I thought this would be followed up with a bit of useful information, like search for “mad dog owners + baby grow for puppies”, but no, she just smiled whilst putting Barnie’s lead on.

“I must be off”, she said “can’t be late for the Yoga class.”

“You or the dog?” I joked, hoping it was for the dog so I could score 3 clicks and run…

When I got home I searched in vain for the company we had rejected, but to my astonishment I found lots of UK based online websites selling these things.  I really do hope ours was one of them.

Just goes to prove that you should not trust anyone else if you think you have a good idea. Go for it and believe in yourself, there are plenty of mad people out there.  Look at the Twittering Classes for example.

If you are rejected by some smartarse financiers who are too set in their ways, ignore them are try and try again;  there are mad funders too…

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