History of Start up failure, Washdoctors

A brief history of Wash Doctors – WashDoctors

History of a London based car wash start up from start to failure in 2 years. “As Founders of a business you need to be stable when things are going wrong, understated when things are going well.”

Me: We’ve used wash doctors. The business had some nice elements to it, some sustainable themes, possible better pay for workers. But the founders examine why the economics don’t work out for very human reasons (complaints, high variability of demand). Fascinating little glimpse into the very considered unfortunate end to a start-up. I hope they try some thing else.


Moon-shot Impact ventures

*Emergent Ventures*, a new project to help foment enlightenment….This from economist, Tyler Cowen….I think it’s a good idea for funding ideas which wouldn’t be otherwise funded. You can be anything profit/non-profit but with some idea that will impact the world. The investment will be heavy on the person, in my reading of the application. If you have an idea - go for it!

From his blog (link here)

Most importantly, here is the application page, and here is its opening summary:

We want to jumpstart high-reward ideas—moonshots in many cases—that advance prosperity, opportunity, liberty, and well-being. We welcome the unusual and the unorthodox.

Our goal is positive social change, but we do not mind if you make a profit from your project. (Indeed, a quick path to revenue self-sufficiency is a feature not a bug!)

Projects will either be fellowships or grants: fellowships involve time in residence at the Mercatus Center in Northern Virginia; grants are one-time or slightly staggered payments to support a project.

We encourage you to think big, but we also will consider very small grants or short fellowships if they might change the trajectory of your life. We encourage applications from all ages and all parts of the world.

Imagine you are the next Satoshi, trying to invent “the next Bitcoin.”  Or say you are a budding public intellectual, seeking the reach and influence of Jordan Peterson, by building your social media presence.  Or an 18-year-old social science prodigy, hoping to fly to Boston to meet a potential mentor.  What about moving to Sacramento to write a quality blog covering California state government?  I very much hope you will apply for a grant at Emergent Ventures.  Most of all, I hope you are applying with ideas that we haven’t thought of yet.

We will be running Emergent Ventures with a minimum of overhead costs and a maximum of attention on upside potential from your projects.  This means:

1. The money is given away, not spent on staff or creating a new self-perpetuating bureaucracy.  That also keeps our incentives away from self-perpetuation and risk-aversion.

2. There is no committee to screen applications, or to keep the “crazy” ideas from getting to my desk.  I will personally review each and every application, albeit with additional refereeing assistance from Mercatus, the Mercatus network, and my own personal network.

3. If you receive money, the “report back” requirements are minimal, typically a 1-2 page report a year or so later, and possibly future reports too.  If you can’t show value or progress in a short report, you probably haven’t produced it.

4. The proposal you submit is limited to 1500 words, though with an option of supplementary documents.  If you can’t get to the point and explain your plans succinctly, we will not fund you.

5. If you receive a grant, we at Mercatus — and also I personally — will do our very best to help you in your endeavors.

Think of the goal of Emergent Ventures as supporting new ideas and projects that are too difficult, too hard to measure, too unusual, too foreign, too small, or…too something to make their way through the usual foundation and philanthropic process.

If you wish, you also can think of Emergent Ventures as a bet on my own personal judgment.  For some time to come, I will be devoting significant time to Emergent Ventures every single day (with a few exceptions, mostly travel-related).  Most applications will be processed promptly.