Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Columnist

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Columnist

Article excerpt

Byline: CARRIE ARMSTRONG

AFEW years ago, I co-founded a magazine for start-up companies and entrepreneurs.

A start-up for start-ups, if that's not too post-modern for your tastes...

It was an idea borne out of sheer frustration.

Technically it was an idea also borne out of Wales, where my cofounder and I had spent a fruitless afternoon trying to get a footballer, who-shall-remain-nameless, to talk about kicking a football.

But he didn't want to talk about that. He wanted to talk about his side businesses.

All of them. He was a very clever lad.

We reached a compromise. I told him we could do both, and I'd find somewhere more suitable to put the interview featuring his extra curricular business ventures.

Unfortunately the other players heard me. They all had their own businesses too. So I had to do exactly the same for them.

It seemed easier to just set up a separate place to feature them.

So we did.

I did keep interviewing footballers for the new publication. Mainly because it was so fascinating to see the massive variety in business ideas.

They did everything!

I heard one goalkeeper chatting to a midfielder about his Botox company, only to have the midfielder reply about his taxi company. Only to be interrupted by a striker talking about his removal van business.

I learned a lot from these clever lads, I can tell you.

We branched out into interviewing tech entrepreneurs. And I learned even more. I watched young people with nothing more than an idea and a laptop become massive successes.

And sadly watched some struggle and get absolutely nowhere. I've kept in touch with almost everyone I've ever interviewed.

Mainly because I like my job, and a bond gets formed when you interact with someone on quite a personal level.

So when I had my own idea, I had plenty of folk to ask about it.

I decided what I needed to do was build an app to help people who wanted to cut down or stop drinking. Not in an unsmileyemoticon-face, support-group kind of way.

More of a place for people who wanted to stop drinking and have a nice, happy, smiley-emoticonface whilst doing it. …

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