Rady MBA Graduate Talks the Startup Life
What is it like to launch a startup? It’s a lot of hard work and getting started is the hardest part, according to Peter Butler, a 2014 MBA graduate of UC San Diego’s Rady School of Management.
While Butler was earning his MBA at Rady, he and his co-founder Greg Hoover started Bubbl. “Bubbl is an iPhone app that maps live activities and events to help people discover fun things happening around them in real-time,” explained Butler. However, it took Butler years to get to the point of taking the first step toward his business.
In fact, getting started is such a well-known difficulty when it comes to startups that it has even been jargonized in the industry, and there’s really no easy fix according to Butler. He tried committing money as a catalyst and even used a “business model canvas” taught as part of Rady’s Market Lab—but at the end of the day, he says you just have to do it.
“It sounds simple and it is,” said Butler. “Pick a place to start, any place, and just do it… The day I realized it’s that simple I committed myself, designed the first prototype and started interviewing anyone that would talk to me about Bubbl and event discovery.”
Once Butler got started, he was able to plan his personal routines for the next six months, work on Bubbl during the evenings and weekends, and set about getting it off the ground. His first step was to find a co-founder, someone who could build his product idea. That’s when he was introduced to Greg Hoover, an engineering and robotics teacher at Jacobs. Hoover had the necessary experience that Butler needed, and together they were finally able to get Bubbl in production.
Now, a year later, they’ve launched Bubbl version 2.0, and they’re experimenting at UC San Diego with incorporating campus events into the Bubbl map. Although time will tell whether or not the app will be successful, “We wouldn’t be anywhere had we not figured out that all we needed to do was pick a place to start,” said Butler.