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  1.2. Greg and His First Startup - CrimeReports.com (4 min.)

Just like David, doing everything "right" was killing Greg's business. It all started several years earlier when Greg’s apartment building had been robbed. Frustrated and feeling a need to do something about it, he joined a neighborhood watch group and offered to map crimes that were happening in the area. As Greg continued, he came to believe that mapping the locations of crimes would align and empower the efforts of citizens and police to reduce crimes in each neighborhood.

With real motivation and passion, Greg did what all good entrepreneurs are supposed to do - he wrote a business plan and developed a website to report crime statistics (with an underlying revenue model built on advertising). With the website in hand, he contacted a friend at the Washington DC police department, and together they convinced the police chief to commit to a trial run. Excited by his initial success, Greg took the next step and presented his fledgling business to venture capitalists, who were so impressed by Greg’s vision that they provided seed capital to grow the idea.

Greg took the investment capital and continued building CrimeReports.com, hiring developers and sales people to expand before competitors could potentially catch up. But then something perplexing began to happen. Despite all his efforts, the business didn’t take off. New deals with police departments seemed to hover in a state of limbo, never closing. And despite moments of hope and seeming progress, CrimeReports.com remained stuck in a purgatory that lasted for several years without producing any new customers. After investing the first two rounds of venture funding, Greg began to dig deeper and ask himself why. Why, when he had done everything right, had things gone so wrong for him and the business?