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Our Story #2 – Research

Hi everyone – this is the second in a series of blog posts which track the story behind Escape the City from the original idea through to what we’ve built today.

This instalment covers – April and May of 2009 – how we set about working out how an idea might become a working reality.

April 2009

We both spent the Easter break searching the Internet for similar ideas and inspiration for our concept. In true management consulting style we drew up spreadsheets and categorised likeminded websites (which we never really used again) and we drew up a PowerPoint presentation that outlined our plan (really embarrassing looking back on it and again, we haven’t used them since).

Stop Dreaming, Start Planning

I suppose the most valuable thing about this exercise wasn’t the quality of the thoughts or ideas we were having but the fact that we were giving ourselves the confidence to get the idea moving. We were essentially talking ourselves into it.

May 2009

Early summer, Rob was working in Belfast and Dom was still plugging away on Fleet Street.  Although we were both reading masses about the idea (and sending each other hundreds of emails), we weren’t actively progressing with our planning either.

Some people say that you should start your business from the safety of your current job. This might work for some people but it is an incredibly difficult thing to do. We find you only have a certain amount of productive hours in a day and expecting to make creative advances in a project or business that requires a lot of ‘thinking time’ just didn’t happen for us.

So from that perspective there was only one way that Esc was going to become a reality and that was for us to escape ourselves…

No one likes a moaner

Escape the City has never been about bashing boring corporate jobs and nor do we look back on our time as consultants with any regret.

There are plenty of exciting opportunities in ‘the city’ and plenty of talented people doing interesting work that makes them tick. Unfortunately for us we weren’t amongst them. The traditional career ladder wasn’t a game we wanted to play and the work didn’t see us jumping out of bed in the mornings.

Undoubtedly naïve and clearly idealistic we wanted to work for a cause we were genuinely passionate about. We also wanted to have control over what we worked on, and where and when.

We realised we were both becoming those annoying people who moan about their jobs. No one wants to hear your complaints…

We also realised that if we wanted to turn just another idea into a reality there was only one thing for it…

… to stop dreaming and start planning…

… and to actually escape ourselves and do something about it.

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The story so far: