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Full Steam Ahead

Sure, you've heard it all before--how to start a business, what to expect, etc. But the question remains: What's it <i>really</i> like to start your own business. One entrepreneur shares his story about putting his startup's wheels in motion.

This story appears in the September 2004 issue of Start Up.

The rice fields spiraled below me. From the air, the flooded paddies reminded me that I was entering a foreign and exotic land. Although I had performed months of recon, I was unprepared for the feeling of irreversible change. My whole future revolved around the successful completion of my mission. I had left behind my home of 16 years in search of a golden future in this unearthly place-Northern California. My comfort zone vanished into thin air.

I had one suitcase, a duffel bag and a briefcase stuffed with a laptop. My most sacred possession was draft 22 of a thorough full of information-painfully heavy, I mused, as the rain slapped against the windshield a few hours north of Sacramento.

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