This is Part Five of the GKE story. Maybe check out the first four parts before reading ahead, or if you like your stories as a puzzle then crack on…
I didn’t actually know the definition of a start-up until the Bootcamp, I just assumed it was something that started-up?
A startup is: ‘A temporary organization used to search for a repeatable and scalable business model.’.
This was new to me, so on the advice of the enablers I purchased ‘The Startup Owners Manual’. It’s a great book to refer back to every now and again. It basically outlines the start-up process and they say if you stick to the core values in this book then you won’t fuck it up completely.
So I had an idea, and then I created GKE from that idea. I never actually asked people if they wanted a product like this or if they thought it was a good idea, I just assumed that it was. Assumptions are the devil apparently, if you base your business model and business development on an assumption, you’re fucked. Well not always, but you’ll be lucky to pull it off if you do. So luckily I hadn’t put thousands and thousands into GKE and I could trace my footsteps backwards and find out what the people who were going to use it actually wanted and how they wanted it delivered to them.
– Because fuck your morale.
Two more aspects of the E-Spark programme is the hot-desking office they have where you apply to use it and you can go in 0800-2000 Mon-Fri. Secondly which is actually probably the biggest one is the people you meet and how awesome everyone is. All people want to do is have a chat, help you out and ask positively disruptive questions about your venture that makes you look at everything in a new light. I made some pretty important decisions based on some conversations I had with members of the E-Spark programme and met some good friends. It was nice to move into an environment that was positive and constantly moving forward, as sometimes a military camp can be nihilistic as fuck and sucks the life out of me occasionally. (Why did I turn down SSSA accommodation?!).
***Everything above this was written around three months previous to this line***
I’m not very good at writing this consistently but i’m going to make more of an effort to document my process and keep this more up to date. (Account me to that if you’re reading this).
SO, loads have happened since the E-Spark programme, the three month Sprint came and went in a flash which was eye-opening and insightful. I, unfortunately, managed to not attend a single group meeting which still annoys me, however there are only so many crates of Fosters that will buy me a day off work.
Another project came along during the last three months, which I can’t yet let out of the bag. You’ll see it soon though!
GKE has also been working with the ally blokes at Contact Coffee Co, collaborating on a new coffee blend that needs a new name! I’ve been thinking, GenBomb, Gen Kit Blend, or something similar… Comment on this GKE Fb post if you’d like to make a suggestion. Nick from CCC has been all over GKE from the start which I’d like to thank him for. (Enjoy Juniors…)
Around two months ago I had the pleasure of meeting Jamie Kennedy from Solider To Civi. He travelled all the way up to Newcastle from the Isle of Wight to appear on a Podcast we did a while back. Unfortunately that Podcast is no longer running, however the friendship it created still does, (can we hold hands next time?). Jamie is an awesome bloke who is documenting his own past experiences of leaving the service as well as other veterans’ journey’s. He and Jacko are doing a top job of moving STC forward and will be appearing on the new KitPest site as I believe there are real lessons to be learnt from his blog posts and his veteran FB group. You can find his awesome shit here – FB Page and chat room. I’m looking forward to working with him and Jacko more and appearing as a guest on his new Podcast at some point in the future!
KitPest Reviews which is a collaborative effort between GKE and Cooper’s Kit Corner. It has come on leaps and bounds. It’s been so well received that it has outgrown the blog format and a dedicated website is currently under development. It’s being designed by Dean O’ Toole, (no relation to Ben, he thinks), a veteran who runs Oscabi Web Design. Cheers Dean, welcome to the KitPest team!
We’ve got some awesome content already on the KitPest blog and we’re planning on having tons more motivational stuff from guests, as well as our in-house writers. I’d like to add that we’ve welcomed two more writers to our team… Samlongshankswatt is a serving infantryman, complete kit pest and all-round ally bloke. As well as Tommaso Lagana, Italian born kit pest. As before, thanks for the hard graft you’ve been doing! Tom Cooper is heading up video reviews for the site, as well as Ben filling the Chief Editor role.
– The first version of the new KitPest logo
Another section of the new site will be a Gen Businesses section. This part of the site will house some of the veteran/military community businesses, that go over and above normal operating standards to ensure the best possible customer satisfaction. They are all ally operations in themselves and we think everyone should hear about them. It’ll contain a piece from themselves, a piece from us, and their business focus. If you think any businesses that you have dealt with recently are worthy of the Gen Business status, that are either, veteran ran or in the military space, then drop the GKE FB page a message about said company and let us know why you think that. Hopefully we’re going to visit these awesome operations individually and do some awesome specific articles about them….
This Kit Pest Review article was written by Alex Miller. Hopefully you enjoyed it and if you have any thoughts or comments related to this article then leave a comment!
If you’d like to visit Cooper’s Kit Corner, you can find it here.
If you’d like to visit Gen Kit Exchange, you can find it here.