Business Confessions – Why I’m Smashing Piñatas at Start-Ups Anonymous

By Ed Emerson

Dear wallet, I know that I have betrayed you…again.

Sure, it started innocently enough. But it always does.

I was sitting around, maybe indulging in some impure start-up thoughts, and then it hits me: Eight track cassettes! 

And then I’m drawn into a sort of dreamscape world through a magical door called where the start-up business world seems to march in step like rows of walking hammers in Pink Floyd’s The Wall.

I lose consciousness, of course, and only come awake hours later after having purchased a domain name…or two.

And what’s the harm, eh? A couple of £pounds for a year’s rental of my new locale seemed like a bargain, a new beginning; a Branson-like step forward into entrepreneurial glory. 

(Though I can’t believe only seven people in the whole world have ever searched for “eight tracks are making a comeback.”)

Anyway, I may have gone and ordered a website too…and hosting. Well, what’s the point in having a website without hosting?

“Forgive me wallet, for I have sinned…”

And it seems I even wrote a few articles during my near-psychedelic start-up shopping trance. Must have been about 2am when I finished – the time stamps are on the email invoices. 

Well, actually, the office space search clearly took a few hours as well (Wow! 5A.M.) Just a desk and a chair…and some furniture and computer stuff…and an ALF doll…


Not sure how he got rolled up into this. And it all came up a bit costly, actually. 

But you’ve got to move fast (at least that’s what the website said). After all, it’s a fast-moving world, and all that.

Anyway, as it turns out eight-tracks cassettes – and my strapline, “Livin’ La Vida Retro” – aren’t exactly jumping off the digital sales shelves.

Which explains why my order for 1,000 units from (damn, I wanted that domain!) came so cheap.

As did the piñatas (that’s another story…well, sort of) as part of my other new domain

Now, I know what you’re thinking: “WTF?!”

But GoDaddy had a two-for-one sale on…sorta…as did the office space folks for warehousing (Hey, gotta put those thousand piñatas somewhere…and the two thousand bags of candy. What’s a piñata without candy, eh?).

So, anyway. Let’s get to the confession bit:

“Bless me wallet for I have sinned. I was impetuous and did not research the market first. I never thought about the order of things before I started to buy stuff, did not put together a strategy with budgets, marketing and sales projections or even consider overhead costings for same. I fell in lust with my business idea late at night on the internet and never thought about things in the cold light of day. So I am sorry, dear wallet. Please forgive me my trespasses, as I’m now receiving piles of unwanted gift vouchers in the post, relentless contact from call centres, and emails offering me everything from penny stock options to VIP access at the Monaco Grand Prix – all because I registered my details with so many businesses all in one go. And let me learn from my sins…until I’ve broken every piñata in the warehouse, sold every eight track cassette (out of the back of my car in an alley) and been sucked dry by office, warehousing and computer rental fees without any chance of a return.”

Yep, in the words of Oscar Wilde: “it’s the confession, not the priest, that gives us absolution.”

Might that absolution were the same as understanding.

Ed Emerson, Editor, HNW Magazine

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