Life of FBi | Non-Tech Start-up Founder

Looks like a Chinaman, Sounds like an Aussie, Utterly Confusing

You and Blank Label

with 2 comments

You’re thinking back to the career fair where the recruiter told you all the great things about the cubicle you’re now sitting in. They told you about the rich history of the company, and the impressive vision to which the company was heading. But neither seem very relevant to what you’re doing everyday. It’s not exactly terrible. But definitely not inspiring. Worst of all, you’re not quite respected. Your manager likes you, and there’s a somewhat nice culture but the actual work your doing just isn’t making an impact on anyone. You think you’re more important than doing work no one really cares about. 

This is how I felt when I was in investment banking two and a half years ago. I liked the high-octane environment, the tight deadlines, and the chaos. And even my manager who an average person would call a grade A ass. But each day nagged at me, I kept finding myself asking “Would anyone really miss the work I did today if I just didn’t turn up”. Sure my boss would get annoyed and he’d need someone to pick-up the slack, but he wouldn’t really care. In fact no one really would. Last of all not me.

I needed to do something more important. Something more meaningful to others, but most importantly to me. If this rings somewhat familiar, or you know someone who might be in this position, the official blurb is below:

Blank Label is a custom apparel company starting with men’s dress shirts. The company has been featured in NYTimes, MSNBC, Forbes, INC Magazine, Entrepreneur Magazine to name a few. We plan on being in more national publications in case you like to see your name and face in print.

We’ve been online for 15 months, we’re bootstrapped and pretty scrappy. We’re making enough money to pay a couple of salaries and are now looking for i) a full-time .NET/C# engineer and ii) a UI/UX/IA product designer to join the founding team. You’ll be working alongside our lead architect (remote).

We are not just asking you to take stock as salary, we’re actually making enough money to pay you, and the stock we’re offering is actually worth something! Like most startups, we’re asking you to take a 20-30% discount on your full market rate (other startups just call this “competitive salary”, and it will be 2-4X the Founder’s salary), offset with equity that’s actually worth something. Most important, you should value learning and independence.

You will be working with the Founder in Cambridge Co-working Center on 1 Broadway in Kendall Square


Written by Fan Bi

March 11, 2011 at 5:18 pm

Posted in General

2 Responses

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  1. Hi Fan,
    My first comment was entered prematurely. I am a subscriber to “Entrepreneur” magazine and just received the April 2011 subscription. When I came across the feature story on Blank Label, the hair on my neck stood up! I had a similar idea but for an app for women’s dress/clothing. I hope you don’t think I’m trying to ride your coat tail, since you and your partners have worked diligently to build Blank Label, but I too have a desire to start a business. But I just did not know where to begin. I have left the corporate world, and since then have submitted my app idea to Medl app company in hope that they will be interested in creating the app and just make money off that. I don’t have the experience for the two posted positions, but still would love to get involve with Blank Label, what would this take? I have other experience and ideas if there’s interest.

    Phon Bouaphanh

    March 20, 2011 at 2:08 am

    • Thanks for reaching out Phon. My first suggestion is you should try and build a bit of an online profile. I Googled you and found not much. Happy to chat, send me an email to

      Fan Bi

      March 21, 2011 at 1:52 am

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