MidReal Story

Fabricated Truths: A Startup's Dilemma

Scenario: I started my own startup selling lies.
Create my version of this story
I started my own startup selling lies.
I started my own startup selling lies.
I know what you’re thinking.
Lies are bad, right?
But in a world where truth is subjective, a little lie can go a long way.
And I’m not talking about the kind of lies that ruin lives.
I’m talking about the kind of lies that make people feel good.
The kind of lies that give people hope.
The kind of lies that make people believe in something bigger than themselves.
The kind of lies that make people happy.
My name is Emily Carter, and I’m the founder of LieMe.com.
I started this company with my two best friends, Mark Johnson and Sarah Lee, in my parents’ garage three years ago.
We had no money, no experience, and no idea what we were doing.
But we had one thing going for us: we were young and stupid enough to believe that we could change the world.
Well, to be fair, we didn’t actually drop out of college.
We just stopped going to class.
We kept paying tuition, though, because we wanted to maintain the option of going back to school.
What can I say?
We were young, not dumb.
And so we began our journey into the world of entrepreneurship.
It was a wild ride, full of ups and downs, twists and turns.
But we made it through, and we came out the other side with a successful startup that was changing the way people thought about the truth.
We started small, with just the three of us working out of my parents’ garage.
Mark was our lead developer, and Sarah was our marketing guru.
I was the founder, which basically meant that I did everything else.
I secured funding, I managed day-to-day operations, and I made sure that we kept moving forward no matter what.
It was a lot of work, but I loved every minute of it.
I loved the thrill of building something from nothing.
I loved the way it challenged me to push myself to be better, to do more, to think bigger.
And most of all, I loved the fact that my two best friends were there with me every step of the way.
Together, we were unstoppable.
Our startup was called LieMe.com, and it was based on a simple premise: everyone lies.
It’s just a fact of life.
But not all lies are created equal.
Some lies are meant to deceive or manipulate or hurt people.
Some lies are meant to protect or comfort or help people.
Some lies are meant to change the world for the better.
Our goal with LieMe.com was to sell those kinds of lies – the good kind of lies – to anyone who wanted them.
Our service was simple: you told us what you wanted to hear, and we made it happen.
We created fake news articles, doctored social media posts, and fabricated text message conversations to make your lie look as real as possible.
All you had to do was provide us with the details, and we took care of the rest.
It was like magic, except instead of pulling rabbits out of hats, we were pulling happy endings out of thin air.
The best part?
No one ever had to know that your lie was a lie.
We took confidentiality very seriously – almost as seriously as we took the quality of our work – so no one would ever have to worry about their secret being exposed.
In fact, we guaranteed it: your lie, your secret, and your privacy would always be safe with us.
We knew it was a crazy idea, but we believed in it with all of our hearts.
We believed that we could make a difference by providing people with the comfort they needed to get through the day and face the harsh realities of life.
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Sure, we were selling lies, but we were also selling hope and happiness and love.
And who could put a price on that?
Mark was the one who came up with the idea for LieMe.com, and he was also the one who gave it its name.
His original plan was to create a website where people could anonymously post their lies for others to see, but I convinced him that it would be much more profitable – and much less likely to get us sued – if we offered a more discreet service instead.
He agreed, and so we set out to build the website that would change everything.
As our lead developer, Mark was responsible for bringing our vision to life through innovative website design and functionality.
His technical prowess was second to none, and his enthusiasm was infectious, which made him an invaluable member of our team from day one.
He was also tall, thin, and had curly brown hair that he kept meticulously combed in place, unlike me with my short curly red hair that never seemed to stay in place for long.
He wore glasses that he pushed up his nose whenever he was concentrating on something, and he had a habit of tapping his foot when he was thinking or working or just sitting down, for that matter.
He was also one of the most pragmatic people I knew, which was why it was so hard to believe that he had come up with the idea for LieMe.com in the first place.
But he had, and he was committed to making it work no matter what.
Sarah was the one who came up with the marketing strategy for LieMe.com, and she was also the one who got it off the ground.
As our marketing guru, she was responsible for creating and executing all of our promotional efforts, which meant that she had to be creative, resourceful, and persuasive at all times.
She was always stylish and put together, with long black hair that she kept in a sleek ponytail, and she wore short, tight skirts that showed off her long legs and high heels that gave her an extra boost.
She was also one of the most competitive people I knew, which was why it was so hard to believe that she had come up with the idea for LieMe.com in the first place.
But she had, and she was determined to make it work no matter what.
As the founder, I was the one who secured funding for LieMe.com, and I was also the one who managed all the other aspects of starting and running a business.
That meant I was responsible for creating and executing the business plan, managing all day-to-day operations, hiring and training new employees, and making sure that everyone was working toward the same goal at all times.
I was also responsible for cleaning up after everyone – literally – because no one else seemed to understand the concept of picking up after themselves no matter how many times I explained it to them.
I liked to think of myself as the visionary and the leader of our little startup.
I was also the janitor – at least until we could afford to hire someone to do it for us.
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When I finally found Mark, he was sitting at his desk, furiously typing away at his keyboard, completely oblivious to my presence.
"Can we please talk about the foosball table now?"I asked, leaning over his desk so that I was practically right in his face.
I had never been a big fan of foosball, but Mark was convinced that it was essential to our office culture, and I was trying my best to be supportive.
"If you want to make it our number-one priority, then fine," he said, turning in his chair to face me.
"But as the lead developer, I really think that it's important to have a foosball table in the office."
"I know you do," I said, trying to keep my cool.
"I just don't see why we have to spend money on something that we don't really need."
Mark pushed his glasses up his nose and gave me a disapproving look.
"It's not about what we need," he said.
"It's about what we want."
I put my hands on my hips and glared at him.
"Actually, as the founder of this company, it's about what I want.And right now, I want to save money so that we can afford to eat next month.
Do you know how much money we've already spent on beanbag chairs and bubble hockey tables?"
Mark sighed and shook his head.
"I know you think that stuff is frivolous, but it's not.
It's essential to creating a fun and engaging office culture.
We need to attract top talent if we're going to be successful, and the only way to do that is by creating a workplace that people actually want to come to every day."
"I understand that," I said, trying to keep my voice even.
"But we need to be practical.
We stared at each other in silence for a moment, both of us refusing to back down, until Sarah walked into the room with a fresh pot of coffee and saved us from our argument.
"Are you guys still fighting about the foosball table?"She asked, setting the pot down on the desk between us.
"I'm pretty sure that's the only thing you two have been able to agree on since we started this company."
She poured herself a cup and took a long sip before continuing.
"We have more important things to worry about right now, like whether or not our website is going to crash when we launch it this week.
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I smiled at Sarah and gave her a little wink before heading back to my desk to get some work done.
The truth was, Sarah was right.
We did have more important things to worry about than a stupid foosball table—like the fact that we only had three months of runway left and not enough money to cover our rent.
I tried not to let myself panic as I sat down at my desk and opened up my laptop, but it was hard not to feel anxious about our financial situation.
Starting your own company was supposed to be fun and exciting, but no one had ever told me how stressful it would be to run out of money and have no idea how you were going to pay your bills.
I took a deep breath and tried to focus on the task at hand: stretching our limited funds as far as possible so that we could keep LieMe.com alive for just a little bit longer.
The first thing I did was call my parents and ask them if they would be willing to increase our monthly stipend.
I hated having to ask them for more money, but they had always been incredibly supportive of my entrepreneurial endeavors and had already loaned us more than I could ever hope to repay.
"I know I'm asking a lot," I said, as I pleaded my case over the phone.
"But I really believe in what we're doing here, and I promise that I'll pay you back as soon as I can."
My parents didn't need much convincing; they had always believed in me and were more than happy to help out in any way they could.
They even agreed to a modest raise, which was more than I had expected, but I knew it still wouldn't be enough to get us through the next few months.
As soon as I got off the phone with them, I called Mark and Sarah into my office and proposed a new plan.
"Here's what we're going to do," I said, once they were both seated in front of me.
"We're going to max out all of our credit cards and borrow as much money as we can from our friends and family members.That should give us enough cash to cover our expenses for at least another six months, which should be plenty of time to figure out a more permanent solution."
Mark's eyes lit up at the mention of free money, and he immediately started nodding his head in agreement.
"I love it," he said.
"This is exactly what we need to do to keep this thing going."
Sarah, on the other hand, was not quite as enthusiastic.
"I don't like it," she said, folding her arms across her chest.
"I think it's a terrible idea, and I think that you're being incredibly foolish by putting us even deeper into debt than we already are."
I tried to ignore Sarah's negativity and focus on the fact that Mark was on board with my plan.
I knew that he could be a little too optimistic sometimes, but if he thought that this was a good idea, then maybe it was.
We spent the rest of the day coming up with a detailed budget and sending emails to all of our friends and family members to ask for money.
It wasn't an easy task, but it was necessary if we were going to keep LieMe.com alive.
By the time I got home that night, I was completely exhausted and more stressed out than ever, so I decided to take a break by going for a swim in my parents' pool before dinner.
I floated on my back and stared up at the sky, letting all of my worries drift away as I listened to the sound of the water lapping against the sides of the pool.
It had been a long and difficult road to get here, but there was finally a light at the end of the tunnel—or so I hoped.
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