I remember speaking to my would-be CFO one day after I pulled all the people I thought I needed, I had to think about who else, and how many total people should be involved in this side project. My would-be CFO gave me two recommendations that were already on the list, but the way he pushed for them made me feel a certain type of way. What was the deal with pushing so hard for them? One was his colleague, Pokémon buddy, and bestie at the time, and the other was his bestie’s GF. She, I didn’t know as well as those others on the list, but I did have her on my list because of the numerous rooms our group would go to. Plus, she was the queen of ciphers and used Morse code like it was her native language. As the conversation ended, he made one last pitch to push for both of them, if not her, then at least his bestie, and I told him I’d think about it.
Thinking about it, I did take probably the whole night thinking about it. When I woke up the next morning, I felt refreshed, even with the small window of sleep I had. The next number 5 would push the company forward. With three others that weren’t viable members, this number 5 had to be a shoo-in. I hadn’t prepared anything for the conversation, for all he knew, I just wanted to talk to him about college, with him being accepted to my alma mater, and going to get bought by some high tech company when he’d graduate. It was easy to talk about the future, school, and life in general. I ordered two cold mint mojitos, sweet and creamy, from Philz coffee near San Jose State University, sat down for a brief conversation, and about an hour and a half later, walked out to our park cars, partners for our escape room. Daniel would then become the youngest owner of the company, and someone would have to pick up his end of the work, while he was trying to finish his last year at UCSD.
The event that came next was curious. I kept debating on what the perfect number would be and started to laugh because that was an impossible question and one that I didn’t have the answer for. How would I know how many people would work, everyone told me that the more people I had the harder it would be. "Too many cooks in the kitchen", too many people would mean things would get complicated, and so forth. The curious thing came in what would come after I told people about how many people we had already, and that we would need more, everyone still wanted a piece and asked if they would be able to come in as partners. I suppose Escape Rooms are still a new thing for many people, my brother was super intrigued about the outset of opening an Escape Room, didn’t like the idea of so many cooks, and yet still asked to see if he could be a passive owner, meaning he’d funnel money into the company, and I’d have to do the grunt of the work, with a split that would reflect the effort between active and passive. My immediate answer would be no, I didn’t want someone to just funnel money, I needed people to work.
The whole idea of EDscapade would be to build sustainability. I didn’t want anyone to have to give up their day jobs, and that each of us would fulfill a role that would help push the company forward. Needless to say, we all love our jobs, as much as we love the idea of escape rooms. My initial thought would be that everyone would give up a day to watch the shop after their workday, while we would have a floater. Including myself, we would need a total of 8 people, which would give us sustainability. With the addition of Daniel, I had to find two more people that would be able to fulfill the needs of the team. What I needed at this point were workers, those who would be able to help work, and be the hands of the company. They need to be people I would be able to trust but would be able to understand me enough to carry out the company in the image that we wanted. I had to look at my list again and probably went through five names before I decided to ask and establish the nine that would be.