An entrepreneur’s journey to success isn’t something that can be taught through a book or taught in a classroom.

There’s no set path. There’s no script. You fight through problems. You shed blood, sweat and tears. And you succeed because you never gave up and because you had the skill to make it.

For Dossey Richards, CEO of Lotus Technologies, fighting was the easy part. A former amateur Muay Thai kickboxer, Dossey knew that he could overcome anything if he could overcome the fear of stepping into the ring with a 250-pound heavyweight.

If 9 out of 10 startups fail, then what separates Dossey from the other 9 founders?

The answer can be found in 3 distinct qualities: adaptability, determination, and grit.

Like so many other founders, Dossey started with a grand vision. At 18, he wanted to create a social network where he could showcase his passion for art — a social network for artists. With no knowledge of technology, he saved up cash, raised capital from friends and family, and outsourced the project.

After “weeks” of development, he found that he was only left with a couple of final pages, and barely a skeleton for the rest of the platform.

He could have given up. But, he didn’t.


Dossey spent countless nights learning — teaching himself HTML, CSS, and every language he needed to learn to finish his social network.

But, something else happened as he finished up his project. He discovered that he had a hunger for more. Dossey found a medium that allowed him to both earn a living and showcase his “art,” and this newfound appetite for expression and entrepreneurship had to be satisfied.

As he put it:

Dossey Richards, Lotus Technologies NYC

“I wanted to keep technology as horizontal and powerful as art. Trying to not just create beautiful architectural patterns, but things that could be appreciated as creative as canvas art.”

But, there was one problem. No would hire him.

As ambitious as Dossey was, he quickly learned that a self-taught developer without a portfolio is about as desirable to employers as a two-week-old pizza.


He could have given up. But, he didn’t. He was determined to follow his newfound passion.

Even though he went on to found Lotus Technologies, Dossey cites an early success as his proudest moment as an entrepreneur:

“The proudest moment that I can remember is actually before I started Lotus Technologies. I had taught myself HTML and CSS, and was building very simple websites. I was told I needed a portfolio to be hired, but I couldn’t build a portfolio without working. So, I went on craigslist and after being shot down for several opportunities, I ended up posting ads in the labor section.

I very honestly said I’ll make any website for $300. I was pouring my heart out, telling people that I didn’t have a portfolio, and I was doing this to build my personal portfolio. Within 2 hours, I received my first client call. He gave me a deposit for the website $150. It seems so small now but at the time, it was such a symbol. The first time I had ever made money doing something by my own accord. I remember every second of that day. It seemed so small then, but it was a life-changing moment.”

Fast forward, and this first website has sent Dossey down a path from a self-taught developer, to senior developer, to CTO, to founder of Lotus Technologies.


No matter what challenges came his way as an entrepreneur, Dossey knocked them out left and right. Nothing could stop him.

As he put it:

“If I can walk into a ring and fight a heavyweight fighter, then I can go through anything. “

Even as Lotus Technologies continued to grow, and solidified itself as one of the top dev-shops for mobile technology and fast-growing startups, Dossey kept pushing limits to grow his company.

For budding entrepreneurs and early-stage founders, he has this piece of advice:

“Don’t aim for a glossy finish. As entrepreneurs, we spend a lot of time trying to build a business on our presumptions of what that looks like. I thought the next phase was to hire a large sales team. After all, that’s what everyone said was the next phase. But they were wrong. The sales team had such a hard time communicating the skills and confidence of a true engineer, so we refocused. The media showcases startups in a certain light and only highlight success stories, and the ridiculous budgets they spend on marketing fads and ads. Most of the stuff we see about how business is done is a lie. How we grow is actually what we learn and our experience, and taking advantage of the opportunities you have in front of you.”

“So what’s next for Dossey and Lotus Technologies?”

“Good Software is going to be as necessary as clean water.”

lotus technologies custom web and mobile development

There were challenges, but Dossey remained his adaptive, determined and gritty self to achieve the company growth goals he aimed to reach.

The path for growth can’t be taught through a book. This path can only be followed through its walking, through adapting to obstacles and through never giving up when solutions are elusive.

Dossey credits a number of people who have mentored him throughout his journey. Some of these people are Chauncey Thorne, a Sr. Developer who gave him much needed direction early on in his development career, and Vincent Barr, marketing executive of MongoDB, and Lucas Seyhun, owner of FarmSoho.

Dossey and Lotus Technologies are going to fill a major need in the market — building software and mobile technology for early stage companies such as: Thrive Global, Plugg, and Convey.  You can see some of their work here.