I’ve been in a pretty strange mood these days and my schedule has been more packed with a variety of activity than it ever has been. It’s put me in a serious funk on some days and then cloud-9 on others. This oscillation between the two extremes is typical, mind you, but it’s been categorically different in the past few weeks.
For starters, I have overcome most of the largest technological hurdles with the app, namely the core feature set and the server architecture systems that I have implemented. There is tons of room for improvement and I’ve got an epic laundry list of fixes that I should be submitting for version 1.3 and 1.4 tomorrow and in another 2 weeks time respectively-speaking.
But I feel like I’ve moved into a new season where I’m spending more and more time on the “business” side of things, especially since my data costs have grown immensely (scary, actually).
So in many ways I feel as if I’m in the in-between, a period where the work is consistent (and growing) but the major hurdles of development have been generally overcome and I’m moving emotionally into a new season where I have to figure out how to keep the lights on.
It’s not entirely exciting but it’s absolutely necessary and that’s probably why I’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster in the last few weeks. I don’t like transitions any more than the next guy and I want to take great care in coming up with a plan and a model that works for everyone.
In addition, raising venture capital for the project is a full-time job in and of itself – it’s exhausting talking to people and pitching the concept over and over and over again. In fact, last week our little app was ranked as one of the top 10 startups raising capital on AngelList.
I’m not sure how those rankings really work but I had a lot of inbound traffic, a ton of emails, and a handful of phone calls to say the least. It’s exhausting and working on both product and the business side is tough – this is why I’m looking heavily into building a team as well as soliciting top volunteer talent (like this) to help us grow.
I firmly believe in building the right team around a project, a product, and a business but I’m being very selective with who I meet and who I chat with – the right person(s) can make or break a great idea overnight. If you can stomach some “fun” language, I’m quite frank about building a team in this recent talk I did at a local startup talk (first tip: “Be Effin’ Badass”).
And although I’ve had some great talks so far with top talent they have either been too busy to consider coming on board or some other typical challenges (e.g. timing, compensation, experience, etc.). So, again, I’m caught in this strange “in-between” and I’m muddling through it as best as I can.
Oh, and by the way, all projects and all startups go through these transition periods and it’s quite normal to be a little introspective and even drum up the very difficult questions that challenge the very foundations of the venture in the first place. You have to stomach them, encounter and engage, and then survive your own critique; in my case I’m a pretty harsh self-critic.
But you and I will survive and we’ll continue to push forward, won’t we? Get through it and you’ll do just fine.