It’s been awhile since I’ve posted about, well, anything. So I figured I would finally take a few minutes and change that.
I’ve been coding stuff since the early-to-mid nineties and have experienced a lot of professional ups and downs throughout that time. In fact most of the past ten years has been in, around, and focused on the startup world and you could probably argue that ups and downs are really what the startup life is all about…so it should come as no surprise that the past year has been very much more of the same for me.
On the downside, Coach Wizard didn’t work out at all as I planned, hoped, and tried to position it to. I built the service I wanted but the market responded with a big, fat, ‘ehh’. Nobody hated it, but nobody really loved it either. The problem wasn’t nearly as big or important as *I* thought it was or wanted it to be.
I believe there are still some small wins that can be had around the concept, but it’s not the start of something really big and important that I thought it would be. So that was very personally crushing/depressing and it’s back to the drawing board there (though I will eventually do something more with this project).
On the upside, PubGears continued to show solid progress and growth…and with my other things not working as I had hoped, they were able to suck me back in (after meeting a few personal requests/demands).
Since then, we’ve been working on restructuring the company, adding a new partner, and adding an increased focus on sales and growth…long story short, profits and team moral continue to trend up and all of us involved in that are starting to see more of the rewards that come with that.
Also on the upside, I was able to identify the lack of traction/momentum with Coach Wizard early enough in the spring to be able to avoid losing a lot of time/money/energy to get to the same conclusion…this meant I actually got to have a fairly relaxed and casual summer.
I spent a lot of that free time hacking on a few tiny personal projects/apps (fubnub.com and txtgame.net) that were more about learning and personal wants/needs then trying to build something I hope a lot of people adopt or eventually use. So that always goes a long way in helping to break free of any potential depression (i.e. the Coach Wizard aftermath).
Finally - through the summer months I was also able to take a bit of step back and do some self-evaluation and reflection…to think about what my strengths, motivations, and interests really are…and what I really intend to accomplish in the next phase.
In doing that, I came to the realization that I like being involved in a lot of projects at once (it helps me make loose connections and build slow hunches)…I need to be involved in building something from nothing (this is at least 50% of my draw towards startups)…and finally, I want to see more tangible results from the things I’m involved in (the huge potential upside of startups is the other 50%).
So what’s the plan going forward?
1. I’m working with the PubGears team so that we can fully enter into hyper-growth mode and *finally* make it the big win we’ve all seen the potential for for years.
2. I’m loosely partnering with some seed/angel investors I know to offer up my tech. knowledge/experience to the deals they are committing to for tiny bits of equity. Basically its my version of Angel investing; instead of putting money in, I put in my time/knowledge towards their tech needs (including getting my hands dirty with code if/when need be).
3. As always, I’ll continue to self-fund and hack on my own ideas and things that interest me. These will likely continue to be small (and silly) ideas that are as much about learning or scratching a personal itch as they are about building something I think people will actually want/use.
…and of course through all of it, I’ll continue to focus on learning, living on the edge of the intersection of tech and reality, voicing my opinion on random topics of interest, and having lots of fun.
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Kevin also talks in more depth about many of the these things around twice a month via his drip campaign and has a day job as CTO of Veritonic. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
If you have comments, thoughts, or want to respond to something you see here I would encourage you to respond via a post on your own blog (and then let me know about the link via one of the routes mentioned above).