Saying that this is our first week would be a little bit of a white lie. We’ve actually been at it for over 2 months now. However, last week was our first week working on our product
full time ok, more like Brent working on it full time and me having about 20 meetings with various people and organizations. Over the course of this week, I’ve made a few observations.
You have to pivot!
Our original plan for the company was to follow an 80/20 plan. 80% of our time was to be spent on billable contracts and the other 20% to build mobile applications. However, for the last 2 months, we’ve been spending our evenings building ourselves a tool to help us in our development efforts and alleviate some of the pains we’ve experienced while trying to deliver mobile widgets. Based on our own experience with this product (very much in it’s infancy at this point) and many conversations with people throughout the week, we have decided to change our model already!
We have realized that our product is, in our opinion, commercially viable and will help serve the needs of mobile developers that will be developing for the emerging Mobile Widget market (estimated at 1 billion mobile consumers across the globe). We have decided that we will be focusing all of our energy and attention on building and getting our product to market and leave consulting as a last resort should we run low on funds (we are self funded after all).
I’ve read many VC and startup blogs that pointed out that, as an entrepreneur, you will have to pivot often and quickly. I must admit though, I didn’t think we’d pivot quite this quickly :-)
The people and the community around you want to help
I’ve had the great pleasure of meeting with a lot of people this past week. We’ve met with TechCapital and Communitech, as well with people that I would consider to be great advisors and mentors, like Larry Borsato, Joseph Fung, Karl Allen-Muncey, and a few more. There were two resounding patterns that emerged from all of those meetings.
- They were all willing to give us their time, listen and were curious to learn about what we were doing and why.
- They have all offered to help in one way or another, either by making an introduction, offering advice, even throwing some market research our way.
I honestly didn’t think that those involved in the startup world would be so open, welcoming, and willing to offer a hand. It goes to show what a great community of people and organizations we have here in the Waterloo region and for that we are truly thankful!
Being passionate about what you’re building, yields great results!
I’ve always known that if you sit down and focus on the task at hand, you can make great progress. It has been amazing to see how much further we’ve managed to develop our product with just one week of truly focused effort. We have easily accomplished more in this past week then in the entire month of December of last year.
If you believe you have a good idea and a truly helpful product on your hands, focus on it! Quiting your job might not be an easy step, but so far, the progress we’ve made shows me that it was the right one (at least for us).
Our first day
You don’t need a big shiny office :-)
I’ll end this post with this: Any place where you can sit down, work collaboratively, and focus is a good place to call your office. Be it your living room, basement, a dorm room, or even a coffee shop. In our case… it’s Bren’t room (for now). Here’s a picture of us, on our first day working for tinyHippos full time, our SCRUM wall featured in the background :-)
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