The Right Five Journey (part 4)

Neil HartleyValue Creation JourneyLeave a Comment

a road disappearing into the distance

It’s February! Where did January go and what did we achieve? (There’s a song in there somewhere.)

If you’ve read our earlier posts on the journey you’ll know that we have outsourced our product development to a firm in Ukraine and we continue to ready ourselves for launch in parallel with various marketing activities.

Firstly, the product development. The design phase has just passed into dev, probably three weeks later than expected due to a combination of illness and it just being harder than expected.

I always thought the potential for disconnects between what someone thinks, then says and what someone else hears and interprets is enormous. And that’s when you’re in the same room, speaking the same language with some form of level playing ground for the context of what’s being discussed. Try that when remote, one party has the others as a second language and one is coming up to speed on the concept…

The fault is with us for not, at least, employing a business analyst to help bridge the gap between our brains and what could reasonably be expected for the beginning of a software development process.

It’s what it is. The design looks great, onto development.

In terms of the parallel marketing activities, I’d characterize the process there as having completed 1% of each of 100 tasks, rather than 100% of any one of them. At least, it feels that way. 

We’ve actually done a lot in terms of messaging and content for the launch website but it just feels as if nothing is finished which, in turn, is [personally] frustrating. What can you do but move on knowing that this whole project will never be finished? From MVP to v1, from v1 to new applications of the existing solution, from this solution to the next…

Not wanting to dig into the detail of all the 1%s, it might be worth getting a little philosophical and talking about some of the mental challenges of doing this. Not just doing this but doing it now. The uncertainties of starting your own business (and leaving other [predictable] sources of income) in a world of [almost] unprecedented uncertainty.

My wife said to me last week something along the lines of, “I’m really proud of how you keep going, how you don’t give up”. That surprised me because I suffer badly from imposter syndrome. She didn’t know. Maybe it helps that she now does? I think the only real cure is to keep going. As Harriet Tubman said, “when you hear the dogs keep going…”.

I think full blown depression is largely hidden in the startup community but it’s way more common than most would believe. One of the first to openly discuss his own depression was Brad Feld of Foundry Ventures in Boulder, CO. Brad has produced an exceptional resource for others that discusses depression in the startup community. It’s well worth a read and using as a continuous source of reassurance.

We are many, we are not alone and it’s OK to not be OK.

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