The following post is something that I wrote at my blog back in 2013. 3 years after leaving the company, I have a bit time to reflect both what had happened and also a recap of the post.
Looking at the old post, some technological notes were redundant. ( Backbone, Celery, etc.) The tools that is used, is NOT that important. What is important, find people to pay for your service; figure out if anybody is willing to pay, then figure out how many people. Product-Market fit iterations.
The key point was over-producing. Features, integrations that should not be at the core part of the product or to be more precise, that should not be at the focus of the company. Storing RSS data is very different than storing tweets and facebook posts. The scalability requirements of those latter is tremendous which means much higher costs, system availability, more men power, more things to consider, etc, etc..
Sadly, we have shut down our operations before Google Reader was dead.Newsblur was up and running at the time and still going strong as I see.
If you’re asking what was the product we built; here you go, 2 1min videos showing the important features.
the OLD but still a GOLD post
I knew everything
- made a good sprint, but couldn’t finish the run. No more oxygen/energy.
General — — — --
- did not take care myself; emotionally and physically
- did not listen people very well. I’ve heard them but did not actually listen. I kept on talking and talking.
- being an expat and entrepreneur is somewhat crazy when you know you’re going to have visa problems. Too much instability in one man’s life drains too much energy.
- did not use my time wisely
- tried to do too much
- should be less harsh on myself and others
- was(am) stubborn when I should not be
- was inconsistent ( ran ~90km in June ’12 then in the last 6 months I only ran 30km )
- did not ask for help
Business — — — — — — — —
- never did true problem description. Should have write it down
- should have connected with more people. Relationships matter a lot.
- did not plan ahead the business
- *do not write a 100 page business plan* does not mean don’t write it at all
- started working on other ideas and lost focus when business needed the most
- should take the money when a beta user offered to pay
- should have postpone opening company till we have a paying customer base.
- should have asked money from people
- rather than having a $400 Amazon EC2 instance, €30 p/m server was enough.
Programming — — — — — —
- scalability problems should be solved when there are scalability problems.
- have stuck in maker’s obsession
- wrote too much code. 30% became immediately unnecessary
- did not prioritize what I should be working next
- should have learnt Celery before
- should have learnt Flask before
- more Backbone less spagetti JS.
- less code, less code, less code.
- my job is not programming. My job is delivering value using programming.
The Product — — — — — —
- should release the app much more earlier
- should have fixed the showstopper bug and email users a.s.a.p. to say that we’re sorry. ( Some users registered and tried the app when they shouldn’t but since I left the Google login open, they’ve registered and saw a non-working app )
- did not look for a market very well
- did not able to explain the product in simple terms
- did not try to sell the product, I’ve just build it
- kept 600 people waiting for a demo while having a product
- should have integrated payment gateway much more earlier
- Facebook & Twitter do not have quality content
— — -
I am a fool. A big one.
Now, back to reading http://www.amazon.com/Emotional-Intelligence-2-0-Travis-Bradberry/dp/0974320625/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1355770678&sr=8-2
Why have I failed as an entrepreneur ?