My little startup experience (Part 1)
This is for my little one. Just a small collection of thoughts about my on-going experience as an “entrepreneur”.
You have to do it…
Yet another morning where I was just thinking I have better to do of the time and the energy that I have. I do not want to still be this person full of frustration.
My job was well payed, I was appreciated by my team but I saw no recognition upstream, no challenge, just a big nothing with no future: regular contractor stuff, first criteria to catch the contract is the price, prices go down and down, risk of outsourcing, just to name a few.
I was hacking on the side on different stuff, one was much more interesting (at least for me) so I pickup and started to dig further in 3D Printing Software because whatever I saw in this field I always finished on the software bottleneck.
So, I gave my resignation and I started directly on this stuff: most of people think that I was totally crazy with a baby of few months at home (most of them think I am still probably…) but for me it was just crazy to work there for so long.
Starting is easy…
I put down on the paper some tasks and I started directly. Starting is easy, you get quickly work done and you move quickly from one and another. This is the euphoria, even I put some deadlines and finally the first real issues and challenges came…
You will fail several times a day and at some point you are literally stuck on some stuff, because you do not know (new field, new stuff) or you are too dumb and too tired because you push above the limit. To keep the moral, I try to have at least one little nice something that I can handle to make me a happy day, I always want to finish a day in happiness.
Also, it is important to perform the same task on different stuff at the same time, you are more efficient and if you forgot something you fix it right away, if you do not wait there is no blood and less suffering.
Sometimes, you switch to another task and when you go back you have the solution.
But it does not always work like this, you have a hard problem and you have to switch to the monk mode: you know you have to push like crazy day and night on this stuff until you really have fully embraced the problem and you can solve it.
Still, I try to find an happy ending for each day/night otherwise I become quickly miserable and grumpy, but sometimes it is like that and you have to deal with it.
No deadline, just work…
So, I changed the way of working, I saw quickly it was useless and a waste of time to plan so aggressively when you do not know fully the why, the what and the how: you focus more, the whole point is to have something good, not just barely something (even if you have this during a few iterations).
Also, at the end the product was something different than what I though about and it was much interesting when you go back and forth on the thing (Top Down/Bottom Up)+. So I iterate, test and iterate and test further, refactor until reaching an acceptable confidence in the stuff where I know I can move forward to the next task.
This is something that is not linear and iterating on other stuff will alter this for sure, it is important to work cleanly and clearly you do not want to loose time understanding what you have done few months ago.
Do not overdoing stuff is also important, the main goal is to setup as quickly as possible the full chain and after to refine further. You will break this stuff sooner or later: it is not a problem, it is part of the process.
Time and fatigue matters…
I am getting mad when I waste time due to negligence, mostly due to stupid mistakes, fatigue and external stuff of daily life.
I know this seems pathetic but this is up to a level where you really know that each minute of your time is important: you have to make it work and you know you have an humongous pile of stuff.
Let say that I have to keep you the baby, while the baby is with me, I am doing task that requires less energy. For instance, I am testing something one the side, and if I see a bug, if I can fix it I do it right away.
Every little moment matters, I know that if I wait it will be delayed further and this collection of little moment counts for hours in each week.
If I have to loose time on some external stuff of daily life, I want to concentrate all those stuff on only one day in the week. It is super important to remove any source of interruption.
Managing the time and the fatigue is key, I was a few times sick because I push too much and the recovery was really long, so each time I feel premises of the fatigue or sickness: I do what should be done and I sleep a bit more to recover. But I am still pushing at the limit all the time.
I followed your rhythm of baby and I enforced it: I eat when you eat, I sleep when you sleep except during the night where I am the most proficient.
This is the Hermit mode: I was wearing the same pajamas few days, being happy to take a shower 2 times a week, eating just pasta and biscuits.
Sometimes I was going out to perform some needed burden and I was feeling like an alien “Oh here there is light”, and I was turning my head around just like there was something new around.
Yes this is yet another level of craziness but without such involvement there is not enough time/money to achieve what I want to do.
To be continued