So, eXturn’s First-ever article will start by covering our current state. The present time. In future posts, we’ll deal with how did we get here or what is still expected. But this first post will be all about today… Beginning of June 2020…
June 2020 is actually 6 months after establishing eXturn with the first seed funding. June 2020 is also 3 months after the Covid-19 really started striking hard on almost every spot on the planet and it is about a year and a half since we (the founders) met for the first time.
Currently, we’re in TLV, the 54th floor of this shared space with a great view of the sea. feels like the crazy beaches of TLV have the power to wake up all other aspects of life, now, that most of the limitations are off and life struggles to get back on track.
Product Based Start-up
I’m writing this text while we are implementing all the electronics, software, algorithm, wires and actually will see the eXturn rotates, spins, and comes alive for the first time, hours from now.
As a product-based startup, this is one of the highlights you can expect during this entity’s short life. The day the plan, engineering, design, and concept, turns into reality.
The COVID- 19 strikes the globe-
In the past months, which were mostly under the Corona routine, we were busy coming up with the infrastructure. All the mechanical parts: Gears, motors, metal parts attached to pieces of aluminum trying to meet the plans and vision.
In those days I can’t say we really understood what we saw across the EU or the far east over the news: people counting their deads and sick, people struggling to breathe, the healthy ones staying at home singing to each other out of the balconies.
We realize that we’re experiencing an event that happens once a century, but, we got hooked with one sentence we’ve heard and just kept us moving: “Under a global pandemic, whatever you’ll be able to create in your garage, will feed you after the storm quiets down”.
So… The numbers in Italy, Spain were freaking out, the UK government changed their policy back and forth, Germany acted as the responsible adult in the room while the US kept searching for some common sense, and we… looked at our bank account (was pretty much ok…), looked at our potential strategic partners (they just looked back at us and were really concerned whether we’ll make it throughout this crisis), and just kept pushing.
we listened to whatever was out there on the news-speculations, statistics, and scientists trying to advise, and we just kept on pushing the gas pedal even harder.
“Garabilty” or “leading culture at work”?
The main secret in order to be able to keep pushing development was the tight relationship and commitment we had with our team.
On the one hand as a lean startup, we made an early decision that was basically saying, that till we get to see our first MVP, without directly hiring additional team members.
We executed our initial instinct here and signed agreements with subcontractors only. It made us save lots of employment expenses, focus only on delivering our patented technology, and not having too much operational and administrative costs to take care of.
On the other hand, we come from a strong belief in workplace culture. Creating a company with fully committed people that have a clear vision of why we’re here, what is the mission, and are surrounded by trust once they step into the office, was crucial to us.
So, we’ve started communicating all of our desired culture and started really pushing towards becoming that place we created in previous projects and the one we wished for at eXturn.
Although the critical phase of R&D was done only under engagements with contractors, the environment was of a team effort. The time spent together, the SDRs and CDRs when everyone sits in the same location, coordinating, observing the full and complete picture, laughing, and dining together made us feel like a team, knowing where we’re heading.
Recognizing crisis as a gift
The COVID 19 shutdown, gave us all the gift of going to the garage as an act of art.
Small size self-employed contractors were communicating with us throughout the Zoom sessions, based in their offices and labs. The medium-big size ones (like the gear manufacturer) was luckily declared as an essential factory and just kept on pushing, familiar with the business side of things, and the beta testing needs, which kept their incentive right where it should be.
Us, as founders, just kept the Zoom platform open most of the day, making sure we are aligned and coordinated, letting everyone around us feel completely onboard: advisors, contractors, innovation authority executives, potential partners, VCs — they all knew exactly what’s happening R&D wise, and we kept updating them all frequently during those wired days and months.
What is Garagability anyway?
Garagabilty as discovered here is all that essential to keep (more or less) your roadmap and milestones as scheduled.
As an early-stage startup, the thing that keeps you up at night is the budget versus the task list around your technology and business development. Garagability is a great tool that should be added to any size company’s toolbox, but, in times of major crisis, it should be an ability that all of us must make sure we possess.
So, what does Garagabilty contains? Generally speaking, it is the ability to keep on developing your project under strict circumstances. Just execute your plans in a space that will supply you with the ability to handle and respond to technical obstacles and bumps that are usually part of the challenge.
The Garagability must have long-distance connectivity ability in order to communicate flawlessly at all times, BUT it must contain a TEAM that knows, trusts, and backs each other as well as being aligned as for the project specs and responsibilities.
In addition, Garagabilty does not mean necessarily one garage as a working space. For us, 4 garages worked in parallel. It’s fine as long as everyone is completely on board.
The Garagabilty is actually the company’s way to make progress under a shutdown. Garagabilty happens once you keep your development process alive and running or you just go into creating the software/hardware/product that was on your mind for a long time with people that can handle all of the load and tasks.
Long-distance communication has proved to be dramatically effective during the past 3 months and it is for sure one of the basic demands of Garagability. All you need to add to space itself (equipped as good as you can), are motivation and incentives from your team (it’s so much harder doing things alone...) and a dream or a plan to execute.
We often hear of the phrase -“Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity.” In some way, it also applies to Garagability.
It will work out only if you’re prepared for it mentally, logistically, and team-wise. Yep, early-stage startups after a seed round will pull it off easier cause that’s how they are used to function anyways, but the Garagability should be and act the entire new age industry, regardless of segments, should be able to pull off.
There’s a chance, Corona will come back in future events or that global warming will create other crises like the last one.
Those are huge financial risks. We figured out via the Covid-19 that these waves end at some point and life tries to put their foot back in the door again.
It looks like that those who had progressed or solved new needs during the lockdown will be the ones ahead.
Those who are ahead now probably spent some time in their garage.