Letter to Non Existent Shareholders — Growth Notes — 2018 Year Review

We, as a team of four people, developed a new service called Growth Notes, which is based on extracting the wisdom from the best personal development books in a novel way.

The service targets millennial's who find it difficult to get stuck into books for long — yet want the practical benefit of having read those books. While we can’t necessarily transfer all the wisdom from a book in a few pages, we can most certainly identify the most important habits worth implementing based on a book’s content.

We developed this service as a result of understanding that we live in a time, where increasingly, more and more of us find little time to delve into books. And for those who are more inclined to read, it can be difficult for them to know which books are well worth reading in the first place.

Difficulty

Looking back, we had a difficult journey. The hardest part was no doubt getting the website right. We went through so many design changes.

It was time consuming, clunky, and frustrating. Looking at the site now though, it was all worth it. Even though there’s things that could still be improved.

In terms of getting the product and design right for the PDFs as well as the video, it was just a matter of patience and time. And then, eventually everything fell into place.

Balancing Strengths

As the leader of the enterprise, I can be diligent, orderly, and structured. Yet I also can be creative, open, and aesthetically minded. It’s come to my awareness that these two opposing strengths can clash with each other — and my inability to successfully reconcile these opposing strengths affected the company’s development. In the end though, I feel like I’m a lot better at this balance — and that will be a great thing for Growth Notes over the coming years.

The Problem with Personal Development

In personal development, often, ever strategy/tactic is labelled as the single secret to be the best version of yourself. Or if it’s not the single one, then its benefits are over-exaggerated. The best thing a new habit can do, is improve someone’s life 1–2%.

Real change happens when someone carefully explores what kind of person they want to show up as, in each area of their life. Do they want to be a great athelete? A funny, light hearted and warm friend? A business owner or an engineer who brings immense value to the company they work for? And so on and so forth.

After people understand and articulate what they want, what multitude of beneficial habits can they develop, and how can they stick to them for the long term? This philosophy of change is what we hope to impart to our customers over the coming years. We essentially hope to feed our customers with wisdom that matters, for a more meaningful life in age of countless digital distractions.

Business Income and Time Invested

We are confident Growth Notes will be generating income at some point in 2019. Some financial help with the business through a loan or investment would be lovingly welcomed. We’ll be applying to a few grants to see how that goes.

Although, it’s going to take an increase in work on my part as CEO.

  • In 2017, on the side, I worked an average of 1H, six days a week (6H/Week).
  • In 2018, on the side, I worked an average of 2H of work 6 days a week (12H/Week).
  • In 2019, anything above 12H would be great. I’m not going to be strict about the number of hours of work I want to get done. 20–24Hours of deep work on the computer is probably the cut-off point, where any more work produces diminishing returns.

Attention to Detail

The Sales Page was edited 722 times and every sentence was scrutinized until nothing could be added or removed. The About Page was edited 422 times. The Home page header was edited 349 times. The video was reshot 28 times. Before that, it was shot 70 times in a different setting (where it didn’t quite work out due to a bad script).

The script for the video took 4–8 hours to get right, even though it was only a paragraph long. The idea for the poem came after writing a conventional script that didn’t do the service justice.

The website was completely redesigned 3 times. There was a total of 400 revisions after the new design was added. The design template for the Growth Notes was tweaked and refined over the course of several months. A total of 31 hours were spent on Skype refining the product. In total 900 hours + were spent on the project throughout 2018.