A Farewell Letter To My First Startup

Milestone Mondays

Project : Hshtags
A social media search engine for hashtags.


Hshtags, I don’t know if you know this but you were the first that brought me many other firsts.

On the development side you taught me how to build my first application from the ground up in PHP. You explained MVP frameworks. Helped me structure my first database in SQL. Showed me how to use and build my first API. Held my hand as I developed iOS and android apps. Introduced me to my first front-end framework. Told me how to refactor my codebase. Guided me in integrating online payments with SSL. Advised me in building my first live feed. And pushed me to manage my first server.

On the design side you watched me craft my first complex service application. Directed me in designing my first sign up, log in, profile and settings screens. Influenced my first search experience. Taught me more about user experience. Aided in my first user testing session. Gave me hope for my first masonry layout. Helped me pick my first favorite typeface. Encouraged my first fully responsive experience. Showed me how to lay out mobile and tablet screens. And explained how to approach the design of my first live feed and mobile app.

On the product side you were my first startup. You talked me through my first pitch deck. Gave me pointers for my first conversations with investors. Stood by my side at my first booth at an expo. Pushed me to pitch my idea to an audience. Encouraged me to go alone to my first networking event. Introduced me to concepts on growth, marketing and everything startup. Helped me hire my first intern. Pushed me to build out a team. Kept me sane as I organized my first event. Hugged me when I got my first feature in a tech publication. And held my hand during my first interview.

Because of you I spent more time collaborating with Joseph who became my partner in crime and met amazing people including Michelle and Miguel who decided to jump on the crazy ride with me.

What I wish I knew before we got started is that it’s important to understand your true intentions and intrinsic motivations before starting anything. Having a strong why and knowing what success means to you will define every decision you make.

I’ll admit, in the beginning I was only interested in making for making sake and honing my craft. I just didn’t realize it then so it turned into something it shouldn’t have been — but in hindsight, needed to be to make me the person I am today. I wouldn’t change our time together for a second.

Now after 3 exciting and terrifying years, with both a heavy heart and a sigh of relief, I have to let you go. I promise to make you proud in every other endeavor and never forget the experience we had together.

Thanks for everything Hshtags.

Love,
Your First (Kim)


Hshtags will officially be unavailable as of September 12th, 2016. If you’re a fan of our work, keep up with our latest projects at Bourn.


Kim is a chronic creator, designer and coder. Maker at @bybourn, curator of Hashtags Unplugged and creator behind bitterrenter.nyc, foundermantras.com , sendthanks.to and hshtags.com.