My first 4 weeks as a founder
I can’t quite believe it’s been a month. A month since moving back to London from New York, and starting my new adventure building Wurq. A big reason for diving into building my own company, was an insatiable desire for a whole new learning experience. And boy am I getting it. With my first month down, here are a few of the things I’ve learned so far.
Everyone is behind you, but not everyone is pushing
I remember announcing on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, everywhere that I was about to start my own company, and the response was phenomenal. I’ve never felt so much love and belief from my friends, family and colleagues. I immediately got excited that with this many people behind me, getting help or scaling the product at first will be a doddle! HA. Yeah right. Although I had an overwhelmingly great response to my call for beta testers of my initial email service, other than that, people are predominantly very vocal in their support but aren’t necessarily gonna pull out all the stops to help you out. You’ll only get a few people who do a share here and maybe offer an introduction there. Important to note this isn’t a reflection on people at all. It’s a reflection on my assumption that people would be more active in their support of my endeavour, and that I under no circumstances can expect anyone to do me any favours.
Entrepreneurship is a lonely pursuit
I thrive working in a team. I love the energy of teams, learning from each other in teams and ultimately the ground you cover whilst working in a team. The absence of all these things right now, has reinforced for me how alone I am working on this. It’s great that I am getting to spend time meeting awesome people, and I’m lucky that my good friends ustwo are allowing me to loiter around their London studio for the foreseeable, but it’s nothing like the feeling of working with people on a shared mission. Building a great team around Wurq really can’t come soon enough.
Environment is everything
Right now I am bouncing between my parents place near Reading, and my little sisters place in East London. This means I have the privilege of spending time with my parents, but also the ability to work in London and meet people when I need to. This means I’ve also been flexible in where I work. Whether it’s my mum and dad’s dining room table, a coffee or shop, or on the sofa at my little sisters, I can work where I please! That said, I undeniably do my best work when in an environment that feels like work. The time spent at ustwo, or working from my dad’s home office (when he isn’t using it) is the time where I get shit done. There are days when I’ve worked elsewhere, and I look back and think ‘what did I actually get done today?”. I don’t even think it was a case of distraction. I actually just think the quality of my thinking and output is boosted by being in a place that means I feel more ‘switched on’.
Filtering all the advice is a job in itself
One thing I’ve noticed acutely since becoming a founder, is that everyone has advice. In particular past and current founders have advice by the bucket load, which I am keen to lap up. That said, I have days where in the space of a few hours, I will get advice from 2 founders that could not be more conflicted. “You only need a low-fi prototype to raise seed”, is closely followed by “Don’t even bother trying to raise seed till you’ve got your product live”. And what’s more, because these people have lived and breathed this experience, their delivery is with passion and conviction. It’s hard not to eat up every word! Knowing which information to use or fully digest is a huge challenge, and one that I continue to spend time on my own deciding how to consume and filter.
Roll on the next 4 weeks, 4 months and 4 years!