Day 44: Icebreakers aren’t useless after all.

STATUS: Apparently, people really¬†like the name “thinglistr.” Maybe I should become a business naming consultant.

MOOD: Slightly less tired af


I started promoting thinglistr today. I asked people who I thought might be interested in something like this to help me with some research I’m doing (because let’s face it; startups are really expensive social experiments…at least at first). I spent most of the day being slightly terrified of having to cold approach. I got hung up on my fear of being perceived as spammy; after all, this isn’t too different from the guys in Times Square trying to get people to buy (or “buy”) their mixtapes.

The reception was overwhelmingly positive. I spoke to six people today and ALL of them were really receptive towards helping me out. I took a shot with a bunch of Brooklyn natives like myself and got to taste a MEAN Manhattan with Macallan 12 (which was REALLY good, btw). I only stopped because I ran out of business cards (which the people I spoke with really liked; thanks little MOO!)

The *first* approach was the momentum that got the ball rolling for me. It felt like that groggy feeling you get when trying to get out of bed. Exactly like it, in fact. I felt instantly comfortable with promoting thinglistr to anyone who’d listen *the very minute* I approached that group.

TL;DR: Get out of the building already; people are more helpful than you think 

Day 44: Icebreakers aren’t useless after all.

Day 42: Failing to plan is planning to fail…but doing nothing is worse.

STATUS: Thinglistr now promotes Meetup events nearby! Facebook and Twitter integration are on their way! Lots of new followers on here and Twitter! (Thanks for your support, guys!) Cool!

MOOD: A little down, but only for a short bit.


I spent a few hours working on thinglistr’s Facebook integration and came upon a sticky point. Without revealing too much technical detail, let’s just say that businesses use Facebook in lots of really interesting ways that I never thought of before. After spending a few hours thinking of a solution and drawing blanks, I started feeling lost. In some ways, interesting coding problems can become booby traps that sap up huge chunks of your already-way-too-limited free time. What’s worse is that these traps can *seem like pressing problems* in the heat of the moment.

This Facebook conundrum was one such example, and I almost fell for it. In the middle of thinking up a few complex solutions to this problem, I realized something really critical.

I didn’t have a plan.

I knew that thinglistr needs to collect events and event hints from various sources. I knew that getting those events was going to be challenging, so I spent (and am spending) a lot of time getting that working. Even though I’m on the right track there, I realized that I never stopped to actually define *what an event actually ~is~.* Considering that I’m building thinglistr so that it’s the best damn event discovery/promoter/”poster-on-the-post-no-bills-board” service that the world has ever seen, I posited that knowing what an event in thinglistr looks like is a bit of a big deal.

So instead of spending three more hours racking my head on the Facebook problem, I spent an hour and change actually writing down what I wrote down a few times before: the kinds of events that thinglistr retrieves. And while writing these down, I came upon another realization: my answer to this question looked a LOT clearer than it did when I wrote this down last time. The note was slightly bigger this time. I had categories. I had flowcharts. I had fatal conditions and non-fatal conditions.

The last time I did this, I had *ideas.* This time, I had a system. A real system. And even though I had spent a good chunk of time developing it, it felt *really* good having it laid out like this. I knew that thinglistr has a leg up over the competition; now, I know *exactly* how it does. I knew enough about how thinglistr worked to explain it during pitches; now, I can pitch *a system.*

But I don’t think I would have arrived at this point without jotting down some rough ideas and simply building shit.

I’m loving how much I’m learning while I’m doing this. School can’t teach this. Jobs can’t teach this. It’s all fascinating.

Day 42: Failing to plan is planning to fail…but doing nothing is worse.