STATUS: I’m reading Facebook data now. Getting posts is just one GET away. Really simple phrase-based NLP is next. Like, embarrassingly simple. Just enough to prove that this works simple.
MOOD: Tired as fuck, but the optimism keeps me awake.
I’m two weeks in and still committed as day one, so that’s a really good sign. With that, let’s talk about the things I’m hating (and the things I’m loving!) while doing this. This post is going to be short; it’s almost 0400h and I should really get to bed soon.
The Things That Suck
1. There is never enough fucking time. 10 extra minutes spent at work could result in me waiting longer for the R and, consequently, staying up 30 minutes longer to work on something. I’ve never been as punctual about leaving at the end of my shift as I have since starting this.
2. My girlfriend and I have much less time together. I told her very early on that Saturdays (and part of Sundays) are exclusively our time, and I am super thankful for having decided that. Outside of that, we spend 30 minutes with each other per day, if we’re lucky. It’s usually more like 15. I could work at home, but our place is really small and rife with distractions (TV, fast internet, comfy sofa, even comfier bed that I’m missing so much, etc). Working out of my local cafe solves this.
3. Nine hours of sleep on a weekday will probably never happen again. I’ve been averaging somewhere between 4 and 5 hours of sleep since starting this project. I feel tired as shit almost every day. I’m not mad at all about this, though.
4. Feeling so far away from release has been slightly discouraging. I’m close, yet far, from releasing my MVP (and it’s *just* the MVP!). I’m learning A MASSIVE amount of stuff, but feeling like I’m racing against an abstract competitor-to-be is both exciting and overwhelming sometimes.
5. Answering the hard questions is hard. How will I monetize this exactly? How will I reach my potential users? How do I find a fucking co-founder? Do I cold email investors on LinkedIn? Do I find them at Meetups and other such conferences? Should I be thinking about any of this right now?
Things That are Fucking Awesome and Keep Me Going Despite the Suckage
1. My relationship is getting stronger. Having so much less time to spend with each other is kind-of making the time we do have much more special. I feel more “connected” with her now. It’s weird to describe. All I know is that I love her now more than ever and will work extremely hard to keep our relationship in a good place. Lots of relationships during startup founding go to shit, and I’d like to avoid that statistic.
2. I’m actually making something. People seem to want it, too. It is mine. I’m actually taking an idea and making it happen. I am more thankful now than ever that I know how to code. So many founders are struggling to get off the ground simply because they can’t code. I may not be the best at bizdev, but I know how to take something from thin air and turn it into a product, and I’m doing it.
3. I’m learning a fuckton. In the span of two weeks, I’ve learned how to stage and manage a basic AWS instance, manage a Google Apps account with Android for Work support, use the Google Maps and Facebook Graph APIs, how to scrap websites with a headless browser (thanks to Eric Schles, who tried so hard to get me to change my development stack mid-flight; too bad Selenium exists for PowerShell too!), and some more small bash niceties. I’ve also learned about business valuation, finding co-founders, pitching, and the amount of effort I’ll need to expend once I start looking for some money.
There is absolutely no way I would have learned all of that at my job or at school. Gotta hit the streets to learn this shit, and I love it.
4. My perspectives on rich people have changed. Instead of hating on/idolizing them, I respect them highly now. Many of them (over 85% of them as per some statistic I found on the Internet) had to hustle to get there. Many of them went through the same shit as I’m going through right now. Some took longer than others, and some had more resources to start with than others, but everyone who made had to hit the trap and fuck up first.
5. I’m feeling as if I’m actually trying to make money now. I feel purposeful. I feel like I’m doing something that, when finished, will be valuable to people. I know I’ll use the fuck out of it to find shit to do, even though I’m not explicitly building it for me. I’m actually trying to make something that people want, with the mentality of making the people want it. I’m trying to make my own money now. This comforts me a lot because I know that even if I failed (which I’m fully expecting to but am doing the best I can to avoid it), I could honestly look at myself and say that I gave it a really fair shot.
6. I’m making something that’s location independent. When this thing goes live, I can manage it from the fucking Moon for all I care. As long as I have internet access and a laptop, I can admin this thing and work with my eventual team. If/when this makes money, knowing that I can pack up and move anywhere and keep a steady salary (especailly if it’s the same salary I have now) is the very definition of freedom. THAT’S “fuck you” money.
Overall, I’m LOVING this work and don’t plan on quitting anytime soon. I can’t wait to go all in.