I haven’t given any love to this blog lately or updated anyone on what’s been going on with the tech startup life [Fashion] or shown any [Fun, Food, Finds, Filanthropy] but I wanted to take a second to write something on here. One day I’ll definitely look back and appreciate that I documented all of this.
Side note: Did anyone else do the FB Timeline switch? Though, it’s a different type of timeline I’m looking for when I go through my archive on Tumblr. It’s going to take me too long to delete those awful photos of myself. Overall, I think it’s a pretty cool new profile page for FB. Can you believe they haven’t had any changes really to the profile design since the launch of it? It makes you think about the evolution of this young thing we know too well now a days- Social Networks/Digital Real Estate.
In November, a lil over a month ago, we launched our website www.thre.ad in a private beta soft launch. We pushed our name into the NYC tech community with the involvement in Raise Cache and since then have been pretty quiet. The site is still invitation only with hundreds of users that we’ve allowed on to test the site, but other than that, we’ve remained a bit dormit to the public.
Being an entrepreneur, there’s one thing that’s for certain: nothing is for certain. So I wanted to dedicate this post to MY end-of-year-glance that pretty much came to light within this one month launch.
There’s no footprint but lots of blogs and stories out there from past entrepreneurs who try to give you insight into what they went through but damn, that won’t do much except when and if any of their things happen to you— you can say “oh yeah, I read about that. I knew that’d happen.” I’ll always remember a saying from my former boss— “Hindsight is 20/20.”
Things are so different for each person depending on industry, personality, environment, and time period. You can plan and plan as much as you want, but at the end of the day, even if you’re so prepared, your execution may still suffer if things that are out of YOUR control end up not happening when you had planned. Nothing is ever in our 100% control. For me, the planning was a piece of cake, but I couldn’t control how fast or much our CTO could build things or UX/Designer to design things (which was still superhuman like and that’s not a humble brag- I’ll proudly brag about that) or how the pressure would crumble within some of our contractors and they had to forgo the project or how little we should depend on others to actively work toward giving you the feedback you thought they would anxiously give. Tech feedback is a lot different than accepting a “cool!” or “great job!” when you launch. Those feedback buttons on sites don’t do crap. I’ve learned that you have to sit down with each person who’s willing to take time out of their busy schedules to give you full and honest feedback. So within our one month launch period, we realized quickly that we needed to use the time, especially during the quiet holiday period, to actively garner feedback from our active users (those that are using the site).
I don’t know but sometimes the toughest thing is that general (non techie) people expect that when you launch a product its supposed to be an overnight success— like the next Twitter or Facebook within the week. Do people forget that PR is part of that or that it takes years sometimes to gain any traction bc product needs to continually be tweaked? That there are pivots in between? Most of the PR new companies pay for will make the general public think that it is an overnight success but what happens when the PR dies off and people have signed up but the product wasn’t what they thought or hoped for or found useful because PR didn’t mention all of those things. Or that the product isn’t a sustainable venture? There’s a lot of talk about the “it” startups right now but what the general public doesn’t know is that it took all of the “hottest” startups at least 2 years before they became a mass name. They were another name before too. The Instagr.am, Pinterest, Path, Twitter, Fab.com, etc.
I’m not sure if I’m personally doing anything right, but what we’ve done as a team is instead just focus on the product and trying as hard as possible to “get it right” or close to that. We launched with a bare bones site— not what our full vision is for the site. We need feedback as a checking point to validate the direction we would continue in. I rather have a few people on who can help us continue building something that is worth building. Flexibility is key.
Thre.ad is not what it is yet. What you see if you’re inside is only a slither of the true product. People have asked how we differ from some other sites that seem on the surface very similar, and I just have to say— ‘you’ll see.’ We’ve started where they’ve ended. They’ve been around.
I’ve had to learn the most to stop planning so much, let myself roll with the punches more, and not worry. Also in the meantime, I just need to make sure we have enough money in the bank to continue our development. I need to recognize more and appreciate our internal achievements. We’re in a good spot and actually where we needed to be to end the year. The building of the tech and rolling it out doesn’t happen as fast as I think or speak. MY CTO said to me, “There will always be opportunities.” At first I didn’t think that was true, but he’s right. There will always be more…maybe not the same ones, but the right ones for the right time. I’m consciously going to try for my New Years resolution to be less reactive. Something that isn’t easy for me, I will be the first to admit. I’m super lucky to have an amazing and strong team. I hope they know this even though I push everyone so hard. You get caught up in the work and moment. When people tell you they don’t have any coFounders/Founding members- that’s bullshit. There always are coFounders, even if they don’t get the title. They are the ones there at the very get go to take the fall with you or to triumph with you. They are the sounding board and reassurer when you feel like you need more reassurance. It feels great to ask for that second opinion when as an entrepreneur you can feel so alone and stressed to make things happen quickly for everyone else. It’s not the same reassurance your significant other gives you.
So what’s coming up in 2012? Lots of things— but who the heck knows to talk about it until you see it. But trust me, it will happen. You’ll all be the first to know.