Interesting year…

In January 2011 I resigned from my safe cushy job. Security blanket discarded, I read lots of start-up books & met lots of business people. I decided to start a company. After a bit of bureaucratic admin, I began to assemble a team, a group of suppliers for things that could be outsourced & a network of business mentors and advisors. Thanks to the friendly folks at ideaSpace the company now has an office in a great location alongside a great bunch of other start-ups.

Meanwhile and throughout the year I wrote a shed load of code. I abandoned Python (temporarily?) and threw myself into JavaScript both client-side and server-side, embracing nodeJS and many other projects. The vibrancy, diversity and downright helpfulness of the people in the JS community has been massively galvanizing.

Alongside the coding I started the hunt for a lead customer – someone who’d value the ideals of the company and benefit from the growing code-base. Following some good fortune, we found an opportunity. After a long negotiation we signed the deal to our mutual interests and delivery began in earnest. Having people bash, prod and break things, together with suggesting feature after feature has been incredibly useful. We couldn’t have asked for better partners. And in December we completed the first part of the contract successfully.

I’ve been blown away by the enthusiasm friends have for the venture and the wholehearted support of my family. I didn’t predict how much I’d learn about my own character, flaws and all. I’ve made some mistakes, sure, but nothing I can’t back out of later on.

It has been an amazing year, but the real test is coming in 2012. Can we build a brand and repeat the business model? What else can we make and how can we sell it? What will happen when the product enters the public domain? A collective shrug of the shoulders or a genuine pipeline of customers?

With these questions and many more, it is challenging to work out which are the important ones and which should be tackled first. I never expected this seemingly perpetual uncertainty. Nor the constant testing of one’s abilities in unfamiliar situations. But I’ve never felt so alive and so enthusiastic about the future :-)

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