Monday, February 1, 2010

Beta Update

Sometimes things just aren't going well, yet things are going really well. I haven't worked in over a year, and have been kicking about trying new things out, figuring things out, and finally committing to an idea I've had for a long time.


In between I've consulted to a number of companies--mostly startups. A few actually paid me; the rest I was happy to help for nothing because I was, well, figuring it out. Lacking confidence. Despite all of the experience I've accumulated over the years, confidence in that experience is sometimes weak, sometimes strong. So back to software.


But getting the software out has been tough. Every time I want to refine the software, I have to learn some new programming technique. What seems like a simple fix, ends up taking 5 hours to learn that the syntax is a bit different from earlier syntax.


Every week I've had major breakthroughs and spurts of great progress. But in between there's been a lot of hard work and research that doesn't end up in the software. Mostly.


Finally, I end up questioning whether it's a good set of features or a real business. Or both. Today I ran some models again, and I think it can be a business. Yesterday, not so much.


In a day, a week, maybe two weeks, I'll release a beta. Which really means alpha--good enough for people to use, but not ready for primetime.


Such is the struggle of the startup. Some startups know exactly the market, the problem, the solution. I know the problem--attention, focus, noise, distraction. I'm building the solution, I think. And maybe people will care. Enough people.


Tonight, I took a break. Tomorrow, I press on. It's time to make it happen.


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