The (Not-Quite) Pivot
My past few weeks have been consumed with Ouchie. That's the giant mystery project. The one that was big enough for me to quit my comfortable job. The one that's big enough for us to seek out investors, advisors and even increase daycare hours. The one that's requiring me to soon cut back on revenue-generating work. It's the big one. The scary one.
For the most past though, while it's been very busy, everything has been positive. I was getting more comfortable with my pitches, feeling confident with the product, actually checking off items on my to-do lists (Design? Done. Business plan? Almost done. Legal paperwork? Done. Financial Projections? Shit. Soon.)
And then I had a meeting that made me question everything. It was bound to happen and I'm so glad it did. There was no way it could have always been rainbows and butterflies. That's not how successful businesses are made. A man who has followed a similar career trajectory to me, and the husband of a woman I admire very much, offered guidance on our product and poked some serious holes in our pitch. I left feeling completely dejected, my head spinning with changes that needed to be made, costs that would increase, deadlines that would need to be moved. I arrived at my friend Kristen's house and dramatically declared I was going to fall into the trough of sorrow. (Learn more about that here. Learn more about my favorite podcast that taught me about that term, here.) Always wise, Kristen was quick to point out that I was not floundering, the critiques not as dire as I was projecting, and together she helped me piece together the action items.
My whole train ride home was sketches of new UX and product road maps. It was the exact meeting I needed to make our platform better. But it was also a reminder of just how emotionally I'm invested into this company. I constantly am telling people "I'm not attached to this feature" or that and that we can pivot depending on the market. But saying that and executing are very different. That means I care. In the end, I care about delivering a solid product that has been worth my time, energy and the risks I've taken.
Ouchie will be that product.
#startups #troughofsorrow #pivot #ouchie #RachelTrobman #earlystagestartups #productdevelopment