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July 24, 2011

Startup Life Is

Working on raising a half-million dollar seed round. Getting commitments for half of said seed round. Feeling really good about the future. Networking. Making phone calls. Doing demos. Banging out Keynote presos.

Booking last minute tickets to San Francisco for pitch meetings with a couple of the most legendary personalities in the valley. Feeling proud of yourself and a little scared at the same time.

Having to multitask between coding and emails and phone calls with investors and service providers and customers and potential customers and lawyers and advisors. Signing documents. Emailing documents. Faxing documents. Coding. Managing. Snacking. Somehow keeping everything from falling apart.

Remembering to call kids. Remembering to call mom.

Spending a few minutes adding a message in your app's notification emails telling users to hit reply to add a comment. Routing said replies to your own inbox, as a test to see if anyone will actually use that feature. Realizing that it would probably be really bad if they actually did start using that feature, so biting the bullet and writing incoming email processing. Taking a few hours to get it all tested and working, but mostly because you have trouble getting a reliable SSH tunnel between the outside world and your local development environment. Getting lots of help from #lazytwitter and singing the praises of modern development tools and web services.

Words with friends.

Realizing you're not sure where you're going to sleep while you're on your trip to San Francisco. Realizing you probably should get a rental car so you can drive yourself down to Mountain View. Kicking yourself for not having more meetings lined up, to make better use of the trip. Rationalizing that the trip was too last minute anyway.

Putting the finishing touches on a major piece of functionality. Beaming with pride. Realizing it's 10:30pm and you had commitments tonight. Rushing home. Dragging yourself out to a cousin's birthday party past midnight even though you're exhausted.

Drinking. Karoekeing. Subwaying. Sleeping.

Waking at 9 even though you went to sleep at 4:30am. Not being able to fall back asleep because you're thinking of great ideas to work on once you get up. Reaching over and grabbing your notebook to start hacking on some ideas while still in bed. Hunger finally gets you out of bed at 10.

Remembering you better pick up your laundry because otherwise you won't have any clean underwear for said trip. Further realizing that you don't have any shoes with you that aren't flip flops or sneakers, because you've been traveling and living out of a suitcase for the last four months and forgot your nice shoes somewhere along the way.

Deciding that since it's Saturday you might as well stop by the barbershop and get a haircut on your way in to the office since it's been a few weeks and you don't want to look shaggy for the upcoming SF trip. Finally getting into the office at noon, to meet up with the rest of your team.

Putting the finishing touches on another major piece of functionality. Beaming with pride again.

Breaking for lunch and deciding to celebrate Saturday by turning left around the corner instead of right. Amazing yourself with a whole new array of lunch options, which you have neglected until now in favor of the same falafel place where you've been buying meals about 75% of the time for weeks.

Going back to the office and banging out yet another major piece of functionality. Beaming with pride again, but celebration is somewhat tempered by your back, which is hurting since you've been sitting all day, everyday, for the past week. Deciding to alleviate said hurt by hanging upside down for several minutes, suspended by ankle shackles. Having your lead engineer hover nervously around you during your suspension, nervous that you might fall and break your neck prior to close of current funding round.

Getting less and less ambitious with coding as energy wanes until eventually you decide to call it a night and go home at 10:30pm. Buying a hummus wrap on the way home, because you realize that you forgot to eat dinner during your exciting all-day coding session. Eating said hummus wrap on the subway.

Walking home from subway stop in 100 degree heat. Smiling at the wide open fire-hydrant flooding the street next to the building where you've been living. Thinking that there were probably a bunch of kids playing in that hydrants cooling stream hours earlier. Feeling nostalgic for simpler times, but realizing you really couldn't ask for things to be any better.

Packing to trip. Turning down offers to go out with friends. Getting into bed at a reasonable hour. Not going to sleep.

Writing a blog post.

Saying goodnight.


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