Reflections on start-up life: Week 13

As many of you know, Alex is from China and, visas being what they are, he’s now had to head back there. On the plus side I think this now makes us a multi-national company, on the downside we obviously have some additional challenges to do with distance. Of course this was never unexpected and has been planned for from the beginning. The focus in the last week has been splitting our work into streams to make it a lot easier to work together. In the medium term his plan is to move to Melbourne permanently but that will take time going through the application process (or us starting to make some significant money so BinaryPlex can sponsor him out).

We didn’t make as much progress as we would of liked last week. Momentum is a funny thing — this journey is a little bit like a Roller Coaster. One day you’re screaming down hill and think it will keep on like that for ever, then the next you suddenly start up hill again and progress feels like it grinds to a halt. Focus is of course a big part of maintaining momentum and both Alex and I had our share of distractions last week (his more acceptable than mine!).

By Friday I was really tired and come Friday afternoon I literally just “downed tools” — the first time I’ve done that, but I wasn’t feeling productive at all and just needed a break (I also went to the AC/DC concert the night before so that probably contributed to me feeling worn out.

Technically last week was really interesting as we explored NoSQL databases in a lot more detail and have finally settled on the underlying architecture components for moving forwards. For those interested, we are using a hybrid collection of MySQL, REDIS and MongoDB for a range of different reasons. This kind of architectural decision and research work is something I really enjoy.

In many ways there is not too much more to say about last week, we worked, we didn’t progress as much as we’d of liked, we line up and go around again; this time from both China and Melbourne!


  • Playing with new (for me) technologies like MongoDB
  • Lunch with Anne and Stephen Bartlett-Bragg. Always a pleasure and always a good sounding board.
  • Sitting by the Yarra for my final “face to face” meeting with Alex for a while on Thursday afternoon, reflecting on what we’ve achieved and what’s to go. Indulging in a bit of “what-if” and thinking out to June / July (something I generally try hard NOT to do).


  • Low level gripes at myself for not getting as much done as I’d like. Generally feeling tired all week.

Goal this week?

Same as last week — get that first prototype out the door ASAP.