Reflections on start-up life: Week 16

There is something about actually visualising output that feels like progress for me. Never mind that we’d spent 4 weeks crunching the numbers and doing all the “heavy lifting” to get to the point we could start working on the icing, but that last 2 days of effort where we could see and “touch” data at the end of it felt like progress in a way that the proceeding time didn’t.

Yes, we finally managed to get the first cut of our prototype done and it felt great! Now of course there is a lot more to do, further revision, further modification and lots of market conversations with different parties, but we are moving forwards, and more importantly it feels mentally to me like we are moving forwards.

The lesson here is that fast iterations are critical for well being. Even though I occasionally advocate for the long road (some tasks you can’t just bite off in a day), there is no doubt that mentally I feel better when we are on the fast iteration path. It’s also the challenge of living on the bleeding edge with technology; progress can tend to be very lumpy. For every day you progress ten times faster than others could because of your technology choices, there are occasional weeks where the learning curve can overwhelm you for a while.


  • Playing with real data out of the engine
  • Finishing the message queue architecture
  • Working with the prototype screens and thinking about how people use the data.
  • Some great meetings with a couple of potential clients who really “got” the value of what we are doing.


  • Still no product, but one is in sight now.

Goal this week?

Yay! A new goal — iterate on the prototype and start to show it to people and seek feedback.