Reflections on start-up life: Week 29

Well, we’ve signed our first customer!

While this is a major milestone, to put it into perspective, if he stays with us for 841 years we’ll be millionaires. There is a way to go yet.

I’ve been fascinated by the change in perspective this has brought about in a very short period of time. For example:

  1. Having closed one deal, it’s motivated us to try close more — there is one person out there who believes in the value we offer to the point they’ll pay for it, there must be others. Prior to this it was all a bit “hypothetical” as to if we could sell even one.
  2. We’ve changed the nature of the beta. Where it was “open” we now close it out after seven days. We can’t give away for free what someone is paying for and also we need to be able to bring beta customers to an action point, to measure their demand and convert them to paid customers.
  3. Prior to signing our first customer, we were very much skiing down hill, having a good old time. That first money through the door is like someone tapping you on the shoulder and pointing out that “Hey, this is all good fun, but you have to get back up that hill”. Again, it’s not that we didn’t know it, but now it quantifies it. We need to do this another 100 times to get back to the top, and in the meantime we are still heading down the hill quite quickly.

This latest beta has been a good success. With it out of the way, we know truly have our minimum viable product, that thing that contains enough value to be worth paying for. Still, we aren’t quite there yet…

The analogy at the moment is that what we have is a pile of Cornflakes, but no box to package them in, and no shelf to sell them from. If I meet someone who wants Cornflakes, I can personally pour them into a bowl and take their money, and they’ll be a satisfied customer, but of course this can’t scale. We need people to be able to walk into the supermarket, see the Cornflakes on a shelf, pick them up and pay for them there and then and pour them for themselves.

So the focus for the rest of this month is moving rapidly to “packaging”. We have to get a search strategy underway, test out adwords and keywords to buy inbound traffic, have a gorgeous (<- That’s for the Jelly Crew) landing page, wrap some help into the product, get some basic password management and resets going etc. etc.

The final product features for this release will be incorporated this week (Click to action reports, sharing and saving searches) then it’s nothing but bug fixes and “packaging” to get us to our version 1.0.

If you’ve still not checked out Tribalytic, get on and request the beta at — I’m handing out access like candy now so hop on board. Or check out the two links below — a walkthrough of the new beta and a podcast I did with Justin Hillier for his Social Sofa series.

[vimeo w=500&h=283]


  • Achieving a major milestone, signing our first customer.
  • Great feedback and reaction to this next beta.
  • Just playing with data and digging out information from Tribalytic. It’s fun to enjoy your own product. Did you know for example that when people talk about being cold, they also often talk about wanting cuddles!
  • Meeting great people and enjoying talking about Social Media in general.


  • Another investor dropped off the radar, feedback was “Interesting, but let’s see more customers first”.

Goal this week

  • Keep on the inbound marketing and sales path