Reflections on start-up life: Week 30


Still waiting for the hockey stick — after signing the first customer the second, third and fourth are still “in the pipeline”. With a new release over the weekend, we have something to go back to a few people now and try close some deals.

We pushed the Victoria Park release out the door after a huge amount of effort from Alex in particular. It adds several new features as well as a few bug fixes and behaviour changes:

  1. Share link — people who have an account can share the findings with anyone, even if the person they are sharing with doesn’t have an account. As well as being really useful, we believe this will give a more viral component to Tribalytic (you find something, share it with a client, they sign up and so forth). Still a lot more optimisation to go, but the feature is there and working now. Here’s my current favourite search —
  2. Reports — From any search you can click and create a new report which gives a four week comparison. It’s not complete as released, but it does let you produce and print the reports — the next milestone will let you have these generated as a PDF and emailed to you. Get the feature out early and let people experience and feedback on it is our motto.
  3. Saved Search — Found something interesting (or have lots of filters to exclude unrelated information)? Save it to come back to it.
  4. Inline help — popups to describe the various features.

Technically 1 2 and 3 are all closely related under the hood, so it makes sense to push them at the same time (the Share Link feature for example is really a direct link to a Saved Search, but Anonymous users lose some features).

The breadth of activity in a startup is what makes this all so enjoyable (and frustrating). In the last week I’ve coded, prepared and delivered a sales presentation, blogged, scripted a video, drew the artwork for the video, provided support, managed the design process for the new home page, networked and done more coding. I haven’t done any one of around fifty other things I could be doing, notably the “books” which need a bit of attention and I haven’t touched since before San Francisco.

The design process of the new homepage which we outsourced has been one of the scariest things we’ve done. It’s got a lot to do with three things:

  1. It’s the first thing we both knew we COULDN’T do ourselves to the level of professionalism we require.
  2. It’s really important to us, so it’s been a struggle to let someone else do this piece.
  3. It’s spending money that we don’t have.

I’m pleased to say that we do have a result now that we are happy with, I think the designers weren’t expecting the level of theory and analysis we brought to the process, and they’ve learnt a bit too. One thing out of all this I’ve appreciated is a great community of startups here in Melbourne who’ve provided feedback along the way — after looking at something for the last few weeks, it’s hard to be objective about it.

Finally — for those that don’t read it, you might like to check out which is where I blog a couple of times a week on insights and things we are uncovering with Tribalytic. I’m still struggling with what gets a reaction here — other than typically the things I think are most interesting generally resonate less.


  • Next release out the door.
  • Blogging happening on a more regular basis.
  • Inbound marketing site design completed, now to be implemented.
  • Presentation to a potential client — I love getting out of the office into the City and sharing what we are up to.


  • Nothing really. More a reflection this week — we need to push more changes, more frequently in smaller increments. Still run a two week iteration, but we should push individual components sooner where we can.

Goal this week

  • Customers, final cut of the video, market the new features.