Reflections on start-up life: Week 31

If there is one lesson to be learned on reflection, it’s that major iterations always introduce bugs. Technically we are 1 week into the next iteration and already 1 week behind because we’ve been resolving the last of the issues in the Victoria release. I never liked Collingwood anyway — maybe this is the excuse to skip that station and go straight to North Richmond…

We still haven’t quite got a second customer out of the end of the pipeline BUT the pipeline is getting fatter and we are learning a lot. Hopefully we’ll have a proper blowout soon. As we understand more about our customers, we are increasingly confronted with decisions about which features to prioritise and when. Will the feature that gets customer B over the line be used by anyone else and does that feature upset customer A?

It was really great to sit down with Lucio, “Customer A” of last week and chat about how things are going. It’s great to get feedback like “our brand monitoring for clients is a 5 step process and Tribalytic handles 2 of those for us — the other tool only does 1”. It’s great to see people using the tool and it’s even better to get feedback that it’s providing value. Alex’s first question “what are the next three steps — can we do those for him?”

Branding has been front of mind for me this last week, I’ve spent a bit of time applying colour mockups to our design based on the new look and feel. It’s amazing how small differences radically change your perception, and also how quickly you get “used” to something.

Usability is another thing I’m thinking about. We can see that some of the new features we have implemented aren’t really being used. In demonstrations people ask me about something that’s actually on the screen, all which highlights that this isn’t being “noticed” by users. It’s hard to work out if something is just not valuable, or is it just not being seen?

There was a minor server glitch over the weekend, first one in a while. The positive thing is that the monitoring we put in place alerted us to the issue and I could resolve it quickly.

As a downside I suspect to the hard work and long hours he’s been doing, Alex has succumbed to the “flu” which will put a dent in progress for a few days, but is probably a much needed warning about working too hard. I’m never fussed about us missing days here and there, this is a long term project, and no matter our best desires, it will never be “finished” nor will it be “done”. Taking a break and downtime is important — we aren’t doing it enough.

I feel like the pressure is slowly ramping up — the drive to work more and more is always there. I don’t mind, which is half the issue — so much of what there is to do is so interesting that it keeps me away from the boring but necessary items and often, spending time with the family. I’m conscious of needing to better here, which is why I’m wrapping this post up and going to sit down with them and which TV.

Maybe after I send that email to the Tribalytic users I was meaning to get out there…

PS — I’ve changed “lowlights” to Lessons Learned. There often aren’t really lowlights, but every week there are plenty of lessons learned.


  • Playing with the new features in the Victoria release. Particularly enjoying the share link.
  • Hunting and killing bugs. I never have any confidence issues demonstrating Tribalytic, but every bug killed is a better product.
  • Engaging with customers, potential and actual. I love hearing what people want to do with the tool.
  • Monitoring is never a waste of time.

Lessons Learned

  • Usability — we are becoming so “feature dense” now that what feels easy to us is intimidating to new users. I think there is a difference in take up and return rate if I guide someone Vs. they experience Tribalytic for themselves.
  • Leave more time between iterations, or make them much smaller!

Goal this week — Customer

  • Hunting for customer number 2.

Goal this week — Engineering

  • Look and feel implemented.