Reflections on startup life: Week 38

With a new release on the immediate horizon, the mood is picking up again. All the work and frustration over the last few weeks is starting to gel together with a clearer idea on where we are going, a much better understanding of the market and some strong ideas on bridging the gap.

As I’ve said to a couple of people, I’m now confident that we are on the right track, it’s just that we might be on the slow train and need to do something about that!

I’m constantly grateful for peoples generosity. So many helpful people have given their time and advice which has helped us shape our thoughts about where we are going over the next couple of weeks. If there is a startup lesson hear it’s basically 100% agreement with the idea that you should surround yourself with good advisors.

I think most critical is having someone who understands your business. You need an independent ear who is involved and understands what you’ve been doing and has a history with you. My regular meetings with Doris are very useful in this regard, I don’t need to explain our vision each time, we get right to talking about how we are going to get there.

As far as specialist, industry advisors go, we’ve been fortunate in that we’ve met these people as we need to. People always seem willing to listen and support entrepreneurs and generally have admiration for our endeavor, they have always been willing to share thoughts for an hour or two over a coffee. Perhaps this is one advantage of Melbourne over Silicon Valley. Tech startups here are few enough that people are interested and want to help as opposed to being so frequent on the ground that you have to defend yourself against them!

On the marketing front, a few things moved with a bang — did a blog interview to be published soon on and spent some time with a freelance journalist who is hoping to develop a story around us (or is it us hoping — I can never tell anymore).

This coincides with the new release which we should launch this week and will push more broadly now we will have the performance to meet the interest. Yes, Alex has achieved our goal of sub-second for every query and it’s in the final stages of integration. It’s a massive improvement — basically the new engine which he has completely rewritten is around 500x faster.

What this lets us do is move forward on some important issues — for example, reports are needed but previously were taking about 10–15 minutes to produce because of the performance (if you have 20 queries at 30 seconds each in a report, that’s 10 minutes). So we had to have an offline reporting system, which meant we needed batch control, which meant…. and so on. Painful. Now the same report can be produced in around 20 seconds on the screen directly because each query is around 1 second with the new engine.


  • Meetings with some really generous people with their time, thoughts and expertise.
  • Good client meetings
  • Another repeat customer — repeat customers are great.
  • Decisions and moving forwards.

Lessons Learnt

  • Keep at it and bounce ideas and thoughts widely, there are talented experts out there who are generous with their time if they know you have a problem.

Goal this week — Customers

  • Refine our inbound marketing messages
  • Reach out to everyone who has used Tribalytic to promote the new release

Goal this week — Engineering

  • New release