April 28, 2019

Sunday Retro: What did you accomplish this past week?

#weekly-retrospective, #daily-stand-up

The weekly retro gives hackers the space to:

  • Reflect on our triumphs for the week.
  • Reflect on where we fell short for the week.
  • Share concerns about being on track for your monthly epic and ask for feedback.

To join in:

01 Share your epic (a big chunk of work with a meaty objective) you'd like to complete by the end of April.

02 Share your triumphs for the week.

03 Share your failures for the week.

04 Share your concerns moving forward.

05 Give feedback to at least one fellow hacker and give them an IH Point for their check in.

Optional:

06 Share your Work In Progress to underscore your accomplishments.

(Smiling) The regular scheduled stand up will resume tomorrow.

  1. 3

    End of 2019: 100 (paying users)

    End of April: 15 (unpaid) users -- complete

    Triumph

    Interviewed and reinterviewed at YC, and they really liked us as founders, so that felt good. Talking to 7 different partners and getting their feedback has helped us gain clarity on what's ahead for us. We know our marching orders, as it were, now, and we're set up well to take things on.

    Failure

    Well, didn't actually get into YC. It's tough because I think if we'd had more sales & folks that had actually taken our recommendations for optimization, we would have. There's a REASON we didn't get our rejection email till late in the day.

    Concern

    Maintaining that clarity and actually executing on it. I want to be more focused so I can spend half my time doing development again, and the other half being very effective on sales. The latter can be a big time/mental energy sink, not always for the better.

    Kudos

    @Davey. Also, WHY IS IT SO HARD TO GET FEEDBACK. Like right now I'm inclined to give things away forever for free to anyone who just writes me a paragraph about what they thought.

    WIP

    Sunshower.io

    1. 2

      When I've done game projects, it was always easy to get feedback because I'd open up a forum, get on some sites, and be on IRC. Now that'd be a FB Group, still some sites, and a Slack both of my own and maybe in another area or two. This ensured that I built up some champions early on and cultivated them.

      I guess it depends on who the target market is. For yours, developers/engineers are ridiculously hard to pin down for feedback. We all know everything :)

      For mine, I did have some people reach out early on, but I went heads down building, and neglected them. And now I've forgotten who some of them were, or where they first reached out (wasn't email). Self promotion is frowned upon in many places where your target market is.

      In retrospect, if the product is valuable enough, and we've positioned the messaging well, it's just going to take time and relentless effort. Here are two thing I've seen work well, from people who requested feedback from ME:

      1. An active community Slack for a similar interest group or the product itself. Then, the founder hits me up on an IM

      2. Immediate reaching out via email after I try something for feedback, and sending me 6-7 messages before I respond. This kind of drip campaign SEEMS overbearing.. but that's how many times I need to see a message before I bother replying, just being busy and all. I like the reminders and don't mind the messages.

  2. 3

    EPIC

    By end of 2019:

    5K MR - 699/5000

    By end of April:

    • Validate concept.

    I'll know within a few days whether the epiphany is worth spending more time on.

    SUCCESSES

    • Pivoted based on some wisdom bombs dropped by @csallen.

    • Ran the first two experiments Friday and Saturday.

    • The VA I hired has been knocking it out of the park.

    FAIL

    None. Although I hate pivoting. Feels flighty.

    NEXT WEEK

    Sticking with the epiphany. Or back to the drawing board.

    FEEDBACK

    Responding to my buddy's @Davey email!

    WIP

    Jeanius

    1. 2

      So all I can say is that you're in GOOD company lol. It's a curse to be looking at the new shiny thing and there are ALWAYS going to be new shiny things which beckon to us. But sometimes they bear looking into to, we only get one go-around on this blue planet :)

    2. 1

      Nice!

      I hate pivoting too. But one of my favourite bits of advice I ever received was to be fixed on the goal but flexible on how you get there.

      I think about that a lot, even years later.

      As for feeling flighty about pivoting, that's why I always start with really understanding (and verifying the existence of) a significant pain-point for a specific audience...

      If you know you have that, you can just keep selling, learning and iterating on the product - you're guaranteed to be successful sooner or later!

  3. 2

    EPIC

    1. 2019

      • $50K annual revenue
    2. APRIL

      • Get a remote sales job.

      • Do 10 customer interviews.

    TRIUMPHS

    • Just realized now that I've completed one of my epics! I've done 11 customer interviews (5 founders/6 sales heads - 15 total if include March). One smart thing I did this month was making sure to ask my customer interview questions at my job interviews too!

    • I found out about Otter.ai. A lifesaver that does the bulk of my transcripts. I still have to commit a few hours to edit segments when multiple speakers are talking simultaneously. Normally, in a time crunch, I would let that go, but I found out a few customer gems are hidden in those segments. Plus, it's too important to ignore esp when this data will point out problems that matter & worth tackling.

    • Build up some confidence by doing the strength & weakness part of the SWOT analysis. Plus, a mighty brave friend of mine told me that as a confident person, I'm too timid in business. I need to level up my confidence and go after the big goals even if I don't feel like I qualify.

    • I finally did a Sunday Retro. I didn't let an unfinished to-do list keep me from doing it. Yay me!

    FAILURES

    • I was dependent on my inbox to keep up w/ my job applications. Should have used my CRM. Job hunting is similar to the customer journey, but with one catch. I'm NOT the customer in this scenario, I'm sales! smh

    • I let an opportunity slip away because it didn't look like an opportunity because it required upfront work from me. To be honest, I had a lazy mindset most of the month. Especially, when the most common objection is that my startup experience wasn't enough. Honestly, I was tired and mad that all of these tech/startup experts and thought leaders imply how easy it will be to get a job after a failed startup and it hasn't been the case for me.

    CONCERNS

    • I started applying to non-tech traditional sales jobs too. Only had 1 that I went thru the entire interview process. Waiting for a nay or yay. I did have one interview that got me super excited but they have a slow hiring process. Not sure if I'm going to have a sales job by Apr 30. I followed up via email last Friday, but I'll call em Monday to see what's what.

    WIP

    • My work in progress is to identify a real customer problem to fix.
    1. 2

      Job hunting is sales x10000. Also, I grew to really dislike coding tests, as they took a long time sometimes. Though I understand the need to screen sometimes.

      1. 1

        Yes, I've learned the hard way. smh Oh well onward and upward!

  4. 2

    I've been kind of excited for this week's retro, but had to wait through a long day of church and then driving to get back home and get into it.

    2019 Goals for Magnus Rush

    • 50 Interactive Podcasts Created by Podcast hosts: (5/50) 10%

    • 12k MAU for the App: (59/12k)

    April Epics Stats from Clubhouse.io

    Milestone: Launch: 100% Complete

    • [Epic] Launch Marketing: 100% Complete!

    • [Epic] SaaS Launch: 100% Complete DONE!

    • [Epic] Mobile App Launch: 100% Complete DONE!

    Triumphs

    • Got things to the point in Magnus Rush where I felt ready to take "Early Access" and "Beta" and such off of the various landing pages.

    • Went out of my comfort zone to reach out to users and engage potential new customers in FB group conversations.

    • After a mind frame reset from reading last week's retro feedback for OTHER people by @csallen, had an epiphany about another idea and investigated it.

    • It's called Announcr. I will post all about it separately, and begin incorporating more specifically into my daily standups.

    • Used Landen to build out a couple landing pages for Announcr. I was really impressed, because I couldn't really use it when @Felixg had emailed me about it previously but this time had a perfect use case.

    Failures

    I got almost zero feedback from my feedback requests, both on direct and mailing list. The feedback I DID get was via a small survey I embedded into the email, which was positive, but not nearly as useful as the direct feedback I was looking for. Although I did send out some updates over the course of development via email list, in retrospect they were super infrequent and not very meaningful. This translated into a failure to capitalize on the early potential I built for excitement and buzz via Medium articles and such.

    Concerns

    I'm concerned that it will take a much longer time to build the userbase I am looking for to hit my 2019 goals for Magnus Rush, which would make it a sustainable and profitable business. I also currently lack the quantity of data I need to validate some of the original market research assumptions I had from user surveys. So I am going to focus much MUCH less on development next month and more on finding and on-boarding new podcast hosts.

    Luckily, in one of the FB conversations I was in, I got the feedback that SOME podcasters DO want an automatic email to let them know they're on the platform and receiving tips. I already DO have podcaster's email addresses from their RSS feed, and I could have easily emailed tens of thousands of them by now to try to bring them into the platform and try out a free account. But that felt a little too easy, and I was shying away from doing this.

    So now it's going to be a relatively simple task to carefully evaluate the conditions under which these kinds of emails go out, and how frequently, which is going to multiply my expansion efforts dramatically, and be automated!

    WIP: Magnus Rush Interactive Podcast app and Platform

    https://magnusrush.com

  5. 1

    Epic: I'd like to launch by the end of April

    Triumphs:

    • I finally decided to get a project to "done", even if its a simple project

    • This was a project that I wanted to use to build an "action momentum snowball"

    Failure:

    • I originally planned to launch a week ago but felt that things werent complete enough

    Concerns: I'm feeling optimistic so no immediate concerns but I do want to be wary of this project being useful for people and the lack of revenue causes me to neglect the community

    Feedback: @helengriffinjr Keep up the searching! Maybe the sales job candidate journey is a problem worth fixing!

    https://www.todidlist.com

  6. 1

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