05 June 2018

Week 1: Doubling down on risk

Note to self: I’m not sure yet how to structure these weekly journals. I know I want to force myself to write, to keep myself honest in the absence of co-founders, but I’ve never had a diary before. So I’ll try a format, and if it doesn’t work, I’ll change it.

The skinny

After splitting off from the team last week, I’ve been readjusting a bit. I’ve looked back at the problems I’ve seen and felt personally, and quite quickly found a couple that really interest me.

A lot of this last week has been talking. I’ve learned that I get a huge amount of energy from having conversations – I suspect that time management will become essential, to stop me just accepting every coffee meeting going as I get into production mode.

However, I don’t want to rush into anything so I’m going to stay in learning mode for June (especially as the problem I’ve chosen doesn’t have an obvious immediate solution). Plus, I’m having a lot of fun.

Meanwhile I made a hard decision to turn down a great opportunity. Felt like the ‘quit’ decision all over again.

The Good

  • Faster than expected I’ve come to some conclusions about the kind of thing I’m going to focus on, at least for a while. Several good conversations with great people are helping me to learn.
  • I wrote a blog post that I managed to pluck up the courage to share widely. The reaction has been very positive and has opened me up to conversations I wouldn’t have otherwise had. I should do this more.
  • A hard decision this week to turn down an interim job which a year ago would have been a dream has given me renewed focus. I’ve committed now.
  • Finding amazing communities (like Special Guest, YSYS and Indiehackers) to chat to about all this.

The Bad

  • I’ve felt distracted by other paid work. Finding a balance between keeping the lights on and making progress is going to be really important.
  • I’m tracking to-do’s daily and I’m not really getting as much done as hoped. Perhaps I’m being overly ambitious. Perhaps fewer coffees.
  • I would have backed myself to be good at ‘getting out of the building’ but I do still have to force myself to book time with users.


  • Northern lights! After months of cranking through business books, I realised I needed to enforce mental downtime. A few chapters in, really enjoying it.

Goals for next week

  • Speak to 10 users
  • Get a survey I decided to start and finish in a day 5 days ago out to people…
  • Write a first proper blog post about my chosen problem
  • Define an MVP (can it be a productised service?)