08 July 2018

Week 5: Bad Goals

Becoming comfortable with doing lots of things I don't know how do

My mantra this week, as I become comfortable with doing lots of things I don’t know how do.

The Skinny

Well this week absolutely didn’t pan out how I thought it would. I achieved none of the things I was aiming to do this time last week. I got loads done though. I can’t work out if this reflects not planning well enough, not being disciplined enough about sticking to a plan, or just the nature of the beast (plans change). Regardless, I’m feeling positive about what I got through.

My plan was to wrap a bit more understanding and strategy around what I was working on, through interviewing folks, exploring revenue options and thinking about content marketing.

Now I read back over those goals (below) I don’t think they were nearly ambitious enough. What was I shipping? Too non-committal, not moving things forwards. Every week is vital at the moment and I need to be super disciplined about only working on things that really help me out.

Perhaps I knew this, because instead of doing any of them I got excited and started building an MVP.

Part of the MVP was shoring up progression.fyi to scale. I had found a dozen more progression frameworks and suspected more would come out of the woodwork so wanted to make sure there was a reasonable structure behind it. I ended up choosing Jekyll, a static site generator that I know like the back of my hand, rather than dipping into Gatsby or one of the react-based tools now available. We’ll see in time if that was a wise decision, but it meant I could rebuild progression.fyi and ship it in ~6 hours, with a few new bells and whistles.

Here’s my chat to Miles, a good friend and rubber duck, deciding a course of action.

The other, bigger, part of my MVP is much more secret and behind the scenes. More on that later…

Goals from last week

  • Follow up with fellow ‘FYI’ers to learn more about their problems. (Not Done)
  • Explore revenue ideas for FYI. (Not Done)
  • Make a more robust content marketing plan. (Not Done)

The Good

  • Progress on an MVP product. It feels nice to be creating something, and the design challenges are big and many. I am eternally in Miles’s debt for giving me some of his spare time to help get it off the ground. There is already something clicky, though it needs a lot more work to be publicly shareable.
  • Meeting great people once again this week. I went to an event on Friday organised by Genevieve from backed.vc called ‘People People’ and got to chat over a bunch of people challenges at small and no-so-small companies, and meet some super smart folk. A bunch of other fun conversations with founders and ‘people people’ too, getting me psyched!
  • England won, twice! What a week of sport.

The Bad

  • My biggest fail this week, as with previous weeks, has been to not utilise my mailing list. I now have two, full of highly engaged people. Yet no emails. There’s some mental hurdle I haven’t overcome yet around sending updates to peoples inboxes. Next week I’ll do it!
  • Not sticking to my plan at all. Ramifications of doing this repeatedly will only become apparent over time. Hopefully my gut on the best focus for my efforts will negate this.
  • I’ve spotted a few other players in the space. This actually isn’t a bad thing at all, there’s easily room for everyone (and I haven’t found any real direct competitors for what I have planned), but it’s been a useful reminder that I can’t just solve this problem in a vacuum.
  • Writing this update on a Sunday is much harder (especially with a bleary post football and St Paul’s Carnival head). Got to make notes through the week and write on a Friday.


  • I haven’t done that much reading this week. Boo! Maybe this should be in the bad section.

Goals for this week

  • Set better goals. (Ooh how meta)
  • Come up with a proposal for a paid pilot for my MVP, and actually present it to a couple of potential customers.
  • Get my MVP into someone’s hands. I need to ship before I’m comfortable.
  • Send a bloody email to my mailing list(s)