Thursday, February 21, 2008

A day to in the life of our start-up

This is one of those days you want to remember in the life of a startup.

I have often thought to myself that if there is one certainty in the daily life of Local Motors it is that whenever something goes wrong...."just wait" because something is bound to go right. I cannot prove that this is a law of nature with any mathematical proof-style evidence, but if history is a guide, it is almost axiomatic.

Of course, the corollary is also true that whenever something goes right...."just wait" something is likely to go wrong. Despite this being true, pernicious optimism leaks in and we tend to focus on the things that just went right or are about to go right.

What all this has to do with today, is that I believe we had a 6-sigma event. No, not in a GE sense. Our "outlier" today was that things started to go well, and they just kept getting better.

To begin, I awoke to an email digesting a 4 hour conference that our web team had had with Ben, one of our best California design advisors. In the email, Ben was literally overflowing with takeaways that could "take us away" in many great directions upward toward success.

After taking my 3 year old to school, I picked up a cup of chai at Uncle Jon's, which cup was about perfect (heat, taste, the works).

The sun was out as I drove to work and the air was crisp.

As usual I was lost in thought about cars and why they are the way that they are, when I arrived at the office.

The team was already in and cranking.

Mike was tearing up the internet with his new Mac Pro, while Dave was moving the shop into a higher state of readiness with a new custom made bracket for our compressor switch.

The plumbers were hard at work moving our heater which has not been used (due to its improper placement) for the last 7 years. They finished and the shop is now finally HOT.

The electricians piled in behind the plumbers and wired up our new 30amp compressor. They flipped the switch.....and you guessed worked like a charm.

I told the guys about a couple of brainstorms that I had had last night and got to show them some web video to bring the point home. It gave all of us a lot of exciting things to think about. More to follow another day on these items.....

I then dove into my office and connected with a potential software supplier who was more than eager to sit down and to talk with us about our needs and their new solution. We set a date that worked on both of our 2 tight calendars.

Tim then got to work supercharging our front-end hiring effort, and with one post to craigslist, we received 9 responses. In 5 hours this response had tripled what we had received with our previous strategy over the past 4 days.

Andy set to work on a particularly key feature for our upcoming beta launch and had it knocked out in 30 mins. He had never done this task before, but the fates were lining up behind him.

The we really started to get rolling.

Dave and Mike and I caught a brief hour to dig into the product development work scheduling, that we so eagerly have been pursuing, and Excel didn't even crash while we got to work downloading their ideas to paper.

Ari checked in with a super basecamp post of 3 self-generated and motivating emails for a web-page that she thought up out of the clear blue, which adds an awesome level of customer help and forward-thinking grassroots marketing to our upcoming site launch. AND I actually had time to discuss the nuances with her.

Then I found my Local Motors uniform on ebay for 1/4 the price that I would have had to pay for it from a store. Heyo! The god's were smiling. Can't tell you what it looks like yet, but it is going to be good. I promise.

I got an email from my co-founder, who lives in NYC, always a good email to get, and we traded some thoughts.

...but that's not all

We then received a media call, out of the blue, from a well-respected Boston journal that covers local businesses, which I happen to read and LIKE. They had heard about the company and wanted to learn more for a story.

And then 4 of our investors checked in in under one hour each with a different message but all with optimistic thoughts, and 4 new prospective investors made their intention to invest much firmer.

I don't think that I could have asked for a more complete day. I am off to home, with thoughts of a day worth remembering.


Unknown said...

Wow, that's awesome ;) I hope there are many more days like it in the future.

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