Three months and 70k installs later…
So I wanted to take a moment and reflect on what we have learned over these last three months. To begin with, GetSatisfaction is awesome. When this project was first getting off the ground, we knew that we wanted an easy way to talk with our users… to hear what issues they were having with Zimly and discover what they wanted to see in upcoming releases. We debated using a simple forum at first, but decided against it in the end. Now I know I am making it sound like we put a lot of thought into this decision. But the truth is… not really. We pretty much shrugged our shoulders, threw up our hands, and said “What the hell”.
I’m REALLY looking forward to getting my hands on the google tv box! Will also be interesting to see how google pulls this off from a hardware distribution pov. I’m sure they are grabbing some people from andriod team to help with working with distros. Interested to also see how google positions google tv at stores locally. This is going to be google’s next AdWords.
Hot off the press (err…YouTube): a sneak peek at all the things Google TV can do for your television. (Bonus points if you can spot me in the video.)
lessons from Frank the Tank
Frank the Tank (of Old School renown) should in my opinion be an inspiration for all startups.
I mean just look at him, the guy is unstoppable. You put an idea in his head, and nothing stands in his way. He wants to drink… and he drinks. He wants to go streaking… and he goes streaking. He makes spur of the moment decisions. The guy is nearly impossible to phase. And he is full of crazy ideas. What’s not to like about this guy?
I’m going to generalize and say that every good startup follows the same philosophy. People might tell you you are crazy, that you are too ambitious, that you should be more realistic. But if you believe in your idea, screw them. People will tell you that your product doesn’t have a market, or that it is impossible to monetize. Your demos will fail at the worst possible times. And you will doubt yourself more than once. But you have to be able to rise above all that. Laugh at your failures, but don’t laugh at the people who are critical of you (that’d just be rude)… listen politely, tell them honestly that you will work it out, and then… go work it out. You will ride the backs of your critics to success.
And planning… well… one of the things I have learned so far is don’t discount the importance of having a plan. A plan can help you work out your ideas, benchmark yourself against other ideas like yours, but like Frank, the moment you realize your plan is stupid or flawed or just not your best idea… you better be ready to change it.
The idea for Zimly has only been an around for 5 months, and already our path has changed twice. Who knows how many more times it will change before we die… or succeed beyond our wildest dreams.
But each time our idea for Zimly changes, it matures a little bit and moves one step closer to becoming something unique and something useful to the world.
Take for instance our recent participation in GOAP Seoul, the feature that we presented to the geeks were realized 3 weeks before our presentation. And believe me it was a spur of the moment decision. I went to bed one night, not having a single clue about what we would present, and the next day in a heated discussion with my colleague the idea just came out. Hell even after I said it, I wasn’t sure it was the right thing to do. But we had to have something, and that particular idea happened to be the only one we collectively came up with. So we went with it.
Now looking back 4 weeks after the fact, it was the right decision. The reaction from the geeks was warm… not hot… but not cold either. But I think that was too be expected. We don’t have a clear path to making money. And I’m not sure how many of the geeks really related to the problem we are trying to solve.
But the great thing is… for us that really doesn’t matter right now. Zimly doesn’t really cost us anything to maintain, minus the time we put into development. And like Frank, I am a little pig headed and whatever the geeks think or don’t think, I believe that the problem we are trying to solve is a real one, and right now nothing will sway me or my team from that course… at least not until the next crazy iteration hits.
So here are some before and after pics of GOAP. I wish I could say you will find them interesting, but you probably won’t.
Hard at work
Still hard at work
That’s me, practicing the presentation. Notice how enthused everyone looks?
Me, freaking out before my presentation
Me at GOAP giving the presentation, and Jay (Zimly’s lead developer) in the background
BTW I know most of the pictures are of me… but I’m really not that narcissistic. I promise. It’s just that most of the pictures from this set have me in it. You can check for yourself through our Flickr sets (GOAP Preparation, and GOAP Seoul).
trying to decide between tumblr and posterous for the official zimly blog… hmmmm…