The Secret Life of an Entrepreneur

Cross-posted from the Particls blog.

Life is hard enough for an entrepreneur, let alone a Internet Start-up Founder. I am incredibly fortunate in that I am surrounded by a loving wife, very passionate and focused (and supportive) partner(s) and surrounded by developers who are far more gifted programmers then even I could ever hope to be. Sometimes, these people are the only reason I can go on.

The Touchstone Team has a huge level of faith and determination and a growing level of enthusiasm from the community (even some of our very own “fanbois and girls“) which only catalyses our efforts. All-in-all, Touchstone (even right from the beginning) seemes to be slightly blessed.

It is however, not all rosy. It strikes me today as I sit here programming and blogging between episodes of Mythbusters and Grey’s Anatomy on my wedding anniversary pondering how I am going to push a few lines out tonight between courses at my step-father’s 50th birthday party.

Families (esp extended ones), girlfriends, in-laws and the Tax Department for some reason just dont seem to be very supportive when I whip out my tablet shouting “Eureka! I just solved how to factor views over time over importance!”. They also don’t seem to appreciate how satisfying it can be solving memory leaks, or understand why slowly transforming into an albino Hunchback of Notre Dame with sever allergy to sunlight and fresh (non recycled) air is an acceptable means to an end!

I guess they just don’t understand the ‘space’, which is weird considering they all happily use MySpace! Im not sure what it is that can make these people so counter-supportive. Maybe they think they’re helping or that they are trying to help us see reason, and it’s their attempt to protect us from failure.

but it doesnt work that way. As an Internet Start-up Entrepreneur, our brains seem wired differently to other people. Success is not permanent and failure is not fatal, we all understand that. Small sucesses are like a drug, and miss-steps only drive us to go harder still.

Through sheer determination and willpower we will topple mountains! And so it continues….

From One Founder to Another…

Cross-posted from the Particls blog.

Over the Christmas break, the Touchstone development team has taken some personal time out to remind their families that they are still alive. Since this naturally has slowed the pace of development, it has taken some of the pressures away from me as a director and founder to take 5 minutes to reflect on the past year and realise the massive steps we’ve taken both professionally and personally.

After this reflection, I have realised how lucky I am to have a partner and friend like Chris. I know there are many other ‘dual founders’ out there, but I’m sure none of them have quite the same relationship as Chris and I. We’re both burdened with an over-abundance of passion and opinion, and while this has on occasion raised some eyebrows in the office, we never let ego get in the way of decisions and we’re very careful to support each other when it’s needed.

Plus, there isn’t anything quite so depressing when you’ve fallen in love with an idea or aspect of the business, and your co-founder tells you that it can’t “be that way” – and you knowing in your heart that he’s right. But when he doesn’t hold this against you, you realise how lucky you really are.

Chris, you are an intelligent and co-operative friend and colleague and I want to take this opportunity to publicly thank you for your effort, tenacity, patience and inspiration which helps push me past what I previously thought impossible.

Thankyou buddy.