I have big news to share: I'm focusing fully on Makerlog and putting my all into creator advocacy. I have a lot to share on my learnings the past week, so this post will likely be all over the place. Bear with me — it's worth it.
- I'm no longer starting stupid side projects
- I'm focusing on Makerlog & creator advocacy
- We're applying to YC, Thiel Fellowship and a couple other accelerators/global programs
- I'm thinking bigger and that's pretty scary (but exciting)!
- I'm doing well in my life right now
I'll go through each point individually.
The Cabin Tales
I care a lot about the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. When we were reached out by a local accelerator to potentially become partners and do something together, I was ecstatic.
We immediately began drawing up things, making prototypes to build the product. We had many conversations on how to build an awesome community that would finally tie together the local maker and entrepreneurial ecosystem.
It was going to be _a thing_. The best thing.
The Night Before The Pitch
And so the night before the pitch, we had an idea we wanted to pitch to them. It wasn't a product, it wasn't mockups, it wasn't anything. Just an idea.
So I got to work. I made a deck.
However, something curious happened: with every slide of the deck, I became increasingly nervous, increasingly worried. This didn't feel right. Every slide forced me to think it through, to analyze every small bit of this idea. Whether it was scalable, whether it had any potential, whether the ask we're asking for (which we were sure we'd get) was worth it in the long run.
I had a total stress moment. I stopped making the presentation and immediately messaged some friends for some help (nearly at 2 AM)...
The problem was my gut was telling me this didn't feel right and I wasn't sure whether to listen to it. We'd worked so hard to try and score this partnership, why is this so hard?
With some water drinking and sitting down to clarify, I slowly started understanding the core reasons why this Cabin thing wasn't a great idea. I planned to veto it and wrote a rather long document outlining my reasoning in the most objective form possible.
What were the lessons?
I think I learned a couple of hard leadership lessons with this experience.
- Listen to your gut. Attempt to clarify what it's trying to tell you.
- Think bigger. Does this have potential to scale? We're a tech company, not a charity.
- Learn to say no. Saying no can be the difference between focus and absolute chaos.
- Focus matters. Success requires grit, consistency and boredom. Don't chase a dopamine high or a shiny new thing.
- Confidence matters. Be confident in that idea even when things aren't shining too bright. Be open to change but don't become insecure either.
The morning after, I presented my veto to my co-founder. It was unanimous: I made my case rather well and even prior he had started having suspicions that it wasn't scalable.
We got to work on a full-on growth & exposure strategy for the site and I'm really satisfied with it. It's concise yet wide-reaching, it's simple enough for us to expand our reach dramatically with such a small team. It's also long-term enough to start planning how to naturally expand our community to adjacent markets.
We really have this on lock. I can't wait to see how this year will develop.
We're applying to YC
Well, holy shit. I'm going to be honest: this is absolutely terrifying... But I feel ready for it. This would be a fantastic entrepreneurial and personal growth opportunity. I've also always had the desire to be the second Puerto Rican startup to make it to Y Combinator.
I remember how I felt when the first startup made it in (shoutout to the great BrainHi folks!): I was finishing high school and building Taleship. I recall feeling a little down because I wanted to be the first (hey, I was 17!) but also so hopeful for the future.
Because... deep down now I knew one day I could do that too.
So... yeah! We're applying. I'm just going to be concise, honest, straight-forward in the application and hope for the best. We have a solid chance of getting in!🤞
I'm in a good spot right now. I feel focused, motivated and so hungry for more. I feel I have the energy for what's next this year and more to spare.
- I feel hydrated, healthy
- I feel socially satisfied with great friends around me
- I feel like I'm learning constantly
- I feel hungry for more
I got this.
2021 is starting out very well. I'm thinking bigger with Makerlog and thinking bigger with myself.
I feel I'm on a good path given the circumstances of the pandemic. I'm making the best of the situation.
Let's get this bread!
To the readers
Hey hey readers! You're probably receiving this via email wondering what's going on: you were moved to my new Ghost blog because you subbed via WordPress.
I'm always looking to improve and listen to new perspectives. Here's some things I need help with, let's have a conversation sometime!
- Product Analytics, Feedback, Engagement
- YC application review/advice
Thanks readers, have a fantastic day! 🌻