Time to level up.
I’ve been building Streakoid as a solo project for the last two months.
My ego loves this.
My brain pictures the headlines “Solo founder takes on the world’s problem with being inconsistent”.
But that’s noise. It will lead to the death of Streakoid if I let it.
It’s time to get serious if I want to take this project to the next level I need to grow the team.
This realisation hurt. My ego has been a driving force in making sure I show up and do eight hours of work a day. Sure, there are other factors such as wanting to be free, the limitless upside and having control over my life.
But my ego’s a part of this mix.
I’ve put a lot on the line by quitting my job to work on Streakoid. My brain wants people to recognise that. It wants people to think “Wow it’s cool he’s done that by himself.”
I know what I need to do
For the last few months, there has been a voice in my head that keeps telling me I need other people. So far I’ve ignored it wanting to power through by myself. My brains on a mission to prove I can do it alone.
But time and time again, I’m getting proven how wrong I am about this.
When I try to design something. I take so long to make something terrible.
When I have an issue with any of the cloud services, a blanket of fear covers me.
Running around in circles
Today, I posted on LinkedIn asking to get people help with testing Streakoid. To get more people on the app.
I did this in a burst of excitement after reading a good article. Then I tried to go back to the mobile development.
I got a message from someone asking to use the app. So I changed my focus from mobile to them. While messaging them, they pointed out that the registration page was broken.
So I switched my focus to fixing the registration.
I spent two hours fixing the registration when I realised the payment processing was in testing mode for the last two days.
I was running around in circles getting nowhere.
The constant back and forth left me exhausted. Enough was enough.
Enough was enough.
I needed to get over myself and ask people to come on board.
I need people to take over areas of the project so I can stop juggling..
For the last month, I’ve been playing through people in my head who I would like to join the project.
It’s tricky because they need to be technical. They have to code to share the burden of the work.
But it’s more than being able to code. They have to be animals. I have to trust them to take on any project. Not just the ones they feel comfortable with.
They have to be ok with suffering, learning, and adapting to the challenges we face.
But along with that, they have to be someone I get along with. If someone joins, we will have to do scary things.
I’ll lead from the front but I need to know they’ll be ready to fight.
We’re going to war
We will go to war. Facing difficult challenges with no guarantee of success.
Not only with building the app but with dealing with other people’s opinions and judgements.
I need someone up for taking on a difficult challenge with friends.
On top of those high requirements, I then have to persuade them to do that for no salary.
They get a piece of the pie but no salary.
Which eliminates people who aren’t ready to eat ramen.
I want to get a flat somewhere like Paul Graham says where we dedicate ourselves to this. While we build the best product, we can in order to get into YCombinator.
Streakoid needs to be software that users love that helps them be more consistent.
It will require open-mindedness, determination, and a willingness to fail.
The primary metric is to increase recurring revenue, which is a scary challenge to face.
Building a team is scary
Building a team scares me. I’ve had businesses in the past where I enjoyed leading. But they were never serious, and I always had my studies to fall back on.
I don’t want to mess up. Bringing on a team member to Streakoid will be the dive into the darkness. No more leaning over the edge.
I’ve been waiting for the perfect time to ask people. Debating in my head whether a weekend was a good option. Or maybe a Friday when they’re feeling good.
But I said enough.
I had to ask
I wanted to script what I would say. But I realised there was no way around it. I would mess it up and do it wrong. But all that mattered was I asked.
I voice messaged four different people.
Why Y Combinator doesn’t like solo founders
YCombinator doesn’t like solo founders. I never thought about why they didn’t like solo founders.
I took it as a challenge. Seeing it as them telling me I couldn’t do something. I wanted to prove them wrong.
But now that I’ve suffered for two months with random database outages, bugs and having to learn tough things by myself. I’ve realised they want multiple people because building your own project is tough.
The aim isn’t to build something by yourself. It’s forming a group of animals to take on a tough problem and survive.
They want teams of people because big challenges require teams of people.
Time to level up
This shook me. I went to bed and tried to nap. For the first time I felt he storm that’s about to come. I wanted to hide.
But typing this has helped me gather my thoughts. I’ve realised I need to level up.
So far it’s been child’s play, but getting someone else on board is what Streakoid needs.