Spontaneous anxiety is a serious reality check

Spin

Image used under CC via flickr.

Today I had a weird feeling in my gut when I woke up. I ignored it for the most part, got into my regular routine, took care of my morning obligations, and then came home. By around 11:30, I was mostly ready to work but the feeling started coming back. I only had a few major things on my agenda today, so I assumed I could just deal with it:

  • Planned phone interview with a Realtor, someone I have met with before
  • Call another Realtor that I have been putting off to for 2 weeks because of sickness/holidays
  • Practice my passionate pitch, the thing I use after the elevator pitch if someone wants to know more

I decided to follow the things that have worked for me before when refining a speech. Practice in my head, then out loud, in front of the camera, watch it, begin a feedback loop and repeat until I am satisfied with the results. However, something funny happened this time; I got a knot in my stomach before presenting it to the camera. I figured it was just some stupid form of stage fright, and forced myself to do it anyways, but it only got worse.

Why was this happening? I am working on the right things. When I was on a call with a friend two weeks ago, I realized that I didn’t have a way to get someone fired up about my company because I didn’t have a way to clearly articulate how passionate I really am about it. I couldn’t pitch him to “join my company” when he put me on the spot and that was a major hole that needed fixing. If I ever want to get someone to join me, I have to be able to put my heart on my sleeve on command. Working on this is important and addressing it should make me feel better, not worse.

But here I was, feeling worse and worse. I almost came up with an excuse to cancel my scheduled phone interview, but I decided that was idiotic and went through with it. That may not have even been the best choice because I couldn’t muster good follow-up questions. I will probably have to redo parts of it later if it is to be useful. After that, I totally shut it down and avoided the call I have been putting off.

Where did this come from and what was it? It doesn’t feel like a flinch. It feels deeper than that. Maybe it is straight up self-doubt. As a result, I spent some time hiding from my work today. That is hard to admit, but it is true. I think I found some ways to deal with it, but I really want to know where it came from and how to battle it without losing 4 hours in the process. At least I am feeling better now. I went for a run, which in my book is 1 mile, and that knocked a few cobwebs out. Writing this will probably make me feel better too.

On the plus side, there was a time where that feeling would have caused days and days of internal strife and battling, fighting over the gnawing sense that something was wrong and the need to make progress. What do you think this was? Do you ever get this kind of feeling? What are your strategies for dealing with it?

KC, it is time for revolution


Image from thomashawk on flickr. Licensed under CC.

I am so pissed. I am angry out of my mind. I am sick of accepting less than greatness from the startup community in Kansas City, and I am ready to do something about it.

Why are you so mad?

Every year, it seems like some of the most talented individuals with any kind of interest in startups and technology decide to leave KC. Don’t get me wrong, I am not mad at the people deciding to leave. I am mad at the ones deciding to stay. I want to live in a community where the people I like, the people I admire, and the people I would love to work with feel like they can achieve their dreams. I envision a city where the best and brightest couldn’t imagine leaving. There are lots of excuses and ways to explain this away. People are always moving to new places. This isn’t unique to KC. Bullshit. We are only losing the brightest, and I think there is a very clear reason why.

Hypothesis

If you have a goal, the first thing you have to do in order to achieve it is to get started. Do anything. Figure a few things out, and then keep moving. Step by step, bit by bit, if you do the right things, you will make progress. What if your goals are lofty? What if you get going, you develop some expertise, and you look around and realize there is nobody nearby that you can look up to? How do you raise the bar for yourself?

You move to somewhere else. Whether your goal is to become an amazing developer and one day start a company, to collect the business experience that makes you a great entrepreneur, or change the world through service, you want to have a community where you can look up to others that have blazed the path. As much as we all like to reference Robert Frost’s well known poem, there is something that is very much missing there. We may want to take the road less traveled, but very few of us are willing to step up and build the road ourselves.

Therefore, I believe that the reason we keep losing our best and brightest, our most promising and potent, is because we have accepted our place as the Kansas City Royals of the startup world. We find the promising and bright people full of potential, we get them started, and then when they are ready to make breakthroughs, we ship them out to other places. It is an important role, but I say we let someone else do that for us instead.

Say I agree with you. What now?

I don’t have an answer here. I am sorry to disappoint, but guess what? If we agree, we can start with something and try to figure out what makes a difference. Learn. Refine. Cut through the jungle and build some roads. That said, I have a few ideas where to start.

Let’s start by trying to build a real community. Wikipedia:

In biological terms, a community is a group of interacting organisms sharing a populated environment. In human communities, intent, belief, resources, preferences, needs, risks, and a number of other conditions may be present and common, affecting the identity of the participants and their degree of cohesiveness.
Traditionally a “community” has been defined as a group of interacting people living in a common location. The word is often used to refer to a group that is organized around common values and is attributed with social cohesion within a shared geographical location, generally in social units larger than a household.

So what can we take away from this definition? If you and I form the basis of a community, then at the very least we share some common values and have a social cohesion, or a propensity to stick together. We probably get an enhanced definition of ourselves from belonging to our community. If we can get to the point where we share common beliefs and values, we just might be able to build something special. But before we can get there, we are going to have to get to know one another more closely.

How do we get started?

Do you have serious goals for your life? I want to help. What do you stand for as a person? I want to know you for your values. Whether you are planning to change the world, or just experimenting with what you want to do in your life, I think the thing that makes the biggest difference is having real fruitful connections with other people. Let’s connect. Let’s raise the bar for one another. If you see someone that needs your input, don’t hold your tongue. Give them some constructive criticism. Know that they will appreciate it because we all want to make our community better, and that means making ourselves better.

This is the dumbest thing I have ever seen

If this is your response to this post, please quietly get the fuck out. The Kansas City startup community no longer has room for excuses or the people that make them. No more bullshit. It is time for revolution. If you ready to step up and help, then speak up and be heard, and let’s discuss out how we can make a difference.

Image on flickr.

What entrepreneurs can learn from German violinists

Violins in a Row

Image courtesy of lemonjenny on flickr.

I recently read a great post that claims that being busy means you are doing something wrong. It was an interesting premise, so I jumped in. A study of a violin school in Berlin attempted to identify differences in the ways elite and above average allotted their time. They made two conclusions:

The difference was in how they spent this time. The elite players were spending almost three times more hours than the average players on deliberate practice — the uncomfortable, methodical work of stretching your ability.

He goes on to add:

They also studied how the students scheduled their work. The average players, they discovered, spread their work throughout the day. A graph included in the paper, which shows the average time spent working versus the waking hours of the day, is essentially flat.

The elite players, by contrast, consolidated their work into two well-defined periods.When you plot the average time spent working versus the hours of the day for these players, there are two prominent peaks: one in the morning and one in the afternoon.

In fact, the more elite the player, the more pronounced the peaks. For the best of the best— the subset of the elites who the professors thought would go on to play in one of Germany’s two best professional orchestras — there was essentially no deviation from a rigid two-sessions a day schedule.

This sent me on a lengthy detour of following links and reading up on the idea of deliberate practice, all of which appear at the end of this post. In the meantime, I asked myself how I could be applying these base principles to my life. What should 3 hours of deliberate practice in an attempt to gain mastery or skills look like for an entrepreneur? Certainly it shouldn’t be any one skill, as I view entrepreneurship as the penultimate forms of jack of all trades, right after renaissance man. Instead perhaps it should be spent charting the skills that are required for success as an entrepreneur and then methodically achieving higher and higher levels of proficiency in each of them. So what skills should I focus on? Here is what I came up with:

  1. Sales – Every entrepreneur needs to be able to sell, and the reasons should be relatively obvious
  2. Marketing – The ability to fill a sales pipeline with the right people is an often under appreciated talent in the startup world
  3. Organizational Psychology – How do people work together? What makes effective teams?
  4. Recruiting – If you are doing things right, you will always be under pressure to add the right people to your team. How do you find the right people?
  5. Finance – Understanding the ways money impacts a business is pretty important.
  6. Product Development – In my case, this means being able to relate to the software development part of my business.
  7. Customer Development – When you are auditioning a brand new idea, how do you verify that it is economically viable? How do you communicate effectively and efficiently with a market you may not know very well?
So my plan is to spend an hour every day deliberately practicing one of these areas of study. That means I will iterate between attempting to accomplish some hard objective through taking action and then studying the efforts of high performers in these fields. To be sure, I won’t be able to run off and attempt to close a $50 million dollar enterprise sale on day 1, but I will start smaller where I know a little about what I am doing but lack just enough that I can push myself to develop those skills. In addition, I will make serious goals in each area that identify which skills I expect to learn.

In the end, I think this is where the ‘fail fast’ mantra holds the most sway. Being able to go just past your limits in a way that is discomforting and to fail in the process helps us to learn much faster. It also dawned on me that this is what I have always characterized as my love for learning. For the majority of my life, I had no notion of my own capabilities and was perfectly comfortable in a place where I had to push myself to improve. Somewhere along the line, that was suppressed by the life choices I had made, but it eventually bubbled up and forced me to make major changes over the last year. I believe today’s realizations are a critical step along returning to that place I used to live when I was younger; where I have to push myself every day to learn.

What do you think? Did I leave something off my list? Oh yeah, and as promised, some linky goodness:

You can find the Flickr user  from image at the top of this post here.

I hate to shave aka the story of how I quit my job

beard Image courtesy of apdk on flickr under cc license

Today was my last day working full-time for someone else’s large corporation, so I thought now would be an appropriate time to tell my story of the past 18 months.

A little background

When I was a kid, I started a variety of ventures that all went lots of nowhere, but I still really loved the idea of organizing people for a common goal and leading them to success that changes their lives. I started a company in the second grade by saving months of allowance and assigning positions and responsibility to a dozen other students. Unfortunately, we never figured out how to make money and I quickly ran out of cash. In the 6th grade, I tried selling Blowpops on the school bus at very competitive rates but was shut down when the driver informed me that selling things on the bus was not allowed.

In what could be a long story, my work experience during college led me to believe that corporate life was for me. One day in the winter of 2009, I was getting ready for work in front of the mirror. It came time to shave, which is something I hate to do. After staring into the mirror for a few minutes, I decided that I needed to make some changes in my life, if for no other reason than so I could put myself in a position to remove shaving from the appearance requirements where I worked.

My 27th year

Over the course of the next six months, I went on a mission of self-discovery. I realized that I was drawn to startups in a very material way, so I started learning. I put up this blog to share some of my deeper thoughts about life and the things I was learning. Most importantly, I immersed myself in ways that I never thought possible. Suddenly I didn’t want to play video games anymore and I was arguing with my wife to cancel the cable TV package. I stopped attending K-State sporting events and started taking vacation time to go on trips to further my side projects. I dove into things that were way over my head, spending lots of time on things like Mashtun, which is now dead. I didn’t get as much accomplished as I should have, but I learned what I did wrong. As they say, my bad judgement has turned to experience.

About two months ago, I realized that things were not going to end well with Mashtun, so I doubled down on simplifying my life. I started getting out of the house more and talking to other people more. I found some problems in the process we went through while trying to sell our house and started rolling some ideas around in my head. Luckily, my agent didn’t like several things about the process as well, and she encouraged me to take my ideas a little bit further. Finally, after talking about it one geek night 7 weeks ago, I got the encouragement I needed to start thinking about it as a business.

What has happened in the last 7 weeks is what people refer to when they say someone is lucky. In the past year, I have increasingly tried to put myself out there and contribute to my local community, my region, and those that ask me for help. It is easy for me to do things for other people because I think it is my responsibility as an engineer to give back, knowing that we all stand on the shoulders of our predecessors.

While I dove into this new project, other things started to fall into place. I found a market that fits my personality very well. My car, which had been up for sale since last September, finally sold for a fair price. Then in a matter of a few nights, some of the big, high-level strategy pieces of this new project started to fall into place. I decided then that I needed to quit my job and pursue this full-time, lest I look back later on in life and feel regret for not trying. Despite the fact that I would have to live off of savings, I was convinced it was the right decision.

A few days ago, karma gave me a big high five in the form of a very fair offer for our house, which had been listed for sale since March. Now, assuming everything goes through well, we will have a positive monthly budget, and I will have even fewer things to worry about besides building a business that helps people live better lives.

While I appreciated my time at Grundfos, the constant pull between exciting side projects and day job that required shaving was a big source of stress in my life. At times it contributed to some serious mood swings because I wear my heart on my sleeve. It was difficult for my friends to deal with, and very tough on Brandi. I wish I could have made it easier and been more like myself. Now I have replaced that stress with pressure. Instead of being anxious and strained all the time, I am focused and ready to perform.

Looking forward

ShownHome is still a big risk, but it is the right thing for me, at the right time. At the age of 27, I made tons of mistakes, I learned how being biased towards action pays dividends, and I put myself in the position to build the future I want. There are still lots of holes, and I have so much more to learn, but I am ready to go. Being 27 was about discovery, expanding my network and my mind, and putting myself in a position to take bigger risks. My 28th year will be about taking action, making some mistakes, learning the hard way, having some success, and doing what I love on my way to becoming a whole person.

Scenes, Communities, Work, and what’s sexy

I recently had several discussions about Think Big KC, one of the bigger events for entrepreneurs in Kansas City. I was encouraging people to attend and lots of my friends and colleagues in our community weren’t sure why I thought it was worth it. This resulted in several side conversations about what really makes a difference to people starting businesses.

First, lets talk about why I believe in Think Big KC. Honestly, I think that Herb, Allison, Sara, Blake, and all of the other people that work to put this event together have their hearts in the right place. I haven’t gotten a single feeling from any of them that they are anything but genuine and that they care deeply about helping to build a stronger entrepreneurial community in Kansas City. That is important to me, because a community is something that takes heart to build. If you do it for the wrong reasons, you end up with a scene.

The problem with a startup scene is that it is too much like a crime scene. There are officials wandering around and everyone is just watching, but hardly anyone is participating. Gossip and news filled with hyperbole end up being more important than doing any actual work. People can be together in a startup scene and not know anything about one another, let alone spend much time trying to help one another. When the noise is over, a scene usually fades into the background and everything returns to normal.

On the other hand, a community is something that takes love and passion. People have to feel an emotional connection with other people in order for a real community to take shape. Individuals in a startup community seek to help one another because they care about each other, which benefits the community by reinforcing the cooperative environment. A community celebrates people who do things, even if they don’t get it quite right. Because the community invests in one another, people usually step up to help people fix things if they miss the mark. Perhaps most importantly, a community lasts as long as there are people that care about the other members and allow new people to find and join the community.

There is another problem with startup scenes. If you are going to live the scenic life, it is natural to want to show everyone how sexy you are. Sexy is what gets you attention on the scene, and we all like a little attention every once in a while. The reason I love Jeff, Dusty, and the rest of my fellow SPN contributors is because they also have their hearts in the right place. They care about community, and this caring pours out at you like an avalanche when you attend Big Omaha. They work tirelessly to bring a good mix of presenters and to make sure we all leave with something useful in addition to inspiration. Even now, Big Omaha has a polish to it that makes it a little bit sexy, which is ok because they focus on the important parts first. Still, sexy is not the goal. Perhaps their biggest challenge in the future will be keeping the event focused on those ideals and avoiding the attractiveness of building a sexy event where people just want to be seen.

When you are building your company, there is what’s sexy, and then there is what works. When those two things meet one another like they do at Big Omaha it is great, but when they don’t, go for what works. Sometimes those of us in technology related fields get caught up in the “tech” way of doing things and we forget that there is an entire world of information on what works waiting for us just outside. I challenge you to go for what works and to not worry about sexy. If you still don’t believe me, think about this:

If you were at Big Omaha, you probably heard Dan Martell share the awesome story of hustle where he was submitting resumes on Dice as a way to drum up business for one of his companies. That’s an awesome hack, and when he tells the story, it sounds sexy! Here is the reality though. I caught up with Dan later and asked him where he got the idea for that awesome hustle, and he said it came from someone he knew that was a sales person for an office supplies company. That is probably one of the least exciting things you could tell someone in our tech communities. Who would spend their time talking to someone in office supplies sales? Well, what this guy would do is follow the delivery trucks of his competitors, find out the schedule, and then try to convert their customers. He told Dan that he needed to find a way to follow the “delivery trucks” in his business. Because Dan cares about what works, he was there to hear some great advice in that moment.

This is what it takes to be good and be different. You have to know what works in your industry, but to get creative ideas, sometimes it takes seeing what works in another industry, perhaps one that isn’t sexy at all. But at the end of the day, what works is what is important. Sexy doesn’t pay the bills. Scenes will waste your time and when they fade, nobody will remember how sexy you were on the startup scene. However, if you invest in your community you will have the chance to change the fortunes and lives of as many people as you want.

Where is Glee for engineers?

Recently, my wife has been subjecting me to the musical stylings of the show Glee.  While I will let some other blog do an analysis of the fragmented and dry dialog, I couldn’t help but think that the show must be doing something to revive interest in the arts in high schools across the country. When was the last time that the arts had such a cool headliner?  It really is fantastic for them and I couldn’t be happier that they are getting some more of the spotlight, and ultimately, mindshare with our young people.

Yesterday evening I was at my wife’s sister’s house for Passover and we were all discussing what one of her kids would be best suited for as a career.  Of course, her daughter is only 5 years old, but the makings of some intelligence are clearly there.  After a few people suggested lawyer, because of her argumentative personality, and other miscellaneous professions, I posited that she is already showing that she has what it takes to handle engineering.  If you ask me, she has the knack.  Never mind that she is always inquiring about the inner workings of things.  I caught a few sideways glances, and then someone gave her some math problems to work out, and without any math training, she was able to complete them all except for one.  After seeing her math ability, I proclaimed that from now on she would only get scientific types of gifts from us and that I was going to do everything in my power to glorify the science, technology, engineering, and math professions for her.  But wouldn’t it be so much easier if I had some help?

If poorly written and highly produced TV can glorify the lifestyles of Glee club members, what about a show for engineering?  We need to make it easier for kids to see the impact that engineers have on society, and it should start by finding a way to enter the collective conscience of TV viewers.  And if you think I am crazy, think about how much we glorify GERMAN engineering in this country, and that is mostly just based on car commercials.  But short of TV, what can we do to make engineering seem more glamorous?  Is it playing on the successes of startup founders?  Tell me what you think in the comments.

A meeting with my future

About a month ago, I ventured down to Austin to SXSW for the first time. Chris McCann told me it was spring break for entrepreneurs. Steven Chau told me I really should go, and he hasn’t been wrong about these kinds of things very often. So I looked into the prices for a pass to the Interactive sessions, and they were obnoxious. Chris assured me that the best way to go was *without* a pass so I could spend all of my time networking and talking to people at the parties. If I was disciplined and persistent, I figured I might even be able to swing a few meetings from some of the crowd that would be in town. So I thought about it some more, and asked my friends from other towns if they were attending, and it turned out most were. But the cost of a place was so high, I wasn’t really ready to commit. I went through my list of people that I want to meet face to face to see if any of them were coming, and it turned out Mark Suster was coming. That sealed it for me; I had to go too.

The backstory here is that I first found Mark’s blog well over a year ago when I was spending lots of time reading about my ADHD and what it meant to me. I started reading his blog regularly and after a while I started to notice that what he was writing seemed to be exactly how I thought about something, and when it was a topic with which I was unfamiliar, his writing still made complete sense. In March of 2010, he wrote an article about Twitter that made things really click for me. I immediately activated my twitter account and started @replying him pretty regularly. From that point on, I was usually asking questions in the comments of his blog, challenging his assertions on twitter, and for the most part trying to find any way I could to dig into his brain without being obnoxious. And for the most part, I guess it worked.

So I told Mark that I wanted to meetup while in Austin and he agreed to do it. He warned me that I would have to stay in touch with him. It felt weird to have someone tell me to pester them, but as an ADHD person, I knew that he meant he would be busy but he didn’t want to forget about me. Once I got into town, I pinged him to see if he wanted to grab lunch, and he did. Honestly, I couldn’t freaking believe I was actually going to sit down and talk to someone whose thought process I could understand so clearly and yet had so much life experience. I was truly ready to learn. We met up for some Texas BBQ, which wasn’t bad in my book, with two guys from a company he had invested in. We didn’t get to talk much directly, but I got my first cool experience of the trip when he invited me to some exclusive party that evening. Score one for the little guy from Kansas! I walked with them towards the convention center, where Jason Calacanis saw Mark on the street and came over to chat. I was really just like a fly on the wall, trying to keep up and process as much as I could about media and advertising and other things that I generally don’t know very much about. Mark said we should try to get together later for some one on one time, which I thought was generous, and we went our separate ways.

Now, that evening at the party, there were plenty of VIP’s, but I really enjoyed meeting lots of polished and aggressive entrepreneurs. Sure, it was cool when I was sitting next to Dave McClure and opening a bottle of beer on the edge of a table for him when he didn’t have a bottle opener. He didn’t say thank you so I thought of course he wouldn’t last 10 minutes in the Midwest. But it was an interesting atmosphere and dynamic to find that the most interesting people to me were mostly people that you wouldn’t know. I would also like to point out that it helps when I am feeling introverted to run into someone I know loosely that is a known extrovert. It makes it so much easier to get going and start more conversations later. Thanks Trevor.

At this point, I started running into people I know from other cities that I primarily met last year at the SO Summit, and it felt great to see people that I think really get it. I personally don’t get enough exposure to that here in KC, but I am trying. Over the next day, I combined a little bit of Twitter stalking with lots of accidental bump-ins on the street to keep up with his schedule, which was naturally very busy. The nice thing about the Twitter stalking was finding that there were usually a couple interesting people also chasing Mark. So even though I didn’t grab his attention at one particular time, I could usually fill it with a side conversation with someone that I could learn from. I tried to get him to come over to the Silicon Prairie News party, but it was now Sunday night and there were other things going on. I would have to wait until Monday, which was my last full day in Austin.

On Monday, I was feeling especially introverted. I didn’t want to go out. My friend Robin invited me to a small lunch thing and I still didn’t really want to go, so I decided to walk a few blocks and think about it, where I naturally ran into Mark. We made plans to catch up after an immediate commitment he had, and that I would pester him to make sure he didn’t forget. He was starting to sound pretty hoarse, and he was a popular person on the street, so I went to find a quiet and obscure place after catching up with Robin. I did my obligatory pestering, and after a while he sent back a message saying he had been roped into lunch. I was starting to feel a little unsure it was going to happen. Score minus one for the little guy from Kansas. Then I got a voicemail from him saying we would definitely do it soon, and he would ping me. The truth here is that if you get someone with ADHD to stop and say this is important and we will do it and I will let you know when, then it is probably going to happen. So I went back to the apartment I had rented, read some news, and was ready to take a nap to freshen up. As I was setting my phone down, in came the message. “Free?” At this point, I figure I was probably 14 blocks from him, so I grabbed my bag, and I started running through downtown Austin to catch him before someone else had the chance. Success.

The conversation that happened over the next 75 minutes was nothing short of pure bliss. I won’t waste your time with the specifics, but it was all advice that I would give myself, and in the end, that is really what I thought was unique about him. I am glad I was right, and of course I am glad he took the time for me. I still can’t believe some of the weird parallels between us, and it really felt like I could be talking to my future self. Perhaps if I play my cards right, I will get there. And that was the story of my first SXSW. I planted seeds long ago, and when an opportunity arose to meet with my future, I took it.

Family and friends newsletter

Since I have started spending all of my free time on useful pursuits, I have noticed that I spend considerably less time talking to my friends and family, especially those that don’t live near me. I am not the kind of person that keeps lots of friends, but I do place lots of value on keeping the ones I have. So, recently I decided that I should take a page out of StartupDigest and start sending an email newsletter to my close friends and family.

My wife and I both spent some time writing up a short history of the past several months in our lives, what is new, what the changes have meant to us, and what we are planning to do next. In the meantime, I judiciously friended everyone on Facebook that I thought might want to get this little newsletter. After getting most of them on a list in my google contacts, I sent it out, and to my surprise, a large number of them responded back with something positive to say. It gave me a chance to find out what everyone else was doing in their lives too, and to connect with people again. Most people were just thankful to hear from us and offered us an encouraging word as we embark on some ambitious life goals.

With that, I encourage you to try something similar if you haven’t been giving your F&F the attention that they deserve. It will make you feel better and most of all, they will probably appreciate hearing about the things happening in your life.

Dreams get dashed all the time

Well, this Friday I had most of my plans for 2011 blow up in my face because of stuff in my personal life.  I thought my dreams were destroyed and that I wouldn’t be able to do anything about it.  I went to bed early with a good book and got a good nights sleep.

I woke up yesterday and decided my dreams are too good to let go of.  So I came up with a new plan.  And more importantly, I realized that dreams get dashed all of the time.  And plans get disrupted regularly.  I told myself that if I care about what I am doing, I will pick myself up and figure it out.  So I called my family and asked for help.  I sat down with my wife and made a new plan.  And most importantly, I realized I can keep developing and working on my website like nothing ever happened.  Things will be different after it launches, but nothing is stopping me from finishing it up and testing in the wild.

Today, I called a cool guy named Jon and got some pointers on payment processing.  I was lost starting out and he helped get me going in the right direction.  He didn’t know about the crapfest I had been through, but his willingness to help made me feel better about the future.  And last but not least, all of the people that reached out on Twitter with a kind word made a difference.  Trying to change the world is hard enough and I am glad people are there when you need them, even when you don’t ask for their help.

I hope I can repay the favor.  Cheers to you all.