No time for a proper blog post. Here is a photo from my birthday night.
I will make up for it later.
(Seems I say that too often)
The lack of new blog posts over the weekend is not an indication we took the weekend off. On the contrary, we had been working our butts off to bring the next version of the apps to life - or, rather, Syed and Hassan had been working their butts off!
This busy sprint started on Thursday just before Denise and I catching up for a much overdue drinks. I had been daydreaming about the future of the business where VIVA has enough active users in the right demographics to help Reach Foundation achieve their goal of reaching and helping teenagers.
It seems obvious in hindsight, but I underestimated how difficult it is to penetrate any market segment and acquire customers. You will have to imagine this next bit in a Jerry Seinfeld voice, "What's so hard? Find their pain point. Tell them you have a solution. Do that a few times. Ba-da-bing, ba-da-boom, you have a million users."
The real world is quite different to my imaginary world... B2C products are hard, and a generalist B2C product like VIVA is harder.
Nic Wright, one of Tim's friends, had been telling me for months to focus on one niche market to the exclusion of everything else. Nic had also been telling me for months to start the fundraising process... and both of those are in the works, but they are on lower rungs on the ladder of priorities at the moment. (Sorry Nic - I really appreciate the advice, and I think you might be right, but I want to see through my own vision first.)
I have been asking myself the five whys.
Why did you create VIVA? - to help people find things they want to do
Why do you want to help people find things to do? - so they can have fun
Why do you want people to have fun? - so they can be happier
Why do you want people to be happy? - so the world is a better place
Why do you want the world to be a happy place? - because otherwise the world sucks
Then I vary the line of questioning, and see where the answers lead me.
But that doesn't answer the fundamental question...
That question will be the topic of my next blog post.
Here's the after thought - version 2.5.3 of VIVA is now available on iOS, with Android to follow in the next few days. Check out the feature we are calling the "Sydney Festival" feature when you go to the search and filter screen!
Alan has been gently prompting me for weeks now that I need to start working on our VC pitch deck. This has come a lot earlier than I expected.
When I resigned from the firm to take on VIVA full time, I had thought that we would run a full year before we would start talking to VCs - because that is what I would want if I were a VC - show me what you can do, don't tell me what you can do. I wanted to score some runs on the board, win adoring fans, and then ask for a little capital injection to scale up the business. Alan, being a business genius, managed to pique the interest of investors about two months ago. Ever since then, my to-do list has had the bullet point - "prepare VC pitch deck".
Today is the day... that I start.
Sure... I would rather be back at the King Street Crawl with Neal and Reece sipping schooners of beers... but I suspect Alan will kill me if I don't finish the first draft this week.
Meanwhile, we submitted our TechCrunch application this morning. I am still unsure if it was the wisest move, but it's TOO LATE! There is no backsies!
I want to share our 2 minute product demo. I am ashamed to admit took more than 2 hours to script and film this demo video - but I managed to capture something viable on take number 23 (filming this demo video reminds me of a fantastically funny Reddit thread from a few years ago about how someone took a photo of both their hands).