Just after 2pm today: -
"Hello! How are you?"
"How are you?"
"Good, I'm good. How are you?"
"OK. I'm OK. Weird day, but OK."
"I had an awkward penguin morning."
"What? Haha. What is an awkward penguin morning? What happened?"
"I was at the AWS startup day - this thing they organised to help startups and drum up more business for themselves in the longer run. I wanted to go there, learn from them and meet interesting people, but my mojo completely thrown. One weird conversation later, and I was making every other conversation awkward."
"Hahah! You should have taken me with you! I am a natural. Well, maybe not natural..."
"You are great, and you have had lots of practice at this stuff! Anyway, I could feel it escalating, I wasn't getting the mojo back, so I cut the cord and left early."
I want to get the most out of every situation - every day - every thing - every one... but I have been falling down a bit recently. I think it is because I spend so much time working by myself, only having team meetings occasionally, that I am losing my ability to converse like a normal human being.
Earlier this morning: -
This morning's AWS startup day was the latest evidence of my continuing metamorphosis into a waddling land bird.
Even that phrase, "land bird"... Gawd!
I met one of Hello.Television's VC friends this morning while oozing this awkward mood. I thought I would just go up and say hi, but I didn't think what I should say after "oh well, hello there." It would all just come organically, I thought. I think she mirrored my awkwardness, and then I amplified the awkwardness, and then she amplified it, and then it ended with a misfired handshake. Gawd!
Well, that's one less VC fund for us to contact.
Kidding. I will reach out in the new year and remind her of the misfired handshake.
Oh, and the AWS startup day was a phenomenal event - definitely worth going for anyone keen. We will almost certainly be connecting with their startup business development team to take advantage of some of the AWS prepacked technologies and tools.
"I like your blog. It has authenticity," Adam said on Friday last week.
We stayed on the phone for a bit longer after Andrea dropped off the call to talk about some of the strategic business stuff beyond the scope of marketing.
Everything in the business has been tracking well. I have been focused on the product and marketing, so sales and business development have slipped a little in the last few weeks. This slowness has weighed down my conscience.
"You will never get anything if you don't ask, Horace," Beau said to me in the cab today. "I'm serious. It doesn't matter how uncomfortable you might feel. This is sales."
"So my natural position, and I am not saying I can't be more assertive, is to drop hints and hope the other side volunteers."
"You have to ask!"
We caught up today about our secret project for 2018. Beau had some great ideas that will mean I must go exploring the back streets of Waterloo and Redfern in the coming weeks.
Sometimes I feel like Beau is the bad cop to my good cop. It isn't so much that I am not forthright, but rather I tend to become overly friendly with people a little too quickly. As a result, I tend to treat every relationship like a friendship - and friends do not take from friends. Friends give, with only the hope and no expectation of reciprocation... and this is not a good thing in business, especially not when we are approaching the stage of VC funding. I keep forgetting that VCs do not see us as coffee buddies (yet). We get one shot with each VC, and we have to make the right impression from the start.
That reminds me. I really must make more time for my friends... that too has slipped a little in the last few months. How bad is it that I am the founder of a social startup and I cannot find time to be social myself?!
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).