So, it's been almost a couple weeks since my last 'weekly' update... well, what's new?
Financially, it's been time to do a sanity check. The part-time work I was doing has finished, so i'm 100% burning through savings now. So we got all the figures from the bank and the builder, and figured that we've got a little more than 6 months runway. So that's better than hoped for, for now.
I've been working and have almost finished my first iOS app since going full-time on this: Today calendar. My designer has delivered some excellent graphics, so i've been busy coding to make the app look just right. It's been quite challenging to do the UX for the app, believe it or not. I've never thought seriously about UX in the past and never considered it to be difficult, but working on this app has opened my eyes. So many things to consider when designing a unique interface, such as how to animate things neatly without ruining the usability. Anyway the app is looking pretty good, and has gone out to a couple of friends for testing. Next up is going to be applying the finalised designs, and sending a copy to the blogger i've paid to do some promotion. And I should be submitting to the app store next week. So wish me luck, i hope it does well. Depending on how well (or poorly) this app goes, i'll decide whether to give up on iOS or not. I hope it does well, as i really like developing for iOS, but if there's no money in it - well, i've got a family to feed. Anyway, we'll see.
Last time, i mentioned that a couple recruiters were chasing me about a position at Google. Well, in hindsight I'm 80% sure the position wasn't real. Other than all that, it's been a quiet couple of weeks: simply plowing on with the calendar app, and counting down the days till I become a father again. Right now it's down to about 12.
Anyway, to all those out there on a similar path to me, doing your own startup on the side or even full-time, keep it up! Times like this for me, when nothing crazy exciting is happening, just the grind of gradually getting the project out the door, can be discouraging, but i've had a couple of thoughts about this.
Three problems present themselves in my mind: This is too hard, this is taking too long, and I want to give up! It's like when i'm working out, sure some days are too hard and that stupid barbell simply won't budge, but it's only because i'm growing. It's only hard because i'm tackling a bigger weight than what i attempted weeks ago. If i tried to lift those previous weights again, it'd be easy! Same as in life and business: it's hard because you're growing, so don't let it discourage you.
As for 'this is taking too long', well the other day I was out cycling and on the way home was despairing that I'd ever make it - if my legs failed me, I'd have to get off and walk, and then it'd take hours to get back home. But in the end, I just kept going and managed to get home no dramas, just by persevering. So stick with it, you'll be surprised in what you can build if you just keep going.
And mostly - I want to give up! And this is because we need a reason to keep going. I've found that when i've got a solid answer to "Why the heck am I doing this?", the desire to give up disappears. What is that reason? You need a strong reason. For me, at the moment, the reason is so that I can provide for my family, and spend a good amount of time with them, and not go insane working in a soul destroying cubicle job (not that there's anything wrong with working for someone else, i'm sure good jobs do exist, i've just had lousy luck ever finding one that didn't go bad eventually).
So find your reason and don't give up, if you're on the same path as me. It's like having kids: worth the pain.
Thanks for reading! And if you want to get in touch, I'd love to hear from you: chris.hulbert at gmail.
(Comp Sci, Hons - UTS)
iOS Developer in Sydney.
I have worked at places such as Google, Cochlear, News Corp, Fox Sports, NineMSN, FetchTV, Woolworths, and Westpac, among others. If you're looking for a good iOS developer, drop me a line!