I couldn’t sleep last night because I’m concerned about how we’re going to get more high quality photos up onto 42Floors. We’re a site that makes it easy to search for commercial real estate. But it’s not a good search experience unless you have great photos.
We have increased the number of listings on our site. Awesome! But so much so that the performance on our site slowed to a crawl. We had tried to avoid premature optimization. But now we have too many new listings to load at once. No caching. No intelligent API calls. Big surprise that our site is painfully slow.
I just got an email from an engineering prospect who has decided to turn down our offer. We put so much time and effort and passion into recruiting him. He decided he wants to go off and start his own company right now. I can’t hold that against him. But we’ve got like a gazillion open positions, and I need to get them filled. My team is depending on me. I hate letting them down.
We’ve been doing tons of user testing in the last few weeks. People complain that it’s difficult to go back and forth between our map view and our listings view. I can’t blame them. I’ve wanted to fix that for months, along with 100 other things I’ve wanted to do. But to see users, right in front of me, trying to use our product and getting visibly frustrated – Ughh! It’s like they’re calling my baby ugly, and I have no other choice but to agree.
We just had an investor ask why we still don’t have email alerts setup for new spaces that come online. It’s the most simple of features. We should’ve done it nine months ago, and we still haven’t gotten around to it. Oy! Should I just say what I said nine months ago? “Yep, it’s in our pipeline. We’re about to get to it.”
I’m not even going to go into all the challenges with traction, user acquisition, business model… nor will I mention the team issues, the tough conversations with investors, and everything else.
I keep reading on Techcrunch of these startups that are crushing it. Do they also feel this way?
Startups are just plain hard.
All too often we startups market ourselves on Hacker News as fairy tales. But this is no Potemkin village. Startups are hard. They are always hard. Every step of the way. I’ve never met a single successful founder who has said otherwise.
We are hiring right now at 42Floors – we have a ton of job openings. I wish I could say that everything is perfect here. But if you join our team, we’ll be open with each other. We’ll face every challenge head on.
And maybe someday we’ll look back on all the struggles and tough times and realize we were crushing it.
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