I've spent the last year launching a startup at makeshift desk three steps from our kitchen stove. Working from home, while parenting, presents a massive set of challenges, rewards and obstacles. Am I elated that I am home for dinner with my family each night? Yes. Am I thankful to be local and observe the daily growth of my daughter? Yes. Am I perplexed as to how I can be a professional role model to my daughter when she interprets my 'computer time' as play - Absolutely.
When it came time to launch the startup, I decided to figuratively take my 'daughter to work' so we can discuss the ins-and-outs of what I do. Below is a play-by-play of the process, pressure, and patience that we walked through during our 12 hour launch day together:
Today we launch our new app called Recently.. Step 1. Wake up the team. #recently
Time to release the app so that it has time to go live in the app store before press shows up online. But let's be honest... we're not ready until we brush. #letsdothis
Must learn to be patient. I know in my heart, it usually takes a while to propagate - but today I can't relax. We need an escape. #stillnotavailable #ugh
Finally, the patience paid off. App is live and the real day is about to begin. Hold a quick strategy discussion to map out our day. Not all members of the team had the same game plan. #fullspeedahead
Agreeing that we could dig right into outreach - One of us took on the emails, one of us took on the woodwinds
Got the initial emails out. Time to finalize our product specs. After all, woodwinds only capture the attention of our team for a couple minutes. We are making magazines after all.
As users started to trickle in, I noticed that the system wasn't working as planned. Fighting off the urge to go to the playground, I had to work with the team to correct the issue before more people were onboard. Solved it in time, celebrated with song. #canbreatheagain
Our first press drops, and TNW posts an exclusive write up on Recently, effectively launching the app to the world. #gulp
The next couple hours were a frenzy of social media posts, emails and online advertising. Impossible to get everything accomplished. Frantic prep of low effort dinner ensued. #macncheese
Dinner is a wrap, app is live and we're exhausted. Always good to reflect on what we learned over the course of the day.
Things are winding down around the office. Time to clean up from the wrap party. We know full well that this frantic pace, exhausting schedule and overwhelming to-do list will be the same tomorrow. #parenting #productlaunch
In retrospect, launching a product with a four year old doesn't take away the exhilarating rollercoaster of a launch-day. And even though it somewhat complicated things, I think it was extremely beneficial for both of us. I'd like to think that it strengthened her capacity to discuss and understand what I do and how I do it. For me, it was a huge help in keeping perspective and balance on a tumultuous day. We all know, things can and will go wrong when you launch a startup. And when they do, it helps to find a way to keep perspective. Even if that means playing with clip-dolls and singing at the top of your lungs with a four year old.