Summary January 2021

The moment I stop taking notes and leave writing this blog post for a week or two, all my memories of the past month events vanish. Partly this is because nothing big happens, and the life is pretty much the same. With a young kid every day is almost a groundhog day. Luckily, I can point out few events that made this month stand out a bit…

About 5 years ago I moved back to Tallinn from London and decided to start a honey business. I was buying in raw unfiltered honey, creaming it, adding dried berries and berry syrup, and selling this online. It was slowly picking up pace, but was way too slow to make it sustainable for me. In the end I also lost inspiration, and so decided to quit. Selling the 50l creamer took the longest, and I have finally sold it this January.

I also decided to stop writing Elm Bits. Every new issue was coming out slower and harder, and I was pushing it ever closer to the virtual deadline of 18:00 on Sunday. During the Christmas holidays I decided to take a two-week break only to return for two more issues and understand that I do not have that passion and energy anymore to write it. What started as a fun and enjoying hobby became a burden. And in such circumstances I decided to stop writing it for now.

As days are getting longer, waking up in the morning becomes easier. Usually during the winter months you rarely see the sun through a thick pack of clouds, but one evening I saw the dawn through between the patches of clouds, and it was amazing. I was mesmerized for a healthy 15 minutes watching the orange, yellow, and red colors of the sunlit sky.

January sky
January sky
January sky

I decided to sell my old Nikon D3100 camera and buy a newer model. I got myself Nikon Z50 which is an entry-level mirrorless camera. I am not taking lots of pictures, and D3100 would still probably suffice for most of my use-cases, but I wanted something that could also film videos and have a live-view option so I could take stills from computer. So far I love it, and started taking a few pictures of my family moments every day. The great thing about it is that I can connect to the camera with my phone and grab the pictures right away.

At work we launched version 2.0 on ProductHunt, and even though there were less upvotes and traffic, the number of conversions was way higher than the first time. People signed up for accounts, contacted me on the chat, and in the end two users converted to paying clients. Sadly I also lost one customer to a competitor product.

Throughout my life I was hooked with startups, and one of the things I was curious about is how do you get approached by people who want to buy it. Well, now I know. You just receive a spammy-looking email saying something like:

Hey, my name is John Doe from XYZ fund, and we’re buying Internet companies that have 1K annual revenue. Your company looks like a nice fit. Would you like to discuss it?

Not exactly word by word, but the gist is that. I found this email in my spam folder, and after doing due diligence on the author I felt it was legitimate. We exchanged few more emails, and decided to stay in touch. It wasn’t a good fit which was clear from the start.

Finally, I decided to look for a marketing/sales co-founder for the company. After going through my personal network and not finding anyone of interest, I took it to the internet and started having interviews. We (me and my partners) fucked up several interviews for which I am terribly embarrased. But that taught us valueable lessons, and we adapted quickly. Some of the takeaways:

  • it’s really hard to find a good match (what a surprise! /sarcasm)
  • candidates approach this as a regular job interview rather than a co-founder role. I just receive a cv without much else
  • inteviews suck a lot of time and energy

No idea what would come out of it. Probably nothing. But let’s hope for a better February… And as of the time of writing this, half of the February is already over :)