Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Colorado Startup Life: Week 8

What a long and eventful week! On Sunday I went to church than my friend from Colorado C and I hiked Green Mountain in Chautauqua Park in Boulder. 8,100 feet was the highest he had been at the time! It's funny because he's a 4:16 or so miler and clearly aerobically quite capable.
Green Mountain, Boulder November 4th, 2018
Monday night after I worked a full day, we went to the Nuggets vs. Celtics game in Denver. I had never been to a professional NBA (or NFL) game before and it was great! Unlike hockey, there is basically no fighting. Unlike football there were no concussions or serious injuries. Unlike baseball there is a lot of action. Unlike track and field the whole thing takes a little over 2 hours. I could be an NBA fan. My friend, a die hard Celtics fan, was a little disappointed because after a big lead in the first quarter the Nuggets came back (no doubt helped by the high altitude) and won the game.
Nuggets/Celtics Game November 5th, 2018
Tuesday was election day, so I stayed up too late watching the results come in. Is it good or bad to care about politics? Is it possible to care, and have opinions, without getting emotional about politics? I'm not sure.

Wednesday after work I picked up a friend at the airport and introduced her to my neighborhood around Longmont. I rent a two bedroom apartment, and while I don't have a bed in the second bedroom, I do like hosting guests.

Thursday we moved offices at work! We went from Loveland area down to Lafayette. The new office is quite nice, and ready for us to expand, maybe double in size, which would be a huge growth of the company, meaning I'm not sure we need to double, or are ready to double just yet. Probably next year though.

On that note, I mentioned last week we have a technology issue. So we are a venture capital backed company. Which is to say we are spending more money than we are earning, by design, so that we can grow faster than we could organically. However, the risk is that we spend ourselves out of money before we have the income to justify our spending rate, according to standard established business models. With all engineering, development takes time. The science may be a simple equation on a board that shows it's possible, but the engineering of that equation into real life is often very difficult. Werner Von Braun gets a lot of credit for rockets and spacecraft design, but it took thousands of engineers tens of thousands of hours each to make Mercury, Gemini, Apollo and the space shuttle a successful reality.

In other words, we have a very typical technology issue, that is a standard part of product engineering development, but given we are a startup, if we don't figure it out, it could be the end of the company. That's probably hyperbole, I do like to exaggerate sometimes, it helps me prioritize. There are dozens of things that could be done to solve this particular issue, and frankly since I'm not directly contributing to solving this particular issue, I could be laid off to provide the company a little extra time to solve the issue. All of that being said, I love it! Previously, working at a big corporation, a six month or 18 month delay to a program was a depressing day, week or month, and then you just move on with life. At a startup, looking at a potential delay and how that might affect future funding and product development helps the priorities to become very clear. We need to figure this out or the product lineup in 2020 doesn't matter. Lest someone thinks I'm writing my own resignation letter, we have hardware in process and in the next couple months, possibly weeks, we will probably be able to say we (and honestly not me) solved the problem.

My guest on Thursday went to Denver to hang out with other friends and on Friday two more of my friends from Kansas and Oklahoma came to town. The four of us went to a Dermot Kennedy concert in Denver. He's somewhere between an Irish independent singer/songwriter and as I like to think an emo (short for emotional) folk rock artist. Once again I wasn't sure what to expect. Similar to the Jason Derulo concert in Dubuque in 2015 it was a mostly female attended concert. He sang love songs more or less. Not the standard music I listen to. The most dramatic part of the concert for me was a little over halfway through when people around me started smoking and I started coughing in reaction to the smoke and suddenly felt a little paranoid and I had to get to the back of the venue where the doors were open and fresh air was coming in. When you can't breathe, nothing else seems to matter.
Dermot Kennedy in Denver November 9th, 2018
Saturday after breakfast my friends left for Oklahoma, I went for an 8 mile run, and ran 19.9 miles for the whole week! In the afternoon I went rock climbing at Earthtreks in Golden with some friends and after we went out for Mexican food. It was a good day!

For me it was a wild week! Two different friend group guests! An NBA game, a concert, rock climbing, a mountain hike, moving offices, an election... whew! I didn't even call my parents this week. When people wonder, and I know many do, why young people prefer to live in big cities where housing is so expensive, instead of in rural areas, everything I did this week is evidence of why. The concert was $31 including tax. Rock climbing was $20. Not sure on the NBA tickets, my friend paid since he slept at my place for four nights for free. Hiking the mountain was free. But these things are just not weekday options in places like Independence, KS. 

I hope you had a good week too. 

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