After much effort and emphatic handwaving, Betterpress no longer lives exclusively in the world of whiteboards, mockups and conjecture. We’ve launched our first feed, this one focused on the San Diego craft beer industry. The first fifteen breweries in San Diego are uploading content to our platform, and the San Diego Brewers Guild is publishing that content on their calendar and promoting it on social media. As soon as everyone is pleased that things work as expected, we hope to roll this out to all 120 local breweries and build a big audience of craft beer fans. And when that works, we’ll do it a thousand more times.
So, we’re finally at the starting line. Here’s some reflection:
- Reid Hoffman quote: “If you are not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late.” Last year, I felt we must have done something wrong, because I was confident in The Upcoming Awesome. Now that we’ve launched, I see the product is shamefully riddled with missed opportunities, so I guess that’s good?
- It took us longer than expected to get here. The product development was bumpier than planned, and it took us eleven months to deploy with the Guild. Turns out, they’re busy with day jobs and their world doesn’t revolve around this thing we’re so excited about.
- We heard “no” a lot. Still do — and that’s from the people who bother to return the phone calls and emails. Thick, calloused skin is really helpful. So is stubbornness. Maybe nerve damage. There’s no conspiracy against us — people are just busy, and there are a million of self-important tech entrepreneurs running around trying to get everyone’s attention.
- Elon Musk quote: “Running a start-up is like chewing glass and staring into the abyss.” Gah, so true. I’ve named my abyss Junior McChicken because that I accept he’s going to be with me for a while, and I want him to seem a little less imposing.
- Start simple. We designed and built about fifty screens across five apps, and only one matters. We should have started there. Duh.
- Surround yourself with trusted, entrepreneurial people who know both the right way to encourage and the right way to nudge you in a different direction. Pessimism is contagious, and one bad conversation can haunt an entrepreneur for weeks. At the same time, you’re not as smart as you think you are, and you need to be open to thoughtful nudges.
Where do we go from here? Betterpress is diving into nichey newsfeeds and event calendars. We want to make it easy for you to follow X, where X is something you really care about. Our first X is San Diego craft beer. Wish us well!