Hey! hello world. we finally got our blog up and running.
This blog is primarily about Mindkin (the people), as we grow into the company we hope to be. You'll have to see the About Us page to know what that is all about. And this (blog) is where we want to talk about that journey the things and experiences we face, and to share that with others.
We just secured our first round of funding this week after our first crowdfunding campaign. We actually didn't reach our initial target of 390K, but we went back to those that did invest in that campaign, and asked them to stick with us, and they did! Actually, turns out they pledged more the second time around. I can't confirm the actual total number yet, because the money is not in the bank at this point, but we have a new plan to move forward and get to market and that just means we will be going to the next round of funding sooner than anticipated.
So the first part of that, the part I am most excited about, is that we get to build our product dev team again! We are hiring!
Now ideally, we would be hiring the best talent there is around, and aim to fulfil the company's long term vision with brilliantly skilled and capable people, but the reality in startup-land is that you often cannot afford to pay the best talent out there what they may expect in cash at an early stage. So we don't think we will be filling this team with highly experienced people who expect to make top dollar out in the marketplace for their experience and specifically honed specialities.
However, we absolutely can educate and grow the people we do want from scratch, (as we already did the first time around). It's part of the benefit of being a long time lean product development coach and educator I guess - although it takes a lot more effort of course.
Another part of building that team, that I want to fulfill this time around, in our team of 5-7, is to have a far greater proportion of female designers and engineers on the team. Why? because empathy and communication skills trumps technical wizardry in product development teams IMHO. Plus, all-male prod-dev teams (just saying) tend to exhibit rather more loutish behaviors that they sure wouldn't be proud to display in front of their female peers, let alone their mums.
Quite frankly, perhaps more than half of our users are going to be female and male and so delighting them might well require an appropriate balance of genders on the team that is delighting them, I reckon.
Given all that above, we think that we are facing into squarely targeting mostly a team of graduates straight out of Uni and growing them into the stars we want moving and shaking the company in the future. That is not to exclude anyone more experienced, joining us - god I would love that too! but for some reason, the more experienced people in this marketplace that we have spoken to so far seem to assume that a startup like us can carry paying them the rockstar salaries they have been working up to in the prior corporate lives. Clearly, not an expectation we can live up to at this stage. The startup game is about creating something new and reaping the larger benefits further down the track.
Speaking of which, we've decided to start exploring our vision of a better way to reward and appraise performance in the company (to mitigate our poor experiences in the corporates we have worked in prior). Not models we want to proliferate ourselves. We figure it is a little too early to enact our final plan around this (that could be best summarised a peer-commission scheme) because we are not yet large enough (in people) to make viable yet - perhaps when we reach 10 or more people. But we have decided, in the interim to issue stock options for deferred gain as the company grows. We have set aside at least 20% of the company stock in the employee options pool to issue stocks annually to all employees. And the sooner people jump on board the sooner those options will vest and can be exercised.
So we are all go now, and now it's all about finding the right people to join us and get this product in market! Were Hiring!