OrchardAi as a company has been in Genesis for around a year. I have thought to myself so many times that I must record my thoughts regarding the madness, the wonder and incredulity of my little baby taking shape. I was generally too busy just trying to catch up EVERYWHERE. Tech, Business, Sales and all the other million things you have to do.
I had an idea and a vision. I needed skills. Lots of skills.
We need skills. Lots of skills.
Building an A.I./Machine Learning Platform and Services business is not super easy on the scale of ‘things that are quite tricky’. Especially when one is bootstrapping on ideas, vision and client interest rather than any significant pool of cash.
I never got imposter syndrome
Instead I had: ‘deep and meaningfully significant doubt about whether I could possibly manage to pull the whole thing off and if clients would even want it’ syndrome. A lot of sanity checking and pushing ideas to my network eased the validation of product fit (although that doesn’t equal financial investment.)
I then focused on getting the vision further forward and this is where I started my Kung Fu training. I discovered I could get so much done from the hrs of 10pm-3am. My own personal dojo.
Uninterrupted, getting sh*t done time.
It started out as project work and then just morphed into a really productive way of working. I thought my personal willingness would fade and despite a weeklong Netflix hiatus in August, the inverse occurred. Turns out having two young children was good training for less sleep than normal.
However, I was still a mere debutant in this whole Founder thing but I consumed information like Johnny 5 from Short Circuit.
I put a halt to the time sink that is Facebook and replaced all that dead time with information retrieval, learning and slowly, surely the idea, vision and dream have morphed into reality.
I still can’t dodge bullets though.
People are the key
Just like the various characters in The Matrix, a bunch or really important people came along to help me in my journey in suspiciously serendipitous ways. Some were brief but all were super important.
As nice as it was for my ego to get positive feedback the most significant events were those that were very challenging. Losing my co-founder (careless I know) in the Summer of 2017 was crushing but totally understandable however it made me move and think in new ways. I just had to, The Hustle begun. A single minded approach to moving items closer to the Done List in Trello.
The leap of faith happened before my training was complete. I felt beyond scared, unprepared and any veneer of self-belief I had built for myself seemed to evaporate when I needed it most.
This was a new kind of scared. A grown up, 40yr old with kids scared; petrified. I think at that time if gainful employment had came along I might have succumbed. Please forgive me.
Why? What if I failed? How would I be perceived? My families well being? Also, the complete ‘very few people know what I am going through’ sensation (at least people I knew) was beyond bizarre and disturbing while simultaneously an incredible buzz.
My first principles kept me on track though. I took the leap and went for it and I am trying not to look back.
All Build Up
In The Matrix, it spends most of the time with Neo trying to be The One and then Boom, he is The One, queue Rage Against The Machine, SlowMo and Flying.
I was hoping it would be like that once I started the company. It would just happen.
I didn’t expect to be pulling metaphorical bullets from the fabric of reality but I had hoped to be able to execute a solid 360 roundhouse kick and run really, really fast. There is so much to know (I wanted to reiterate that part) but what I have now realised is that:
Only I can walk through that door and no one is going to do it for me.
I apologise for the honest and overly personal blog. My PR team are scrambling to block it but there is no PR team.
No PR Team
p.s. There will be real, informative blogs along soon. Like ‘My Dog and A.I.’ and ‘Cockroach: The next big app that will never be’
p.s.s My Wife is THE most important person of all.