I have to say, I am overwhelmed. Day one was crazy! I started out the day absolutely terrified. In retrospect, for a stupid reason.
I started to socialize the idea the Great Canadian Tech Experiment for a few weeks before I actually launched it, as I wanted to have some of the process already completed and have some content written (I aimed to have 20 pieces of content written, publishing 2 per week, which would give me a 10 week runway to start things off).
I almost didn’t launch the experiment because of one person
Most of the folks I spoke to were positive about the experiment. They wanted to know more – why was I doing this, isn’t it simple to make the project successful now that Shopify exists, etc.
One person, however, was a bit of a negative nancy.
Not in a “this is stupid” kind of way, but he is a pretty influential person who could really help the experiment get off the ground and get the types of recognition I ideally want.
When I told him about the project, he immediately questioned whether it was possible since I’d have to build my own computer just to have a place to type (I explained the obvious exceptions). He then responded with “oh cool, yeah email me about it for sure,” which is tech speak for ‘go away.’
The worst thing happened. I let it bother me.
I doubted myself. I thought that he is an influencer in this space and if he didn’t like it then it wasn’t worth trying. I discredited all the positive commentary I got from people (who are also in the tech world, I might add) all because one person was a tad flippant. He didn’t even say he didn’t like the project!
For those of you thinking about launching a business, I get how painful it is to hear one person (a potentially important person) be lukewarm about the project. For me, it was worse than if he came right out and said he thought it was stupid – at least then my competitive drive would have kicked in and I’d have told him precisely where he can put his doubt.
Talk about getting into your own head.
Then I decided to bite the bullet and hit publish. I wasn’t going to let someone ruin my experiment before I’d even tried. After all, it’s an experiment. It could totally fail. That’s not the point of an experiment – the point is to validate or invalidate a hypothesis, documenting as you go.
The response was so cool
I asked some friends to amplify my tweet announcement because I didn’t want to launch it and then have it land with a big thud.
So a couple of the initial retweets were kind asks of friends in the tech world who told me they liked the project (to which I said “thanks – would you mind retweeting/liking my tweet?” Most obliged with no issue).
Then I got my first “organic” quote-tweet from a senior tech leader in Toronto saying it was a super cool project.
I nearly died of excitement. From one little tweet. I don’t get out much.
Throughout the day, more folks started to retweet and comment on the project. They even visited the website and clicked around.
Looking at the first day of analytics from my website, I got just about 90 views from about 50 visitors. That’s so cool from just one tweet!
It’s not perfect, obviously (nor is it that high), but one of the things I think is really cool is that as I write this (at 9 am on the 27th), there have already been 20 views from 17 visitors. That, to me, is the best feeling because it means the content is carrying.
Ending on a bang
Out of nowhere, someone who followed me from a while ago at a tech event (attending 100+ tech events in 2016 is starting to pay off!) tweeted at me – they want to do an interview with me to get my perspectives on Canadian tech and hear about my experiences as a founder/working at a startup.
I couldn’t believe it. Talk about a happy signal.
Final tally from day 1:
- 4 collaboration requests/conversation openers
- 3 meetings booked
- 1 interview booked (stay tuned!)
This is by no means a guarantee of success. I need to keep working hard, and some of the things on my to-do list feel daunting. But I am so excited about this after day one. Let’s keep it going, folks.
Where my Canadian tech companies at?!
Realizing the importance of actually finding Canadian tech companies, it’s probably a good idea to get a repository of them all. Thank you to Maury Rubin on Twitter for the suggestion to make an open sheet where folks can input Canadian tech companies and what they do.
I’ll also be making call-outs on #CDNTechExperiment for folks to submit company names if I have a need for it. Follow me on Twitter to stay up to date.
To those who have already followed me to keep up with this journey, I’m so happy to have you on this journey with me.
If you haven’t followed me yet, what are you waiting for? I’m funny sometimes.