I have completed two months of working on my startup. I won't say the last two months are completely enjoyable, but the experience has been invaluable. I am looking to launch a preview with first set of features in the next one month to get user feedback.
My experiences so far:
After 6.5 years of working on a platform, I was able to reset myself and build a product on a completely new stack. Learning to build features reading through Spring security, creating Node services, deploying to serverless environments, containerizing apps, build pipelines for end to end feature, building React app from scratch etc. are all the most enjoyable parts of my journey so far for me.
Stopping the developer in me from attempting to solve every interesting problem and prioritize time to market. The first priority is to get the product out and put it in front of real users to get feedback. Pretty much all the energy is to be focused on this sole purpose and I realized I am good at this.
I had to think of ideal product architecture vs. sustainable product architecture. Every feature requires a crude COGS analysis to understand the monetary consequences. As developers working in large enterprises, we don't worry much about cost unless there is an unreasonable expense. But this is totally new learning for me and constantly trying to optimize and conserve resources.
Building a product != Building a company. I have new found respect for people who take care of corporate and administration side of things for the companies. Dealing with filings to federal government, various state governments and legal side of things is not fun. Having someone to deal with compliance and legal side of things is just awesome and well worth it. I am sure I will have to engage with an attorney very soon as I get closer to product launch, but so far my experience is that these things take up considerable amount of time.
Talking to investors and explaining what I am building. I am sure I need to get better at explaining the grand vision and how big it can become.
I now spend quite some time on creating content - product documentation, marketing website, developing graphics etc. I expected it to be boring, but writing documentation explaining stuff is fun. Hopefully no one will have to read the docs if the product is easy to use. 😉
There is definitely a constant pressure in founding a company and I think having young kids is really hard. Vacationing is not fun anymore as I can't stop thinking if I am wasting time on a spring break or a weekend trip. I hope this gets better once the product is shipped.
I still get emails from technical recruiters. But now asking if I am done and ready to move on from startup. It's super annoying to see such emails 🤷.