It's been an interesting year, have to say. This time last year the we were working with SumUp, and I think none of us would have thought that merely 12 months later we'll be standing (actually sitting) here, with TheProduct.Works. We went through a lot over the last while, I personaly learnt a lot again on how a business starts, but this time doing it really from the beginning. Some of that experience is actually pathfinding, defining ourselves, the usual stuff startuppy people blog about, you know the kind *looks out to the audience*.
So I wouldn't waste much words on that, rather to list all the things we would like to achieve in 2015 and the long term.
Short Term Goals
Work on interesting and challenging products
We've certainly did that beginning with the SMART project. This is a subject close to our hearts and for me personally—being a dad—it means a lot that I could contribute to a good cause that helps the work of community midwives around Dublin. And I'm sure there will be more to come.
Work with people who share most of the qualities we believe in
This might sound a bit of a boasting but we know our trade and our strengths (and weaknesses too, but shh!). We believe we can contribute to and build products whether they are just a sketch on a napkin or something already formed. And we always seek like-minded people to engage with, be it as a contribution to some open source thing, or to an MVP for a start-up.
Help people to lift off their ideas
This is what we are here to begin with, we know we can help people with our expertise to get their products, their businesses off the ground. We also just happen to be a bunch of decent people (well, we like to think so!) who just like talking to and helping others with their ideas - we take pride in doing so.
Allocate time to develop our own ideas
We just love to talk about ideas. Whether its our own, a coffee chat with a potential partner we love exploring and play with names, products, features, customer reactions. We even have stickies up in Conor's wall with our own ideas, and have made a commitment to devote some of our time to launch at least one in 2015.
Long Term Goals
The main long term goal for us is to make TheProduct.Works a totally self-sustainable business with a combination of partnerships and income from our own products. We've all been living off our savings for the past while, and started to get some money in our accounts (yay!), and we need to make sure that the latter becomes the norm.
In order to get that, we think we need to secure minimum 3 long-term partners to work with. Now this is the slow process, as we all need to build up the relationships. Sometimes if there's a personal history there might be no time required, in other cases this is a longer process. Ideally within a few months we will have 2-3 fixed parties that we are helping to succeed.
We would like to get to a stage in the (hopefully not so) distant future where we can invest in an idea, because we love the concept and do it not necessarily for the financial gain but to have the feel-good factor like SMART does for us now.
It's great to be able to take the day and work from home. Or from a café. Or from Wogie's. Or at a partner's office. In the end it's all about communication and collaboration and because most of our work is online and remote, it makes no difference where you and we are physically. We gather anywhere between 2-5 times a week to work in the same room, facetime is important, especially when you're working remotely. A flexible work environment is something we would like to keep for a long time.