Everybody likes a cliff-hanger. So, there we were in February, hanging out with our thINCubator cohort, searching for a supplier who might be able to interpret our hodgepodge of specifications or even reverse engineer a demo unit. Hoping one of the investors we were courting would come back with good news. We plunged into March 2017…
To be honest, March ended up looking a lot like February. We had more meetings and conversations with interested suppliers who might be able to help, including folks who had actually built the product before for our licensor. But after the initial interest, they continue to be stymied by the lack of certainty and technical detail in our documentation and even the product itself. It seems like every demo unit we borrow is actually a little bit different.
We had good discussions with our thINC cohort and it all pointed to some online test marketing to help identify our best customer opportunities, but without enough time or resources to actually make it happen. It didn’t help that I ended up with a backlog of work from my day job to gear up for a family vacation that would eat most of April. It left me hesitant to commit to a new project and Ethan had enough on his own plate working on the supplier and investor side.
We also heard back from The Foundation. The good news was that they are still interested. The bad news was that they need a few months for their board to study and understand the idea of impact investing and how best to do it.
Good People Month 7
Worked with our cohort for thINCubator’s Refinery program, wrapped up the sprint with little to show for it, but a plan to move forward with Ryan’s support when I get back from vacation
Excellent meeting with local supplier and staff engineer for a company that has built the product before and is interested in doing so again
Various e-mails and calls with potential customers or channel partners
Continued contact with electrical suppliers on the PCB
We got 4 feet of snow in a single storm (nothing to do with our progress, but I thought it worth noting…that’s a lot of snow)
Good People By the Numbers
We installed no units and saved no energy
We made it easy for 0 new leads, new customers, or new partners to save energy
Our team held steady at 2, but we would really like to find an engineer
We ate at local restaurants, but that’s it for local sourcing
We didn’t really donate anything to the community other than time
We brought in $0 revenue and $0 investment (other than a founder’s loan for costs)
We spent another $40 or so
I wasn’t optimistic about progress in April. Ethan resolved to push on investors and suppliers while I was away, but I knew he had his hands full with his day job. And it’s not like I could really push on him as I headed off for two+ weeks in the sun with my family. My best hope was that I would come back inspired and energized for moving things forward and finding us the combination of investors, suppliers, and customers we need to really get things started.