So much for the May update coming soon. Sorry about that. I think some explanation is probably necessary. On the good side, we are still trucking and we are getting close on Herkimer Industries producing our units and getting NYSID sales going. But we are running on vapors. Our support from The Foundation and the remaining money from Commercialization Academy are fully committed to getting Herkimer Industries up and running. The milestone payments from The Cleantech Center are stuck in some sort of NYSERDA limbo. Neither the NYSERDA PON nor the FuzeHub grant we worked with Herkimer Industries on have panned out. The sales we have been working on just aren’t closing fast enough. Startup life is not for the faint of heart.
Extending the Runway
I can’t remember whether I mentioned it previously (and I’m too lazy to check), but I have ramped back up on my day job. My day-to-day is now back to doing patent work. This time for a patent firm out of Salt Lake City. For me, Good People is back to evenings, weekends, and weekly meetings with Ethan.
It’s been great as far as reducing the pressure on Good People’s finances, but it has left Ethan doing all of the heavy lifting and trying to scrape by on whatever meager draw we can come up with. I don’t know who these startup founders are who don’t need to get paid for the first couple of years, but it isn’t us. We don’t need a lot, but families and mortgages don’t pay for themselves while you are pursuing startup glory (at least not for us).
It’s been a double whammy as far as keeping up on the updates. What time I do have, I really want to focus on things like keeping our finances in shape, supporting Ethan’s strategizing and sales efforts, and managing compliance (though the lateness of our Benefit Report is a testament to my shortcomings there). And because I’m less involved in the day-to-day, it’s just more difficult for me to write about what we are up to.
Ethan’s focus has to stay on sales and our strategic partners, so you are stuck with me on the updates.
Herkimer Industries has the base units and we are getting close on the covers and stickers for branding. My understanding is that NYSID status should be official soon too. We were really hoping that NYSERDA or FuzeHub would come through to help us with UL certification, but we are working on plan Bs for funding those efforts.
Ethan thinks we may be close on a major sale and there are at least two other opportunities where we have had really positive interest and we just need to get things across the finish line. We are really hoping that Suzanne will be able to help us close those once we have the Herkimer Industries units ready to go. He also has plan for a show in NYC and some follow-up with our contacts down there, so hopefully there are more opportunities on deck.
I did finally write and submit our annual NYS Benefit Report. I don’t actually know how they will handle the timing, but I suspect that late is better than never. They still received their filing fee. We continue to hold off on official B Lab certification. I feel like we really need our Herkimer Industries sales channel up and running before we can make a credible application.
Changes to the Blog
So, given where we are right now, I’m making two changes to the blog updates. I continue to think that the blog is an important part of keeping in touch with our stakeholders and maintaining the transparency that is part of our mission and B Corp schtick. But I don’t like missing the monthly posts and feeling guilty about it.
First, we are going to every other month. So, the next post will be July-August and should happen in early September. I hope we will have great news to report on the sales side by then. And I know Ethan has some other ideas for funding too.
Second, I’m going to suspend the activities and core metrics sections. I thought they were a cool addition and would help people understand what we are up to. But in all of the feedback I have ever received about the blog (which has been overwhelmingly positive, other than the criticism that we are too open...which I sort of take as a compliment even if that isn’t how it was intended), no one has ever mentioned the activity bullets or core metrics. They take more time and it doesn’t sound like anyone will really miss them. Maybe they will come back later in some form or another. We’ll see.
In closing, thanks for reading and following along as Ethan and I try to figure this out. We think Good People could make a difference in so many ways, but startup is always an uphill battle. We appreciate you cheering us on and if you have any ideas (or sales leads), please let us know.