Mike McGrail

Mike McGrail: Diary of a Ginormous SaaS Startup Journey [Part 3]

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On swinging-opinions from smart people, finding a sidekick and deciding on a product name…

Just a day has passed since my last update, yet my thinking and direction for this currently mythical product has already changed and advanced, hence the need for more.

I’ve met with a further three very smart people in the last 24 hours, all from a tech-product background (two CEOs and one chap who is beautifully knowledgable on all things product), and each of them have given me real food-for-thought.

Starter | Funding Paté on Toast

Yup, sorry, I’m going with a food theme now. I have no cash to invest in this. It’s bootstrap city (limits). However, I was given a tonne of advice on routes to investment yesterday. From government grants to pre-seed incubators, the options are vast.

One option did jump out at me though — offer lifetime access to beta users for ‘x’ amount of wonga, paid in one fee, thus bringing-in a nice lump of capital. Granted, this is for further down-the-line (so far you couldn’t see it with the Hubble right now), but a real golden (chicken) nugget for sure.

Main | Technologically Tenderised Steak with Hand-cut Chips

By the end of a different chat with a different chap, I was a little bit scared. I can’t go into too much detail on this, but it relates to the technology that would really make ‘Project Insight’ a force to be reckoned with. I knew this tech would have to be a part of it, but I saw it as a much later iteration.

The chap-in-question made it very clear in my mind why said tech has to be in place from day one. I now can’t see past that. It complicates things, but I now do deem it as essential. Further tech-validation hungrily consumed.

Dessert | Creme Caramel served with a Sweet Contact Crisp

When a tech spanner gets thrown in the works, you really hope that a slick engineer will come along and pull it out. That’s what happened when the gent who’d initially thrown the spanner in there introduced me to a man with ridiculously amazing experience in the tech area in question. What a way to finish dinner.

The lesson

The more I talk about the product to people, the more my thinking on it expands. You can’t keep these things bottled up if you want to progress.

I’ve got an amigo!

Something else I know I need around me in order to make this happen is people. Advisors and therapists are all good and very welcome, but I need individuals around me that are part of the full journey.

I floated this idea by a few people months ago, and one of them has been a great help over the past few weeks as a sounding board, giver of ideas and tech-tinkerer. While they aren’t in a position to be a full co-founder, we have agreed a route that incentivises them to keep helping me out — it has been invaluable and hugely appreciated so far. Feels good to have a sidekick!

What’s in a name?

I’ve resisted spending energy trying to come up with a name for this, over-and-above the working title of ‘Project Insight’. However, I felt it was time to get something sorted as this will allow further building of early interest and awareness. What’s it called?

Well, you’ll have to wait for that one. Sorry. Kind of.