Lessons from 2020

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Photo by Alex Smith on Pexels.com

I have a small document where I try to weekly write goals and what I’ve achieved. Sometimes I don’t update it, but I reviewed my 2020 version and will try to take out some takeaways.

  1. Covid-19 was incredibly disruptive to our lives, but it accelerated ‘digital transformation’ in a number of industries, and we saw at Aflorithmic that some industries grew and others were forced to come up with ‘digital-first’ product offerings. Since we are focused on helping businesses enhance their audio experiences this was good for us.
  2. Managing remotely is hard. Really important to spend a lot of time on zoom calls with your team. And it’s very easy with slack and emails to be misinterpreted.
  3. I learned a ton of leadership lessons. Some of which exposed some of my failings (I’ll do another post on this at some point) and some which made me realise that when stuff goes wrong, it’s STILL your fault.
  4. It’s really important as a manager to get into the trenches, it’s very easy for ‘metrics’ to lie to you.
  5. We onboarded our first paying clients and pilots this year. And went through various iterations where we discovered what worked and what didn’t work. A key lesson we learned over and over again – is that you can be ‘too early’ for a market, and if you’re ‘too early’ it doesn’t work.
  6. Learning a ton about building teams/ building platforms and the importance of great design and user experience. User experience is a first order problem to solve. Machine Learning is a second order problem.
  7. Learning a ton about communication styles and about how important it is to spend time on whatever ‘story’ or ‘vision’ you want to portray to others. And it’s important as a leader to provide that. People need to understand how what they’re working on, connects to the big picture.
  8. Learned a ton about fundraising, cashflow, growing a team, shipping product, negotiating with lawyers, fixing bugs, responding to customers and the importance of reliability and operational excellence.

Onwards and upwards. Lots more to learn. It’s great to reflect on how we’ve gone from an MVP to a working product in the space of a year and a bit.

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