Three weeks in and our 5th round cohort is beginning to settle into a routine. Truthfully, the first two weeks here are not about work because you are busy setting up everything you need to operate as a business here in Chile: bank accounts, accommodations, visas, identification cards, phones, etc.
Startup Chile has been an enormous help in facilitating many of these interactions (especially the ones that deal with government) but it's still tedious work. Finding housing was/is a challenge to many. Pete and I were a few of the lucky ones that found housing right away. And until you get this sorted out it's difficult to concentrate on work.
But this week we did indeed get down to work.
As part of the program we get co-working space at Centro Movistar Innova (acronymly known as CMI). It's one of those walk-in-and-sit-down-wherever-there's-space kind of places. I'd never worked in a co-working environment before so I was curious to see what it would be like. Turns out I love it.
It's a 25-minute walk from home. The internet is fast, there's free coffee/tea/water, and cookies & medialunas to power the 3pm munchies. CMI is also where events like weekly pitch training or meetups happen so it's super convenient.
Some people find it too loud here but for me it's just about right. Louder than a library, but quieter than a library full of engineers (I used to work in one so I know).
We've been working out of the office Monday to Friday (it's closed on weekends) 9ish to 6ish (it's open 8-8), going home to eat and then working a bit more in the evening. I always thought that some day if I controlled my own schedule I would do something slightly unconventional like taking a weekday off (Wednesday + Saturday) instead of the weekend.
I haven't had a chance to try this schedule out yet. I'm so used to the Monday to Friday grind, it will be hard to snap out of it. But I think it will be worth trying. Fridays have generally been less productive for me and being down here is no exception. I'm simply tired by the end of the week.
To some entrepreneurs, taking two days off a week is crazy. But for me the problem is not lack of time, it's lack of energy or lack of routine. Working shorter hours also forces me to procrastinate less. Check out Treehouse and 37signals for how they chose to take 3-day weekends.
This week we finalized our logo and Pete started working on wireframes. It's awesome to see the product in our heads coming to life. Thinking through the architecture has been challenging but very interesting for my librarian brain. We're getting to close to defining our MVP.
We have just three weeks until our second internal demo day. This is important as the top 20% of startups get to participate in monthly mentor sessions, which translates into more dedicated resources to help you succeed as a "high potential" startup. This means they will select 20 out of 100 startups from our cohort. Half of our cohort arrived one month before us so they have a head start!
This week I also finally got to do some regular exercise. I went climbing and played soccer. Just like home! It's great to bring the sports you love with you. I'll have to take a picture of our "field" for next week's blog. I've never played soccer on pavement before!
High of the week: We have a logo we love, love, love!
Low of the week: I got a bit homesick on Friday. It doesn't matter how independent you are. It's tough leaving your other half behind.
Lesson learned: Actually do the thing you said you're going to do, because that thing you said is a smart thing.
I actually put these words on a "What we're going to do " slide during our intro pitch. Pete's job is to write code. Mine is to talk to users. And we are both responsible for taking care of our bodies so our minds work properly.
This is much easier said than done. What I'm starting to understand is that working as an entrepreneur is very different than any job I've had. At any given moment there's something that needs to be done so it's easy to get distracted doing and thinking about many other things that are not the most important thing. So I need to get back to my main task: talking to users.