10, 9, 8, 7….

It’s been a long eight months full of ups and downs, unknowns and pleasant surprises, but I’m happy to announce that myTooq.com will officially launch next week! Even better, we’ll be launching at the same time as 8 or 9 other companies as part of StartupEdmonton.com‘s Launch Party 2!

Since we launched our beta on March 16 this year, we have seen just over 875 companies sign up and activate their account with us in over 50 countries around the world. We’ve seen somewhere in the neighborhood of $600000.00 invoiced through the system, though the count is tricky because we don’t convert currency in our data.

Overall, I’m pretty happy with our start. Being a first time start-up owner, I’ve learned a lot over the last year and a half. There have been some painful and expensive lessons, and the harsh realization that everything does in fact take at least twice as long and costs at least twice as much. The roller coaster effect is definitely in effect. The highs are glorious and the lows are filled with dread, frustration and self doubt.  I’ll detail some of the tribulations further someday when they aren’t quite so fresh.

Some of the highs have included:

– Seeing the beta take shape and realizing that my design was now a usable online service and that it translated really well into something that was truly easier to use.

– Allowing the service, the setbacks the context and our early users help set the context for what our strength is – Simple to understand, easy to use, more time for your business, less time on your back office, better for small business than the incumbent dinasaurs. I’m sure it will continue to evolve, and it needs refinement, but we’ve found where to stand. Soon we’ll start picking our fight.

– Less than twenty support requests/bug reports. We had some genuine reports of bugs, but nearly half of the requests we have received were for forgotten passwords. This isn’t to say that everyone is reporting everything, but when I got a message about some behavior on the invoice and the email finished with “I love the product”, that made my day.

– Customer feedback – When I get feedback from people that really care about what we’re doing and want to help improve it, those are the conversations that always leave me in awe. That people are willing to take the time and effort is humbling, exciting and encouraging. When those conversations happen during a low period, they work wonders on picking up the good fight again. Thanks to those that have gotten in touch for conversation like those.

Anyways, it’s been a long hard battle to get to this point and an official launch marks the start of a new chapter. Whether this new chapter is short and tragic or leads to a long and enticing read we won’t know until it’s further along. Having some paid tiers gives us the opportunity to make revenue which will be a welcome addition to a dwindling war chest. It also means we’re going to have execute better adding features that I have wanted for a long time. We need to keep improving on what’s there, never losing sight of the fact that simple is our strategy. I never want to hear from a customer that we wasted 3 hours of their work day because of our folly or because it was too complicated. Ever.

I’ve got a lot to do for the launch, so thank you for reading. Thank you if you have been using the beta. Here’s to the next chapter and all the fun, stress, frustration and elation it holds.

Launch Details:

Soft Launch – Monday November 15th – Evening

We’ll push out the subscriptions along with an email to beta users with an update and hefty promo code discount. Some finger crossing will ensue, hoping that it all works as well in the wild as it has in testing.

Official Launch – Wednesday November 17 – 7:00 PM at Launch Party 2

Details here: http://www.startupedmonton.com/2010/10/launch-party-2/

Tickets here: http://launchparty2.eventbrite.com/

Facebook RSVP here: http://www.facebook.com/#!/event.php?eid=165957523423993

If you’re in the Edmonton area (or want to fly/drive in) next Wednesady, I’d be glad to see you there. There will be several other companies launching products, cocktails, food and some geek/tech/business networking.

Have a great weekend,

-Brian

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One Comment on “10, 9, 8, 7….”

  1. vincent says:

    nice post !


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