It has been a pretty hectic past week or so in the markets with all of the craze over r/wallstreetbets, GameStop stock and short squeezes. I even got into the action (both somewhat early on and in the midst of the squeeze, with shares bought in at 83 and 270). I’m still holding, but I fear the “squeeze as the squoze” and I have a lesson to be learned somewhere in here.. perhaps not to be so greedy? At one point I did have a near 600% return on my investment in just a few days time.
But now back to the actual CoStarting reality, and leading up to the last few days of the final Cohort checkin I realized I would not be able to make my original launch success criteria before the deadline, thus failing my involvement in Cohort #1. 🙁
One of the biggest takeaways I learned is that if you get too comfortable getting used to skipping a day because you waited too late in the day, or feel too tired, is that it makes it that much easier to do again and again. At minimum force yourself to spend just 15 minutes every single day, and you (and I would have been) will be in much better shape.
While overall time seems to be flying by, the week to week demo calls that we hold in the CoStarting Cohort make it seem like a month is in between each meeting with how much progress we are making and able to demonstrate each week. Between week 1 and 2, I re-did the main interface for Optionator, chose and connected in a stock market API, and did some of the basic groundwork for a Mac desktop application (saving and loading user data, icon and about window, etc).
Above is a screen shot of the base of the new user interface, which is a big improvement over the original idea which was essentially just an extremely wide spreadsheet of cells for every piece of data.
While it may not look like much, its been a lot of fun getting back into desktop software development and learning all of what I’ve missed over the past decade that I’ve been out of the game. Still have a decade ahead of me to become proficient again, but its been a good start (so far).
There are two more meetings before the end of this Cohort and when we are required to launch our projects (or the launch criteria each member set at the beginning), and as of today I’m on track to meet that deadline.
A topic I can very much relate to that came up in yesterdays CoStarting call was about how certain days you just may not feel like working on your project/idea/to do list, but if you just commit to doing one extremely small task/one line of code/one page in a book generally you’ll find that you want to continue.. and if not, you still ended the day at least doing something, no matter how small, towards your goal.
I’m lucky enough to find myself as a member of the CoStarting inaugural cohort with four other inspiring, hard working entrepreneurs. When my friend Sven first approached me about the idea, it couldn’t have come at a better time. I had a lot of time on my hands, and have for years now wanted to get back into creating something of my own vs. working on someone else’s idea (which at the core of it is what we all do when we work anywhere else but for ourselves, whether at a startup or a Fortune 100 company), and this cohort would be the perfect opportunity to keep me accountable to actually sticking with building something.. and just as important, launching something.
What’s my project? Introducing Optionator, a macOS application to easily calculate and view returns on your stock options trading. It’s by no means a billion dollar idea, but the premise of it is comprised of a few personal goals of mine:
Get back into creating and building something
Re-learning Xojo (formally REALbasic) Integrated Development Environment
Publish an app in the Mac App Store
With this in mind, a 30 day cohort to hold each other accountable, discuss weekly our progress and demo our work, and post daily standups of our daily accomplishments and barriers is a perfect fit for the small project.
Check out the entire premise behind CoStarting, including viewing the other members of Cohort #1 and their projects, and perhaps apply to join in on the next one here!