I really can’t complain. Running a startup with such a great crew of people, and with real signs of positivity and traction is a dream come true.
I stood on the rickety balcony tonight overlooking our Eastern European appartment block with my friend and lead developer Eugene, and we wondered aloud on how far we’d come in three years of working together. A year ago even I wouldn’t have thought it possible we’d be here now, working our socks off, living, breathing and eating/drinking together, all staying in the same building along with his family, relatives and in-laws – four studio appartments strong and counting. Forgive the romantic excursion but it’s been a real rollercoaster of a day…
We got to work this morning, we were 5 steps into our building and Eugene exclaims “Oh shit” (only it sounded more like “Orh Zhit”). The power was out, which explained the two hardy looking men we’d passed on the way in, who were removing huge metal breakers, the size and shape of axe-heads – by hand – from a rusty metal box on the outside of the building. Each of those goliaths must have been designed in some early 20th century soviet metalworks for carrying the entire power of a city – only right now they weren’t working one bit.
The power came back on within an hour, no doubt to the efforts of those wizened men, but then our ISP called us to let us know that the Internet would be going off in half an hour. They called us to let us know the broadband was going off. Even here, in a decaying faded former USSR city on the outreaches of a broken empire, the broadband provider calls you to let you know the Internet is going down… before it happens.
For the rest of the day we were on and off the phone with them as they provided frequent updates of what was going on and when we could use the Internet, for how long – 20 mins here, 40 mins there. Our Internet flickered on and off all day, but with predictability. It was frustrating that it had to happen at all, especially with everything else that was going on all day, but given that it did, it could not have been a more pleasant experience.
We had a real lift during the afternoon with the news that the Guardian newspaper had run a major article on us and that it was complimentary. Some hurried calls back home to get people to pick up copies were followed by the realization that we had a critical *bug* with the main subject of the article – our live mobile phone video integration. As we like to say round here… something from the ‘bad news department’.
Working with Michael and Bhaskar from Qik we got to the bottom of it within 4 hours and solved it – but boy was it a rollercoaster ride of a day!