A new chapter

This year I officially started a new chapter in my work life after giving a successful conclusion to the 7-year period where I founded and ran Toky and I want this blog post to serve as a bookmark and clear separation of what was and what is to come in my entrepreneurial life. I’m intentionally being blurry here because of “reasons”, but I can assure you we are all happy with the outcome.

While running Toky, I made many right decisions but plenty of wrong ones too, and in that process, I found my true self, what I like and what I dislike, and for the foreseeable future, I intend to minimize to the most of my possibilities those things that I now know I don’t enjoy at all.

For example, I love being a builder and having control over what I work on. I love technical challenges and making products that provide value to people. I also confirmed that I prefer working with business use-cases rather than with consumers because of how unpredictable we can be as individuals.

I certainly don’t love it when the output of my work does not (up) scale proportionally with the input. I’m a naturally self-motivated person and coding, or working on a product in general, rarely feels like work to me so I tend to put many hours into what other people may qualify as work, so in exchange, I would like to receive the proceeds of that extra effort in the form of positive impact in the world.

I’m grateful for the position I am in. I’m still young and full of energy and I want to positively influence the lives of the people I get to work with by using the freedom I have today to do something useful.

It doesn’t have to be new

When thinking of a startup idea you don’t need to be inventing something entirely new or innovative to be successful. In fact, most of the things we use today as consumers were not invented by the companies that sell them but by someone else. Those companies succeeding with these products what they did right was to iterate on existing ideas and they ended up creating what we consider today as innovation.

Sometimes the market is big enough that there’s room for several products competing for your attention with little distinction between them. In the case of Toky, this is true as well but we did manage to find small differentiators that make us more appealing to certain people or companies than our competitors’ products.

How many CRM software can you name? Or email service providers, or blogging platforms, or calendar software? In these categories, you have clear winners like Salesforce, or GSuite, or WordPress, or Google Calendar and yet there are hundreds of competitors here having enough success to keep the lights on despite competing with the likes of Google or Salesforce.

When your intention is not to create a billion-dollar company or if you are not in a hurry to figure out how to get there, maybe you can start small, remain profitable, and keep things sustainable for as long as needed, and for that, you really don’t need to create something completely new or revolutionary. You just need time to let luck find you working.