For far too many times in my career, I have felt a dreaded gloom as I thump away on my keyboard, wondering why my efforts were not translating into actual results. Products always begin well with accelerating progress, then they hit a milestone, and it seems like no matter what I do, I felt stuck.
What I do next is that I give up (on the product), because my dumb brain which is hooked on progress, is convinced that this very moment is the local maximum; And the global maximum must exists elsewhere.
A few years ago, I launched Javelin Browser to great fanfare with the post on r/Android on Reddit hitting and staying as the top post for a full day. I got thousands of users on the first day, and I grew the user base to more than a million downloads. It was phenomenal until I thought I hit the local maximum of $2000/ month and an inability to raise funds for the product. It did not help that the VCs were trying to convince me that browsers make for a poor business model. That gloom pushed me to the next product.
Kloudsec was another roaring success because in a span of a few months, we
- Built a content distribution network
- Had thousands of sites hosted on our product
Then we ran out of money. But honestly, beyond the forced abortion due to the runway coming to an end, the gloom was felt because we could not monetize the product. I gave up again.
With NuMoney, I felt the same gloom in the bear market, more realistically, it was my experience dealing with regulators that taught me that this is not the business model for me. This time, I did not give up. Instead, I passed the baton to someone who was much more adept than I am in dealing with the regulators.
Now I am back at Nubela, my very own company. I am picking up the bits that I have ignored because I let the gloom of local maximum eat away at my patience and persistence. Moving forward, I will be mindful that my path to the global maximum will be fraught with setbacks, and that I should not succumb to dismounting every mountain I climb just because of a gloomy setback.