It’s always there, waiting around the corner, yet it always seems to take you by surprise.
If you’ve sat down with me, Eric Skiff, or Dave Renz to talk about building your software product, chances are we talked to you about the slog. If you’ve ever been a founder, chances are you know the slog, even if you don’t know it by that name. But for those of you who are thinking about your first startup, it’s important to know about the slog so you can identify it when it comes and not let it crush your spirit, or your startup.
What is The Slog?
The slog, in the broadest terms, is that period during the creation of your startup that just really sucks for everyone involved. The product isn’t fully launched and every tester and investor you’ve shown has ideas about what should be added, tweaked or removed. And to make things even better, it’s the time when you’re probably either low or out of funds so whoever you have doing your development (either internal or external) has left you holding the bag until the coffers are refilled.
In truth, the regular trajectory of startup development is pretty straightforward and not unlike any other early business. There’s a direct correlation between budget, production level and overall happiness. As long as there’s money to pay for development, marketing, etc… people are happy and things truck along.
But then there’s the time where budget runs thin. When you as the founder need to go out and sell your vision to someone who will buy it. That someone can be investors or users, but there comes a time in every startup where what you’re selling needs to be bought by someone. This is the slog.
At Tanooki Labs we pride ourselves on helping entrepreneurs identify and manage the slog in a way that makes it significantly more manageable. By clearly communicating that production is nearing the slog and then holding on and helping you make those small but vital course corrections during this period of uncertainty we can make the process much less painful.
We treat all of our entrepreneurs like partners, not clients. As such we’re ready to hang on with you through the slog and get you to your next milestone. That milestone may be the next level of engagement, users, or a fundraising round. We do that because we know if we can get you there, there’s going to be more work for everyone.
Now that you know what’s coming you can plan for it both mentally and financially. Hopefully it won’t catch you by surprise and cause you any undue stress at what will most likely be an already stressful point in your early startup career. Because knowing is half the battle.