“Are You Happy?”


When I started putting my new project together I didn’t think I’d be moving as quickly as I have been, which may see somewhat strange considering that I had intentionally built up a ton of velocity on purpose, starting with a 72-hour binge-building session and continuing to build speed into the first 20 days.

I’m glad I can still surprise myself.

What my small team has accomplished on the engineering and product-side of the house is astonishing and the momentum we’ve built up with actual users and organizations who are actively testing the service is crazy.

If you were to have told me a month ago that I’d be sprinting the marathon that is building another exciting startup I would have looked at you sideways as that was not the original plan as I moved into the 2016 year.

But here we are and this week has turned into one of documentation and administration, doing all of the incredibly boring yet super-important work of establishing a legitimate business.

TOMO, Inc. … … !!!

As I pulled the trigger for the Articles of Incorporation (in Delaware, of course) I took a step backwards and took it all in for a moment: “Was I really headed down this path so quickly? What the heck is happening?

The only reason I had headed down this path so quickly was because I needed an EIN. Why? Because I needed that for a bank account. Why? Because I was looking to get a few large checks soon. Why? Because I was raising venture capital (a seed round). Why? Well, because the people we were talking to were so excited that they wanted to participate in the excitement.

Wait, what? Yikes.

Very Wow, Much Official.

I mean, a few weeks ago I wasn’t even certain that I wanted to head that direction this soon; but, I was confident that we were solving a huge problem and at every turn we were affirmed, so much so that a growing paranoia began to take form.

I’ve experienced this feeling before in the past but never as strongly as I have in the last few weeks – a strangely-insane level of intoxicating confidence about the problem that you’re trying to solve and the sense that it is so obvious that you wonder if you’re just straight delusional.

I relayed this to my wife a number of times in the past few weeks and she just nodded in agreement; she’s seen it in my before and so this was old-hat type of stuff.

In a way, though, I think it’s necessary: It’s a binding agent and glue that keeps you and your co-founders and early team focused on the tasks at hand as you begin the arduous climb up startup mountain that dares to be assaulted.

These early stages are so formative – you’re building something out of nothing and putting an assortment of people together in the hottest professional pressure cooker ever conceived. You’re demanding peak performance a hundred percent of the time and you realize that you’ve already given up a ton of things just so that you can work both harder and smarter.

And you’re exhausted, but it’s that really good type of exhaustion, like after an incredible workout with a friend.

As I entered the third week of the climb my wife asked me, just before I passed out in bed, if I was “happy” – with my eyes firmly closed and as the darkness quickly taking me, I managed to eek out one small guttural sound: “Yes.”

Author: John

Hacker. Human.