Yesterday marked a historic (and simultaneously innocuous) day for Realize. We launched publicly and I couldn’t be more thrilled about it. Progress keeps accelerating for our team – both in product and adoption. We have crazy momentum in our leading and lagging indicators, yet there’s still so much of the mountain to climb!
We celebrated 2+ years of prototyping, iterating, collaborating, and hustling. It was momentous and yet nothing’s changed. We have plenty of capital in the bank. We know what’s ahead, but we still need to learn. We still need to grow. In a lot of ways, yesterday was just another day.
I used to think there was something mystical about launching. I used to think you had to have all your ish together to do it. I thought it was irrevocable, immutable (kinda like blockchain). 4 “launches”, several mediums articles and hours of podcasts later, I’ve realized you can actually launch as many times as you want…no matter what you tell everyone else (kinda like NFTs).
One of my favorite pieces on launching is a talk given by Kat Mañalac. We discussed the talk in one of our weekly Friday Cheers meetings, and there were two points she made that have stuck with me since:
- Launching is about putting yourself out there and learning
- Launch early and launch often
Life is not linear. Startups are no different. There’s a reason why they say it’s like chewing glass. I say it’s like eating dessert…like all vices it starts great, but it doesn’t digest well. You spend far more time paying for it than enjoying it…and when it’s all said and done, you hope you’re not too fat and it doesn’t stink…but it sure does taste good!
If a startup launches in the forest, does it make a sound?
Does anyone care? Maybe…maybe not, depends how you define anyone. To the 8 full time members of the Realize team (and hopefully a few more, if you include our parents), it definitely matters! And to our 2 current interns (Hayden & Tate) and the 8 other interns before them who got us here (Mac, David, Jeron, Eric, Clare, Varsha, Melia & Sebastian) before them, it matters. And to our rockstar investors, it matters. And to a few more brave souls willing to “risk it all” on designing their home with the coolest frickin’ app that ya ever did see…it matters!
Why do it
Launching builds hype and provides prospective. It generates momentum and is not objective. Launching a product, feature, or company forces you to actually test your work, to display it for the world. Life is simpler if you only build and never face critique. Everyone wants free risk. Uncertainty is a currency few desire…but when you purchase some, the unexpected has a chance to pay you exponential dividends. I’ve gotten to work for some amazing bosses over the years – Chad Feigel, Scott Casto, Jan-Dirk Lueders and others both directly and indirectly, but it was my first boss, Koots DiCesare, who taught me “You have to be in the game to get lucky.” Fear of failure, fear of uncertainty – those are what keep us out of the game. When we launched silently in the app store in June, we knew we’d take some heat. We knew there would be friction, that people would struggle. But success accelerates into resistance, and here we are, 4 months almost to the day later, and we are thankful to each other and to those who have given us a shot thus far – friends, family, colleagues, advisors, investors, users, retailers and more. We wouldn’t be here without you.
Here’s to something new!