Anyone else feel like this whole "Pioneer" thing is a chore?
Shared by joshbrill · 18d ago · 24 comments

There's some issues I'm noticing with this platform, and was wondering if it was only me experiencing them. So I'm one of the few startups on here that's making a hardware product, and it's pretty apparent that this platform is designed for SaaS. This is understandable as it's much easier to scale and track progress so I'm not necessarily complaining about that, but I am noticing the character limits make it harder to explain my ideas/progress, forcing me to leave out information that I get asked about in the feedback anyway, no matter what combination of information that I decide to convey. I also find it cosmic irony that taking the time to go through the motions here takes time away from us building our respective companies. But what I really consider a chore is the voting. I'm actually typing up this post instead of doing my voting because it's gotten so tedious. If I have to choose between 2 of almost the same Web3 startup with another use case I don't care about again I'm gonna lose it lmao. So am I the only one who thinks like this here?

maxbrucedavis · 17h ago

Invest your time wisely, it'll be alright. Appreciate the feedback and reciprocate when you can. The community is awesome!

ashleykimler · 17d ago

Voting seems like a chore, yes... But, in exchange for all of the valuable feedback I've received from others who have looked at my weekly updates so far, I think it's worth it.

usmanmasood · 11d ago

100% I've just received my first feedback and it's really worth having.

AndyDent-Touchgram · 8d ago

I'm a bit like you but hanging in for a while longer.

First off, pick a cheap way to publish complex updates. I just use an Evernote page and share that using a url through (free) eg

That's simple and gives me a copy of what I was asking about for my later poor memory to revisit. If I need to show screenshots to get a point across, I can include static images and gifs.

I'm not doing a hardware startup but Touchgram is a complex product, especially for one person. It's about 37K lines of code now.

The time taken here for reviews doesn't always pay off - I limit myself by only starting them close to the deadline (luckily that's 4pm my time) so have 2 hours max. It's not just goodwill that you accumulate - I'm better at giving myself advice by giving it to someone else and then reviewing what I said. I keep a copy of every status I review and all my comments in Evernote. That makes it very fast for me to compare what I said to someone previously or refer them to other Pioneers.

manojranaweera · 17d ago

I'm getting closer to being here for 2 years. I must be nuts! But we have got few customers and I am in the business on helping build tech companies. I spent far too much time here than I ought to though!

SimonBarker · 10d ago

I really appreciate the feedback I get, if had some hard days that have been totally lifted from the feedback I’ve had on here - to each their own though, if it’s not working for you then try another platform

brandonf · 16d ago

Personally I look at it as an opportunity to test my problem solving skills.

After you build and sell your company and have a fat stack of cash, then what? Most entrepreneurs tend to venture into the VC space where they advice a bunch of different companies on how to grow.

This is the perfect opportunity to hone those skills. As counterintuitive as it may seem, sometimes you need to take a step back from your own 'problems' in order to find the answer more efficiently and that may include drawing inspiration from other teams' projects.

kendsouza · 17d ago is a chore because you feel it so. If it has no value for you..just stop doing it...why do you need validation from others here.
Peer feedback could be just noise and useless for the most part.. it has biases, lack of knowledge and inexperience. Voting is flawed.(i don't care about it either). Some of the projects are merely brain farts. Just like anything can be hectic and distracting if you absorb too much of it and let it get to you.

When I used to train for a marathon along with a group, I used to ignore all the advice, tips and tricks on meeting a certain time goal or winning.
My focus was on myself to just develop enough stamina to finish the marathon. That's all.
But I enjoyed the small talk..good, bad and absolute nonsense along the way. It keeps you going.
And sometimes you will be suprised..some bonuses do come along your way(just not what you expect)..keep a open mind:)

By the way..what is it exactly you are building? I clicked on the link and it says 'Praxis_StickPAD'. That does not bode well for a person who is whining about character limits and wants to explain more.

user_1234 · 15d ago


joshbrill · 17d ago

It's a game controller for fighting games that can improve special move and combo execution by having an 8-way joystick instead of a D-pad.

kendsouza · 17d ago

It's been a while playing pac man on those arcade machines:) Aren't 8 way joysticks old school?

joshbrill · 17d ago

Yes, I'm pretty much doing a modern take on that kind of design.

Sendoff · 18d ago

Hi Josh,

One of the most valuable things on here is the peer feedback. The voting process is tedious yes but if you can't find the 2-5 min (per) to care about someone's web3 or whatever startup why should they care and provide useful, actionable feedback to you?

I take 2-3 hours between Monday and Tuesday to both provide feedback and vote. For feedback, you can put a link to details that you want to highlight in Gdrive/notion/evernote and people can read the whole detail and context there. You can't say you don''t have or can't find 3 hours in a week to help others and build your own knowledge no matter how busy you are. If so, how would you actually participate in an accelerator if you did get in?

In sum; yes there are some tedious parts and some of the updates are either comedic relief or complete cringe but some of them are from founders like you who are building something cool, which could be made better with your input.

user_1234 · 15d ago

Haha agree

joshbrill · 17d ago

Well I'm perfectly fine with them not caring. I'm used to people not caring. I'm just trying to improve myself at the very least because my body is the only one I have control over.

josephquintana · 13d ago

Yes. I'll give it a few more weeks then make a decision.

augustquarter · 16d ago

I'm new to Pioneer, just got an account set up. Just make sure to find a balance, ensure that being on Pioneer is not taking away from your own productivity!

gaginang · 17d ago

I think it's interesting to be able to get feedback and probably builds some structure. But you're right; there are a lot of parallel processes that help us think big picture instead of getting to the core of the work.

PetarVlahovic · 18d ago

Hi Josh!

I am building a hardware startup and I do get your point on the platform being more designed for SaaS.
The weekly progress is a lot harder to track on HW startups, as most of the major changes take ages. Just to give an example; because of the market disturbance in the last 2 years, I ordered some equipment parts in Dec. 2021. They are still not delivered (based on the latest information, scheduled for mid-May 2022).

Anyhow, this was my 2nd progress submission. I can't say that I don't feel that voting eats a lot of my precious time, but then again I do receive valuable feedback. I do hope to hit the top 50 (well, who doesn't) but I am here more for the feedback and to keep myself accountable for my weekly progress.

Regarding, explaining progress... Yes, it can be hard. In the last update, I wrote that I am planning this week to design the "CE" mark and affix it to the machine. I got a response on how the "CE" mark has anything to do with the machine and the brand (?). For someone not familiar with it, it's hard to explain that each product in the European Union market is obliged to have a "CE" mark. Having the "CE" mark means that the product complies with all European regulations and has undertaken necessary testing and assessment to prove the compliance. The problem is, that some things are hard to explain and fit the in feedback submission and even if you could most people wouldn't really care to read it.

If you are interested, take a look -->

Best of luck,

joshbrill · 17d ago

Yeah I'm familiar with CE, the US equivalent is FCC certification. Thankfully my product idea has no wireless connectivity, but because it has a 16Mhz MCU, I'll still need verification of it being a non-intentional generator of EMI but that's a lot less expensive than full on FCC certification. I'm still waiting on my PCBs to start building my prototype.

SeenMean · 2d ago

I’m even building SaaS but it’s to help disabled or cognitively impaired people so the Launcher have I emailed x no. of customers is useless but you can’t complete other things out it. It’s ableist to assume people are only building for able bodied and minded end users. My end user can’t consent for their self, it’s why I’m trying to help them. It’s very build hype and launch focused, which isn’t practical if you’re designing for education, children or impaired end user end users unless you ignore consent and privacy.