Tournament username: Touchgram_Andy
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Shared by AndyDent-Touchgram · 12d ago · 0 comments
Shared by AndyDent-Touchgram · 23d ago · 1 comment
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AndyDent-Touchgram · 8d ago

We're not at a point of usability where I expect this to happen.

I have been pleasantly surprised at a startup event (LAUNCH Festival) where someone else explained my startup to another person who'd just walked up to the group. I've had that happen a couple of times, which is a tiny bit of encouragement.

AndyDent-Touchgram · 10d ago

Simplicity is the shortest distance between two points

Bruce Lee

AndyDent-Touchgram · 10d ago

If you have long-term Significant Others make sure they are signed up for this and be realistic about how long you're going to do this.

Also how you're going to deal if one of the team cannot live up to this commitment. Talk through this now even if has to be over friendly drinks, so you're not dealing with it when you may be in a hostile, stressed mood.

How quickly, with your team size and current traction, can you get to significant investment or income from the startup so that you reassure them about your financial future.

I was out of work when I started Touchgram going through the Founder Institute in 2014, picked up some minor consulting work & then had been working on it full-time for about 3 months when my co-founder quit. My wife wasn't prepared for his departure & I ended up getting another fulltime job and it was over 2 years before I returned to working on the product.

As I was starting again with minimal context (on top of an admittedly dodgy prototype) it was a solid 2 years of not bringing in income before there was even a version on the store. It's another 15 months down the track and I'm only just (hopefully) kicking off a significant growth with a new version then adding monetisation.

We are not financially endangered by this but it's not comfortable - it's one reason I've spent a lot of my time in the last 14 months painting the 550 sq m exterior of our house, as a trade-off.

That's not a penance - it's saving us a good $25K compared to someone else doing it as it's a complex two-storey house which commercial painters would have to scaffold more expensivly or use cherry-pickers. I regard it mostly as thinking time and have got through a lot of podcasts.

Just sharing the example to make you think about the wider implications.

AndyDent-Touchgram · 10d ago

Pioneer provide almost no bar on entry so I don't think it reflects what the team are interested in. Does the ratio at the top match the ratio at the bottom (at least as far as you can see of the bottom of the 30 in each region?).

Climbing the leaderboard is based almost solely on your review scores & how much effort you put into reviewing others.

Happy to coach any hardware startups who want tips on how to improve what they report - I've written quite a lot about it on Frontier already.

Look at it this way - if you cannot communicate what your hardware startup is about and how you are meeting small challenges and making progress, you are not investible. Pioneer's review cycle by peers is an excellent, continuous test of your communication skills.

I'm not doing hardware but I'm doing some technically complex software, compared to many startups here, by myself. As a result it's been months since my last store version but I've risen steadily in the rankings, because of the effort I put in as above - communicating ideas, progress and giving feedback.

AndyDent-Touchgram · 11d ago

Pioneer - a startup which has risen high enough on the Leaderboard that the Pioneer organisation has reviewed it and extended an offer of some kind to back the startup, provide mentoring & move them into a community of Pioneers

Frontier - a forum within the website with a mix of overall browsable pages and semi-private ones only accessible via direct link, used to provide feedback on weekly reviews.

Leaderboard - a scoreboard ranking the Tournament competitors based on a cumulative score calculated mostly from weekly reviews.

Tournament - the main point of the gamified accelerator, functions as an early funnel to filter out startups worthy of evaluation

Launcher - a structured product for very early startups to build up their idea to launch, providing guidance and encouragement on how to reach out for the right feedback.

AndyDent-Touchgram · 12d ago

Your math doesn't add up - there are only 7 Pioneers in the top 30 in Europe.

A bit like Miit (not as high), by the end of the week my rank has often been in the top 50 globally but what I think is a more interesting metric is to go through the regional leaderboards and see how many Pioneers have a higher score than me. Because that sans-Pioneers ranking is what counts when it comes to being reviewed.

AndyDent-Touchgram · 14d ago

Yeah, I still think that's got an unspoken corollary something like provided you maintain the right release cadence after the first one

AndyDent-Touchgram · 17d ago

I think I've had six so far, which doesn't surprise me as in the entire time they have been evaluating me I've barely released an update and the early ones are very embarrassed by first release ish.

AndyDent-Touchgram · 17d ago

No, read my long point - the points from voting are a rolling series of the last four weeks. You get the 150 pts deducted when voting opens each week, then topped up as you vote. Plus of course your added points from being voted on.

AndyDent-Touchgram · 19d ago

Expanding a bit on MichaelJelly's point. I have a year of tracking scores now. As I fill them in, I notice how much they fluctuate during the week. I think I have a reasonable understanding of it now.

Looking at your Home page on Pioneer:

You get the basic Ratings from Pioneers and Experts score updated each week after voting is finished. This is a combination of how much people upvoted you and (I think possibly some other secret sauce).

The higher score directly next to your name is the Leaderboard score. That total gets adjusted down each week before voting, by 150 pts. (As Michael pointed out, this downward bit only happens after your first 4 weeks.)

Let's say you review at least 5 pairs in the voting process - that gets you 50 pts back.

If 2 of the people you reviewed picked your comments as being in their top 3 feedback you will get 2x25 = another 50pts back.

To get the entire 100pts back each week from voting, you have to have at least 4 people rate your feedback comments in their top 3. Some people do that rating within a day but I've had mine come in a week later.

If you look at the spread of scores on the leaderboard, those 100pts from feedback covers a lot of the spread in leaderboard scores near the top. So those first couple of days after voting, everybody's relative positions are going up and down as feedback is reviewed. You might very quickly get your 100pts from giving quality feedback but someone else takes another day to build up to their total.

What makes the numbers appear so jittery is that the points for quality feedback are in jumps of 25 at a time, up to the cap of 100 each week.