Daniel Thompson


Iterate Everything — Even the Couch

Not bad for a movie night, but not great for a restful sleep

I arrived in Vancouver a week ago with a master plan. It involved a long list of activities, including marketing like crazy and building our connection platform. All this would start out of my friends living room, and in cliché fashion, I would be sleeping on the couch.

The plan seemed solid. Everyone I told it to said it was great — my parents, my close friends — I was sold. Off to Vancouver I went, to create Shift Connections with my friends Blake and Alex.

The first couple of days the plan seemed flawless. The couch was better than expected, and Blake and I were already hitting tech and creative socials to share our idea and build connections. We hit the ground running, but after a few days I was running on fumes, and we were just getting started.

We quickly discovered holes in our plan. We weren’t discouraged though; we were too busy iterating. In the two weeks since I’ve been in Vancouver, our marketing plan has quickly morphed from handing out business cards at meetups to a hard thought-out scientific approach. We thought we had a good handle on the product, the pitch, and the user personas, but we didn’t. We iterated, practiced, got better.

I did the same thing with the couch. The first night was fine — I was so tired from traveling that I could have slept front row at a Blue Jays game. But night two was bad, and night three was worse. On top of that, I was getting sick. Things were compounding quickly. Rather than giving in and letting myself get sicker and sicker, I iterated.

A bed wasn’t an option — The living room is a common room that our Airbnb-ers use to watch TV and hangout. So I got creative. I went to Walmart, bought a memory foam pad, a sheet, two pillows, and a blanket.

All combined it was less than a hundred bucks. Seems expensive, but it’s an investment in my health, and my ability to work at a high clip. I keep the sheet and memory foam on all the time, and take the back cushions off to sleep.

As a team, we’re just doing what a start up does — chasing perfection. We know we’ll never reach perfection, and that we’ll never be on the final iteration of our approach. Everyday our definition of our mission will improve. Hopefully the couch isn’t my bed forever.

At Shift Connections we’re chasing positive growth every day. We’re doing this because learning and connecting are our passions. We believe everyone should have a chance to be in an environment that encourages their passions, and empowers their ideas, no matter how big or small they may be. Every day we strive to create this community. Every iteration we get a small step closer.

Fresh Sheets — I still can’t iron mom

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