Friday, 10 January 2014

67 - The 12-year-old me

"Simon, hi, we need to mock up something for the ad team. I'm going to send some ads over to you. If you could fit them into your designs..."

My brain's dying.

"... just so we have something to show them. I'll send you over a brief."

My eyelids are heavy. My brain is rejecting the words coming out of my boss's mouth. I'm 32. Ads? Is that where I'm at? Placing ads?

Suddenly, the 12-year-old Simon is standing next to me. The younger me. He looks at me, looks at the chair I'm sitting in, then at my screen, then back to me. His mouth opens.

"You fucking boring loser."

"Yeah, I know, it's not great but-"

"What have you done with our life?"

"Look. It's not about this. I have an app..."

"Mate, I'm so happy right now... I'm twelve years old and I know I'm gonna be crazy talented and successful. It's a certainty in my mind. But I stand here, looking at you... you're telling me, after 32 years, it's just this? You, sitting there, in an office chair for nine hours a day, every single day?"

I look down at my fingers.

"What the fuck have you been doing?"

"I got a good job. People would kill for the job I have!"

"I thought we swore never to work for anyone else?"

"Look, kid, life isn't really like that. You have to get a job and work."

"You sound like mum. That's all she says every day. And we both know it's bullshit. I mean... I can see it in your eyes. You never stopped believing it's bullshit either. Yet here you are- Why are you shifting about so much?"

"Back hurts."

"You've sat in that chair so long that your back hurts? Look. I'm gonna give you some advice. Fuck. Can't believe I'm giving you advice. I'm twelve. You're like, middle aged. How is it I'm smarter than you? You're gonna quit your job..."


"Bu-bu-bu- SHHH. Everything good that's ever happened to you, it happened when you quit whatever job it was you had. Don't think about it. Live again. Challenge yourself. Be scared. Be excited. Just move again. Make me proud. Simon, I'm not proud of you right now."

"I know."

"Listen. Now you're old, has anything really changed for you? In your heart, I mean."

"No... when I think hard, deep down, everything is still the same. I'm still you."

"So stop ignoring our heart then."

"That's some corny shit."

"It's corny because it's simple. That's why I'm happy and you're not. You've let life overcomplicate things."

"Look, I got this thing I'm working on. Story. If I can get it going, this job doesn't matter... I'm just here so the thing..."


"Yeah, Story. Story's the thing that will make you proud."

"I like Story. Fight for it."

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

66 - Countdown


Story launched a year ago on Christmas Eve. After one year, it has zero users and we haven't pushed out a single update.


Our investor abandoned us making the planned development impossible. I spent the last of my money on an unproductive trip to San Francisco and outsourcing development to a woman in India.


My life crashed. I moved back in with my parents. It consumed me. Story was left static for months.


It feels as close to dead as it can get. I feel as close to dead as I can get.


But it's not dead.


I've moved back to London. I found a developer who showed me how to replace all the image files. So I went crazy and redesigned everything, I made it pixel perfect. Something I never had a chance to do the first time round.


So there's a new version of Story, sitting here. A total redesign coupled with some extra features. The next update of Story is exciting and...


... and I have a plan. It uses Story just as it is. It's a great platform, even right now. The plan won't cost us anything, and it will get people using it and loving it. I am so hopeful.


I still want it to exist so much. Still, one year later, no one has done anything this simple. It would be crazy to let it die. We've come so far. It takes so much work to turn an idea into a real thing and we've done that. Almost.