It's as good a time as any to get back in to writing here, and how better to do that than with an update post. A lot has happened, for everyone, so here is my latest.
Last year I got moved to the Head of Engineering role within Dae.mn, the company I have been working with over the last 4+ years. I love the work, and the new role is honestly super exciting. A large part of it involves building products and services, and then taking those to the market. This is a perfect fit for my entrepreneurial drive and I get to do it within a supporting environment.
I've done a few things so far which are looking really promising - lots of interest from clients and partners - so far so good. There's a lot to learn about the role and expectations, exciting and less exciting work, and it's all a part of the journey. It's a great opportunity to grow my understanding of business, especially at a deeper level.
The banking software startup I started more than four years ago is still going, which is a pretty good feeling. We have two paying clients, and have a pretty direct path to another dozen or so. For us, 2021 is looking like the breakthrough year.
There's been so much learned over the last four years that it feels like a lifetime's worth. I'm just trying to make sure the lessons stick and improve the company and myself, and that execution moving forward is way more solid.
Our latest product is looking really good for market-fit and taking off. We launched an eSign solution aimed specifically at banks, with a good fit for insurance providers and similar industries.
I'll probably do a series of posts on the various lessons learned, so keep checking back if that sounds interesting.
The COVID19API became way, way more successful than I thought it would along a few metrics. Firstly, when I built it I thought "wow it would be so amazing if I get 100,000 API requests". The API is now around 390,000,000 requests. Secondly, the API has successfully been monetised to a point where it's covering costs with some profit. A key takeaway here is people will pay for something that makes their lives easier - all the data we use is freely available and linked, we just expose it through an API with a bunch of logic to make it easy to use.
The Travel Advice API was created because I figured with the changing regulations, when people wanted to start traveling again they would have a time of it trying to find what tests they need to get, when they need to get them, what the restrictions are like, etc. Travel hasn't kicked off yet but I still think there is something in this. This has a few paying customers too, so there is some validation.
I still like to code myself, so when I have a bit of time I tinker. The exercise app Fight A Bear is still going and is useful, and I'm working on a stock application to help with trading (which is a big interest of mine).
One thing I am super grateful to have had the time to do is read more. I plan to list the books I've read on this site with reviews where relevant (more for me than anyone else I presume). Some stand outs I've read recently:
- The Three Body Problem Trilogy
- Something Deeply Hidden
- Our Mathematical Universe
- Unknown Market Wizards
Running has come back in to my life in a big way which I'm happy about. I used to be an avid runner, especially trail running, so I feel good about getting the groove back. It's also such a great vibe to be outside right now with everything still being locked down.
Surprisingly my general health, including my diet, is decent (not least to the support of my fiancée). There've been some dips in mental health as I am sure is the case for basically everyone, but having support through a relationship, good friends and good work colleagues makes it easier to handle.
I'm really looking forward to getting back in the gym to lift weights, and to getting back into boxing.
I think 2021 is going to be great, like going from a long winter into spring. Shops, restaurants and bars should be opening up properly with all the socialising that comes with it. Travel will be allowed again, so visiting friends and family in Dubai, Switzerland and South Africa will be happening as often as I can make it happen.
My hope is that the lifeblood will start flowing in the economy again and everything will get better, step by step. I'm also focused on what I can do along the way, and am keeping my eyes looking firmly ahead.