Reflecting on 2014, it has been a tough but very exciting year.
Back in February I decided to seriously pursue my own startup. I had been writing software for long enough to know that building the kind of product I had in mind, initially on my own, would require my full-time attention as a minimum. And if that wasn't daunting enough, I knew absolutely nothing about building good iOS apps. I didn't even know Objective-C.
The biggest issue was that I still had 5 months left on my apartment lease and no money saved to support any kind of full-time attempt to make Yakk a reality. It was going to be tough, and require lots of self discipline, but language has always been something that has fascinated me and I was excited about working in that space and trying to bring something fresh and useful.
So in February I gave notice on my apartment and used the following 5 months to learn more about iOS, learn Objective-C and save every last bit of money I could earn. In that time I also built a prototype, started work on some of the backend services I’d need, and spent copious amounts of time thinking about how Yakk could be genuinely useful to language learners.
Fast forward to October and I was no longer a full-time employee (for the first time since University) and officially working on Yakk. The months since October have been exactly what I wanted them to be – keeping my head firmly in product development, talking to a small group of people about progress and pushing towards v0.1.
The point of this post is: the last 3 months have been awesome. Working on Yakk is working on something I love. While every day has some kind of stress, every day also brings a fresh focus and energy for working toward a goal I really care about. No expensive apartment, well-paid job or anything else beats that.
But 2014 would have been exactly like 2013 had I not sat down and really thought about what I wanted to do. So forget resolutions and think deeper – are you really doing what you love? If you are, that's amazing, but if not, sit down and think about what you could change to make that happen.
I wish I'd followed this path sooner, but I’m now finally working on something I can put 100% of myself into, and there’s nothing else I’d rather be doing. So, welcome 2015, I know exactly what I’ll be doing with you.
Happy New Year!