Pour me a glass, barkeep

Today at work we had a big launch: PostRank Analytics, if you’re curious.

Hectic and productive and things went pretty smoothly. A glass of wine at lunch helped with the tension headache. 🙂

Earlier this evening I saw a list of all the signups from today. With the product less than 24 hours old, whether or not all those people are paying customers after their 30-day free trials isn’t important (philosophically).

When you work at a 15,000-person insurance company, you’re isolated from most of what goes on in the business. And after 150 years or so, ain’t a whole lot of groundbreaking “new” going on.

At a startup, however, evolving from embryonic to profitable, it’s really educational. And can be pretty stressful sometimes. And things are less than new; they’re waiting for you to invent them. You’re also isolated from far less — the good, the bad, and the WTF?

Seeing a list of customers, real names of real people who took the time to sign up and provide credit card information, is something I highly recommend.

Because until that moment, even when you just spent the day talking to lots of people — answering questions and helping fix issues — it’s all abstract. But these people, most of whom are strangers, signed up for something our team built.

From this distance, it’s usually pretty easy to raise a supercilious eyebrow at the Silicon Valley crowd for the frequency and intensity with which they chug the Kool-Aid.

But sometimes I get it, and may become inclined to take a sip, too. 🙂

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