I have to admit that there have been so many changes that took place in the last 6 months of our lives that I lacked both the time and motivation to keep track. I realize that the freedom I allot myself to keep up this blog up is a luxury and something that is effected when I no longer have the same amount of free time.
When I had the time I became so involved with making videos or podcasts that when time was limited I forgot the simple things, like uploading pictures and writing about the experience. For this I apologize to myself and my family in advance. The fact that this has become a journal of our experiences, reminds me that gaps in the sequence will only become more disappointing as time passes. For this reason I told myself to take a day off of work and focus on getting caught up on the blog. If not for today, for tomorrow.
I guess there is some catching up to do, so I will do my best to bring us up to date. Shortly after Riley was born, last June, a friend of mine that I met in Santa Teresa asked me to help him with an idea he had for a new project. My buddy was from Australia and is a consultant to a SaaS company out of Brisbane. I met him a few years back when he needed some help with some front-end web development for his client and I had been working with him ever since.
In September my buddy asked me if I was interested in hearing about a business idea he was coming up with. He had just got back from spending a couple of months in Australia, and had a hard time finding places to go and things to do when he was there. His idea came from a Facebook Community page that someone had developed in the town that we lived in. It was created for businesses to post ads or offers for the locals and tourists. Each offering was curated by the business and there was no reviews or ratings, just the offering. So many businesses used this page in town that every few minutes there was new lunch special, bathing suit sale or discount on stuff to do.
My friend had got so accustomed to using this community page that when he was Brisbane he was disappointed not being able to get real time offers from businesses. Instead he was left using available apps with misleading reviews or that would direct him to a place that was closed or no longer in business. He wanted to create a social media for businesses that would let them create offerings and post them to engage customers in real time. Having been an active member of the Facebook community page, and having had retail locations in the past, I immediately understood the concept and caught on to the vision.
I ran the idea by Lyndsey and she supported my getting involved 100%. She had been feeling that I needed a new project and was secretly hoping that I would get involved in one with people who had a different set of talents than mine. She new my friend was an experienced project manager and business developer, so she was excited to see what we could do together. Needless to say within a couple of weeks we got a tech lawyer out of Seattle, set up a Corporation and were spending every waking minute developing our ideas into a product.
In October I recommended that we try our best to get an MVP (minimal value product) ready for the SXSW convention in Austin, Texas, that took place each year in March. SXSW is a tech/video/music convention where all of the established artists and business go, along with all the startup bands and products, to get noticed or show their stuff. It was an ambitious goal, only being 6 months away but something to shoot for.
That goal and this new company has been the cause of all the changes that took place in such a short amount of time. We relocated as a family to Austin, Texas, back in January so that I could set up an office in the States. I have traveled back to Costa Rica for work since then, but Lyndsey has stayed behind with Eli and the girls so that Eli can complete kindergarten in his new school.
We chose to hold off the launch of our new app for a couple of months so that we could include a few more features that would allow a revenue flow, making the app post revenue when we started to talk to investors. We are set to launch InstantLocal, our new app, within the next couple of months in Austin, Texas. Next we will launch in Houston, Dallas, San Diego, Boulder and then Portland. So far it has been an amazing journey and I have learned more in the past 6 months than I have in the past 6 years.
We are really sad to have to leave the jungle for now, but are very excited about how far we have come with this new app. Our goal is to go back and forth between Costa Rica and the U.S. each year. Three months for the summer, and another three months spread through the fall and winter. This way our kids can be part of both cultures. For now we will be stateside until I get to the next phase in this startup. As time allows we will spend more time in the tropics, we do miss our friends and the beaches so much.