Last summer I joined a startup company. I left my employer because the commute had become too much, escalating to an average of 3 hours per day. I live in St. Louis and a few months ago they closed down a major interstate for 2 years while it's under construction. That interstate was how I got to work. I can only imagine how bad it would be today.
A startup has it's own unique challenges. This isn't my first, but it is the first time I joined a company on what can be considered the first day of operation. Back in August, it was myself, the two owners, and a relative of theirs handling the books. Since then we have tripled our space, added 3 more developers, an HR person, a product development manager and we are looking for a 4th developer. Things are moving quickly and the launch date is entirely in the hands of the owners at this point. When they see a feature set they like, we'll hit the QA to production cycle.
The biggest challenges I have seen are the many hats we all have to wear. No one is just a developer. We are all developers, IT Support, network engineers, product designers, janitors, etc. Focus is key. You can quickly lose a lot of time on side matters like ordering workstations and equipment from vendors.
If you look at my posting history on GWB, you notice the decrease in posts about the same time I started at the new company. The hours are long, but they aren't really work. Every developer who loves what they do, craves an environment like this. I am going to try correcting this.
You'll see more posts that pertain directly to running a startup and the weekly challenges we face. While I can't reveal any specifics about the product or company just yet, I can talk about the general development challenges. When we do launch, there will be a lot more specific posts, an of course you will see an announcement here.
What I can say, is that it is a web based venture, it will be a public site and we need to prepare for mass traffic.