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What have I done?

Right after clicking “save & publish” on that last post, I had a phone call with someone who has been working in the cycling space for several decades. And right after hanging up with her, I was seized with regret for having posted it. 

What is up with this sharing thing? This is a horrible idea. This may not even pan out.

How embarrassing would that be?

Oh, hi Perfectionism. Not so great to see you again. 

Part of what I’m enjoying about Bike City is that because there are no set rules or expectations, I’ve been able to (mostly) work through the moments of paralysis that used to stop me in my tracks.

Today I was trying to imagine being back in my old job (a job I loved and that I was pretty darn good at) and doing something big and brand-new like this. To be honest, I don’t think I’d have enjoyed it. I’m not sure that I would have been able to muster the courage and harness the slightly blind optimism necessary to start something from scratch in a band-new field. I’ve always gotten done what I’ve needed to, but I also became quite good at working around the stuff that felt too overwhelming. Which is either smart or cowardly. Or maybe both.

But I’m realizing more and more what I’ve learned over these past 21 months (!). And a big one is that there’s no right way to do something and it’s usually a lot more fun if you figure it out yourself.

So, back to this phone call. People (strangers!) have been very generous with their time and advice which is, of course, super valuable to us. But it’s so easy to let one conversation send you down a rabbit hole. Or make you second guess yourself. Or make you want to toss it all out and give up. 

We definitely need good, smart people to poke holes in this thing. But I also definitely need to remember that this is our thing. And we get to decide what it looks like (for better or worse). We also have a bunch hypotheses that we need to test out. Which is part of building something new – there is no perfect model for what we’re trying to do.

So then, a few days after the phone call I had a meeting with someone who advises entrepreneurs and knows the start-up space super well. An entirely different perspective. And also a helpful place to test out some of the new thoughts the earlier phone call had spurred. Guess what? Different perspective, different opinions.

Something she said must be changed didn’t jive with what we know is a key part of our value proposition and our go-to-market strategy. So who’s right? No one, exactly. It’s just up to me and David to decide what we’re doing and why. Sure, no problem.

I think the biggest hurdle for me to get over is the thought that if this was a good idea, someone would be doing it already. It’s not like we think this is a wholly original idea (it’s certainly not), but it’s hard not to think that with so many smart, passionate people in this space someone would have given it a go if it was a good idea. But maybe the need exists (at least that much we’re fairly sure of) and it’s just up to us to figure out how to make it work for the customers, the riders, and Bike City. We’re giving it a shot, anyway.

The sharing bit is still slightly nausea inducing but I figure that means it’s worth pushing myself to do it. Maybe people will find some of this interesting. Possibly even useful. At the very least it gets me writing and nudges me to reflect a bit in the midst of what sort of feels like building a bike while trying to ride it. Wait. That’s exactly what we’re doing.  

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