Question

Looking back, Would you have done anything different with appointment reminder?

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patio11's avatar
a year ago

Appointment Reminder was my second software business. I ran it from 2010 until selling it in 2016.

I would have done one thing differently: not started it at all. Peldi from Balsamiq, when I told him my idea, said "Patrick! Do you really want to spend 5 years of your life optimizing the schedules of dentist offices?" I remember, virtually word for word, "Oh God no, that sounds terrible, but it is a great business."

When you're at "Oh God no!" with respect to the business you are starting... do something else!

Two things which I've come to appreciate:

1) Good businesses and bad businesses take approximately the same amount of work.

2) I was so much more productive, and enjoyed life so much more, building things for software people at Starfighter (and then at Stripe) than I was on a per-unit-of-effort basis for AR or my prior businesses. I was also more able to actually summon the effort to work on them versus e.g. playing League of Legends.

6 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @patio11 )
a year ago

Do you have a rule of thumb to help decide which businesses you would enjoy versus those you wouldn't? E.g. how did you decide Stripe was something you would enjoy?

1 point
G_Langenderfer's avatar
@G_Langenderfer (replying to @maguay )
a year ago

use procrastination as a signal.

3 points
maguay's avatar
@maguay (replying to @G_Langenderfer )
a year ago

That's actually a great point—the things you delay doing are often the things you don't really enjoy doing. Every job will have a percentage of drudgery, but if you feel like that with everything, this might not be for you.

1 point

This question is part of an AMA with Patrick McKenzie.

View entire AMA with Patrick McKenzie.
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