A year ago today at around this time I received a stack of signed documents from the government. I walked them down to the bank, opened an account, and dumped in a pile of my own money. Then I wrote half a dozen paychecks. And just like that, Thumbprint Educational Software Inc. was a company.
Of course, by this point I'd already been working on design and funding for over a year, and my development team had been doing R&D for several months, so even as arbitrary dates go, this one's particularly arbitrary. But something shifted that day, I think, for everyone involved. Any notions that we were experimenting, or testing the waters - that all went away. We were shipping. In eight months. Game on.
Now, as we enter year two, our focus has shifted from laying groundwork to helping schools. A whole new set of challenges, and risks, and opportunities. As we turn this particular corner, I'm encouraged by two things:
First, the team is now large enough that many things are just...handled. Very recently I noticed that some stuff that used to come across my desk every day had vanished. Thumbprint is big enough now that it's not possible for everyone to be involved in everything, and I'm very grateful to our wonderful team for keeping all the various balls in the air.
Second, I now go into some meetings, or take some calls, where people know in advance who I am. Marketing and networking sometimes feel like throwing money down a well, but eventually the name recognition starts to kick in. At first it's unsettling, but I'm starting to enjoy it.
To everyone who had a hand in building Thumbprint up from nothing into what it is now, and to everyone who's offered their well-wishes and support: Thanks. Here's to another great year.