Hi, I'm Jan König 👋. I'm one of the founders of Jovo, 28 years old, and live in Berlin. < Go back to learn more.

An update

Wow. It's been almost 20 days since I've written you an email. It's been some tough and stressful weeks and I just didn't feel like summarizing everything. But it's getting better after some decisions we've made 💪

Here's a quick recap of what happened since September:
  • Great: We got on the short list of a €240k grant for a collaborative project with a large German publisher
  • Bad: Some of our clients kept us waiting (summer breaks), which left us with almost no money at the beginning of October
  • Great: With a lot of hustle, we got some projects that brought/will bring us enough money to sustain until spring 2017 (without additional projects)
  • Bad: With so much focus on freelance projects, we didn't realize there was something going on with our Google rankings (probably too many indexed pages) -> traffic dropped to 30%
  • Great: We fixed that and it seems to get better slowly.
  • Really bad: We didn't get the grant we were hoping for (and have been working on the application for weeks, if not months)

After this, Alex and I sat down and talked about the next steps. And we had some tough decisions to make. We still believe in our product (what we envision, not what it looks like right now. In fact, due to freelance stuff we haven't been able to work on the product since August), but the current set up (one developer, a lot of manual effort needed, financing with freelance jobs...) doesn't allow us to grow fast enough to get funding (which is extremely hard for consumer media startups in Germany).

This is why we had to make the decision to let go our current intern (= shorten his internship from 6 to 3 months until the end of this year) and cancel the internship of one more person who would've come in in January. That really sucked, as they were relying on us. But we needed to break out of this setting as soon as possible, as it was draining our motivation, energy, and creativity.

Until the end of December, we will rebuild HashtagNow in a way that there won't be manual work necessary. Afterwards, we will work on small, single-purpose products to test out different business cases around our main product– everything with the goal to be ultimately included in HashtagNow (we're thinking of it as an API rather than a website. And currently we need to work on improving the "brain" first.)

And I feel really good about it. I've been even able to teach myself to code a little better in the last weeks + I feel like I've had more product ideas in the last 2 weeks than during the whole summer. It feels good to build some stuff again.

Sorry for the long post, but I cant' stress this enough:
(Ironically, this is not the first time I've sent out this image. First time in January)

Also, a lot of cool things happened. I will tell you a bit more in the coming days. ✌️

See you soon,
-Jan

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