Techstars: Day 26 (Late!)

I usually get into the office just after 7am. This morning I was still in bed at 7am. I overslept. Quite conclusively. I have no recollection of my alarm going off at all. Clearly I was tired. I finally rocked up to the office sometime just before 8:30.

To give you an idea of how tired I was last night I shall recap what happened last night.

At some point before 6pm (possibly about 5, although I honestly can’t remember) I popped out to Sainsbury’s to stock up on [lots of] sugar and caffeine. I still had some of my Dr Pepper left when we headed to the “All Hands” meeting at 6pm.

I got picked on to do the “Highs, lows, ask” for Rainbird. ‘Highs’ were, I thought, easy: Rainbird now learns. Jon was after something more though. Something to do with Ben. It took my brain some fairly solid shoving in the right direction by Jon to make the leap that another ‘high’ was replacing Ben with about 150 lines of Javascript. To be fair, he’s not quite been replaced with that – it’s just the prototype. He’ll likely be replaced by a few thousands likes of Javascript shortly though. Obviously we’ll keep him on to do the CEO stuff he needs to do until we’ve worked out how to get Rainbird to do that bit too.

The discussion over the ‘highs’ meant the ‘ask’ got delegated to Ben, who was able to chuck out “we’d like to know about data sources we can connect to”. This was good because I was drawing a blank over what to ask for. The ‘low’ incidentally was also easy so handled by me – the team were all tired and frazzled this week.

“All Hands” meeting done we moved on to “Founder Stories” where we got to hear about Duedil by CEO Damian Kimmelman. I’ve got to admit that by this point the sugar was wearing off and I was starting to see spots. Come the end of the talk Damian asked if there was anything he could do for us. I was cheerfully thinking in the back of my mind that it sounded like they had some cool stuff going on at Duedil and there could be some funky things we could do with their API and Rainbird when I saw James indicating that I should just ask. So I did. I have vague recollections of what I asked for being classed as ballsy after the event, but hey, don’t ask, don’t get.

Now it’s traditional at these things to let guest speakers know who you are, who you work for and what you do. No differences last night so I launched into “Hi, I’m Dom, I work at Rainbird. Rainbird is…” and then my brain shut down. Completely.

A few noises came out of my mouth and I distinctly remember my inner monologue suggesting that maybe I should make with the words and say something… anything instead of looking dumbly at the assembled group of 30 or so people in our cohort.

I looked to Ben for help, but he was also staring blankly into space – he’d just had the good sense not to be midway through a sentence before his brain disengaged. By this point my brain had managed to fashion some form of excuse around extreme tiredness which I found myself saying with the full knowledge that that particular bit of mental gymnastics was going to leave me incapable of anything more until I’d had a moment to recover.

Thankfully Jon noticed the train wreck unfolding and handed responsibility for coherent speaking to James, whose ability to form an argument that he was also tired clearly proved that he was better qualified to be talking than I was at that moment in time.

The great thing is with Techstars is you’re among friends who are also all absolutely knackered so they understand. There was no feeling of wanting the world to open up and swallow me. There was just an acceptance that I had ceased to function for a bit and could everyone just bear with me for a few moments. Which they did.