More than a year ago, we started Compiuta with a quite ambitious plan.
- be a product-first company
- operate along two separate business lines - IoT and Industrial Computer Vision
- build products while concurrently creating tailored solutions for customers.
This would allow us to build our own products and ensure they were actually useful - all while keeping the lights on.
Just writing it down makes me feel like a fool - with our purposely limited resources, there’s no way we could have achieved it all. All of us are optimist by nature and technical by training: we largely underestimated how much effort would be involved in creating and selling a product.
But after pondering over it, I’ve realised that our biggest mistake wasn’t underestimating how long developing Connhex would take. It was something deeper.
Our biggest mistake (so far)
A bit of context: we were first-time founders, deciding to leave our cushy jobs and use a portion of our savings to found Compiuta.
We have been afraid of saying “no” to some of the things we were capable of doing well.
We started out trying to play it safe by hedging our bets between two sectors - namely IoT and Industrial Computer Vision - since we had experience in both.
In retrospect, this was an obvious mistake: we kept moving forward Connhex’s deadlines and were frustrated by not being able to dedicate enough time to Compiuta’s computer vision. We were simply not ready to take the leap from having a comfortable salary and putting all of our eggs in a single basket - Connhex.
Then, at the start of 2022, things started to change. We had grown comfortable with the idea of selling and we were getting positive feedback - i.e. multiple paying customers - on Connhex. We had successfully built multiple custom applications on top of it: our product was actually useful!
On the plus side, we made early on the decision to do some consulting only if it involved building on top of our products. This was one of our best calls, since it forced us to at least say a few “no” thus avoiding taking on too many different projects.
Steve Jobs famously said:
Focus is about saying “No” to many things.
That’s 100% right.
I had watched that video multiple times - and it always made sense, albeit in some abstract way. I guess sometimes you can truly understand something only after trying it on your own skin.
In February, 2022, we decided to entirely focus Compiuta’s product efforts around Connhex.
We still have way too many ideas we would like to explore in the computer vision realm, but not right now. Now it’s time to go all in on Connhex.