Year in review: 2020
This is already the time of the year when we all reflect on the past 12 months, start fresh new to-do lists and set (sometimes unreasonable) expectations and goals for the year to come.
I have to say, looking at my year in review’s post from last year is strange. Of course, there is Covid and the successive lockdowns that impacted everyone’s life, but that’s not only that I wasn’t able to do some things, I feel my mindset and priorities have also changed in some way.
JANUARY — FEBRUARY
As you may remember, in my post from last year I mentioned starting a new job, well it didn’t last for more than a couple of weeks and that was for the best.
I incorporated my startup WildMeta last December, at that time my co-founder just resigned from his full-time job to join me and we applied to a grant to support our development. Still, when I got offered a full-time role, I accepted. Even if we were selected for the grant (we weren’t), we needed to build our core technology and take our technical assumptions to the next step and that was all on my co-founder’s plate.
Let’s also be honest, I spent most of my time the previous year trying to get into VC and working on short consulting missions, I didn’t earn that much money and getting a 6–5 job was a great compromise until I could really make a difference in my startup being full-time.
When this role ended, I was a bit torn. In one hand I still felt it was a bit early for me to work full-time on WildMeta, Alex (my amazing co-founder) just had a couple of weeks to work on the tech and we didn’t have much more visibility than before. But on the other hand, job hunting is already hard, add to that explaining that you are building your own startup on the side and it gets even worst.
I never really had any problem getting myself motivated and productive even when I don’t feel like it, but for a few days, I really struggled to focus on anything. Even the idea of having to introduce myself over the call or a networking event was killing me, I didn’t really feel I belonged anywhere, I didn’t want to call myself a founder yet, I didn’t want to lie saying I could commit to any new role, I was also keeping a door open for freelancing… Clearly, my head was between two chairs (well that’s my butt then not my head) and I couldn’t function properly until I made my mind.
MARCH — Covid made me pick
In March Covid slowly got more and more present into our lives, we saw an increasing coverage in the news until the first lockdown became official and it was the confirmation things were getting serious. For a couple of weeks, many companies struggled to move to remote working, they didn’t have much information about the duration of the lockdown and what to come next so they froze. Everyone was too busy focusing on their own teams, customers, cash flow and processes to hire or get consultants on board. That’s when I decided to stop wasting time job hunting for small gigs and went full time on WildMeta.
’TIL DECEMBER — Time has been flying
From last March until today, it feels like time has been going really fast. I’ll keep the WildMeta update for another blog and video (check out the recap of our 1st 6-month here or the video) and creating more content to document my journey is one of my personal top priorities for 2021. In short, we’ve built a working prototype, started talking to potential investors and prospect customers, joined 3 startup programmes and are now working on an updated version of our demo. We have some exciting plans for the coming few months, a lot of work to do, new assumptions to test, and we can’t wait for 2021!
Now, something I haven’t mentioned but that has also been super important to me last year is Entrepreneurs Playing Games! As you can imagine I haven’t been able to invite founders to my place to play video games but I didn’t stop the livestreams either. Instead, I tweaked a bit the format, interviewed not only startup founders but also actors of the ecosystem from all over the globe. Remember our live chat with Fajar who gave us a live yoyo demo?
I also started doing morning coffee catch-ups to spend more time with my viewers, launched a Discord server to keep the discussion going offstream, and more recently experimented playing online games together for a Christmas special evening. I still need to work on my guestlist for 2021 (recommendations welcome!) and would also love to experiment with other new formats! Almost forgot, I also created a Buy Me A Coffee page for those who want to support me/EPG and people who may want to book a consulting session to talk about their own startup 1–1 or content creation.
I remember last year reaching the 100 subscribers mark on Youtube for Christmas/New year, so far we have doubled this number and I hope to even triple it in the coming months! (If you aren’t yet subscribed, be sure to hit the sub button on Youtube, it’s totally free 👍).
I’ve also been featured (as a guest) in many podcasts and online events including:
- Tectonic blog and podcast
- Startup chat with Ben Parry
- DayinDayout podcast
- Nominated for Venture Beat’s Women in AI Award
- Featured as WAIROE — Woman in AI
- & many more!
So how are we doing with last year’s goals?
🤷♀️ Be successful in my new role — my job didn’t last long enough to be of any success, but I am glad I’ve worked with some nice people I am still in touch with and managed to help a couple of startup founders.
✔️ Do more public speaking and mentoring — I’ve done a bunch of remote interviews and have been a mentor in remote programmes, that’s a win!
❌ Continue attending startup and tech events — hum… Covid cancelled them.
✔️ Keep developing my network of VCs, founders and innovators — online networking is less personal but still good!
✔️ Highlight the work of other content creators, community builders and good folks doing amazing things!
✔️ Grow Entrepreneurs Playing Games — I wish I could do so much more! Any help to grow the channel are welcome!
✔️ Walk to work every day (and listen to podcasts on the way!) — 1h walk min per day when I had a job, now I try to do 1 to 4 hours of exercise per week.
❌ Get back to running this Spring — big miss, London’s parks were too crowded and I didn’t want to take any risk with Covid.
✔️ Keep geeking out and learn new tech skills (I especially want to build my own news aggregator app to keep up to date with the industry of my young stealth startup) — haha I tried to build this app a couple of times without success, I’ll maybe try again later on. I actually think this year is the first year where I do not complete an online course, but I have been learning so much from building WildMeta!
❌ Organise at least 3 weekends outside of London — another miss because of the pandemic.
😭 Find the time every week to practice and improve my guitar skills — That’s one of my big regrets of 2020, I stopped practising for months (in favour to exercising) and I now struggle to find how to include it in my routine. I definitely want to seriously learn to play, any tips?
NEW 2021 GOALS
- Reach the next step with WildMeta and grow
- Document my journey with more regular vlogs and blog posts
- Be involved in more mentoring schemes as a mentor and as a mentee
- Keep hustling with my live AMAs & always be experimenting (bring back gaming? more community catch up? new format? Grow enough to find a sponsor and start monetising?) let me know what you’d like to watch and be involved in!
- Reach 5K followers milestone on Twitter (we’re getting very close already!)
- Highlight more content creators and initiatives
- Exercise min 3x/week
- Walk or run 1x/week
- Eventually get back to learning guitar and practising regularly!!
- Read a couple of books a year, more fiction and behind the scene stories (I recently finished reading Bad Blood and Shoes Dog, next on my list is Permanent Record by Edward Snowden).
This year has been crazy, many have been through a lot of changes & spent the time to re-think their priorities. The end of the year is a great moment to reflect on the past few months and set new goals but we must also appreciate what we have done and be indulgent with ourselves, especially as we are still in the middle of the pandemic. You’ve made it to the end of 2020 and you should get a medal just for that! (& I haven’t even mentioned Brexit yet!).
Please do not hesitate to reach out anytime on Twitter, LinkedIn or join my Discord server. I look very much forward to 2021 and to continue sharing my journey with you all through tweets, vlogs and more posts!