Year in review 2021
Here we are again! We thoughts 2021 could only be better than 2020… well we may have been wrong on that. Ok 2020 hasn’t been that bad for me, I’m healthy, keeping safe at home with my other half, I’ve managed to keep my startup going for another year and that’s what really matters.
WildMeta turned 2!
I can’t believe it’s been already two years since I incorporated the company. This year has again passed too fast, and at the same time, time is not going fast enough. If you are a founder yourself, I’m sure you get what I mean!
Alex and I adapted our approach from B2C to B2B last January and we spent the entire year focusing on business development and talking to video game studios. I gave more than a dozen talks, took part in online events (and a few offline ones as well), led our first PR efforts and received an award for my work as a founder! In late 2021, we have been seeing a rising interest in what we do and we’re also exploring ways to go around game studios long sales cycles. Hopefully, we’ll have more visibility in 2022 and will be able to share more!
If you are interested in hearing about what we’ve been up to as well as all our recent talks/interviews/updates, be sure to check out our most recent blog post I just shared here.
Bootstrapping is hard!
In my Year in review 2020, I mentioned we were talking to VCs which made sense with our initial B2C business model. Switching to a B2B model based on custom development services, enabled us to start doing business immediately but it also meant we were less suitable for institutional investment. So, we’ve kept bootstrapping for another year. It’s not easy, especially when you are building an AI startup. We could do so much more if we could hire a few people and invest in more equipment. On a more personal aspect, it also requires sacrifices, even when you are minimalist like I am.
During the year, I’ve done a number of ad-hoc paid projects to extend my personal runway including some 1–1 consulting sessions with founders, paid public speaking, funding competition assessments and taking part in paid judging/mentoring schemes.
Content creator mode activated: growing a community, 12 new AMAs guests & new formats on my channels
Last year I started doing a couple of coffee catch-ups streams in addition to our monthly live AMAs with startup founders. The objective was to chill out together and discuss the community’s recent projects and challenges. This has worked quite well and enabled me to better know our regular viewers! I have now introduced two new formats so every month we have:
- 1x live AMA with a guest
- 1x Createch stream to build a project, follow tutorials, react to a tech video…
- 1x video game discovery
Growth milestones to celebrate:
- There’s now 52 of us on Discord (join us HERE),
- We’ve just reached the 300 subs mark on Youtube (go subscribe now!),
- I received my first payout from Twitch thanks to ads, Amazon Prime subs and viewers sending bits and subs through the year!
I am also not forgetting the amazing people supporting me on Buy Me A Coffee:
- 🤗 Huge thanks to Yinch, Zapa, Roy and Andrea for being monthly members
- Kudos to everyone who bought me a ☕️ or two
- And those who booked a 1–1 session with me to talk about their own project and peak my brain 💪. You can book yours HERE!
NEW YEAR, NEW WEBSITE
Inspired by my friends Eddie Jaoude recent posts and Fajar Siddiq, I decided to update my personal website during the festive season. This time, instead of trying to be exhaustive and cover everything I’ve done, I decided to focus on a few key elements. You can also find all my recent interviews, panels, talks and media features via my new media kit. https://www.flachsconsulting.com
👉 I moved flat over the summer! Expect to see some pictures from me working from the patio as soon as the weather gets warmer.
👉 I also added a bunch of plants to my collection, mainly rescuing plants from the neighbourhood.
Let’s have a look at how we’re doing on last year’s goals!
✔️ Reach the next step with WildMeta
We’ve adapted our business model and started 2021 with a new approach, I did a lot to spread the word about machine learning in games, gave a large number of interviews/talks/panels and learned a lot by focusing on Biz Dev.
🤷♀️ Document my journey with more regular vlogs and blog posts
While I’ve tried to do more video content and have definitely shared bits of my journey here and there during the streams, I’ve been struggling to create youtube videos on a regular basis. Maybe something for 2022?
✔️ Be involved in more mentoring schemes as a mentor and as a mentee
I’ve joined several mentoring schemes, offered 1–1 sessions, and took part in industry-specific initiatives as mentor and mentee.
✔️ Keep hustling with my live AMAs & always be experimenting
I’ve had the chance this year again to interview 12 great founders! Additionally to the monthly AMA and punctual coffee catch-ups, I’ve also integrated 2 new formats!
❌ Reach 5K followers milestone on Twitter
We’re almost there and that’s completely fine. While numbers help keep track of progress, numbers are only numbers and what matters more to me is to connect with interesting folks!
✔️ Highlight more content creators and initiatives
✔️ Exercise min 3x/week
✔️ Walk or run 1x/week
I haven’t run once but I am still going for long walks every week!
🤔 Eventually get back to learning guitar and practising regularly!
Ok I have to be honest I haven’t touched my guitar for most of the year BUT now that I am well established in my new flat with a proper routine, I’ve started picking it up again and following some new online courses.
❌ Read a couple of books a year, more fiction and behind the scene stories.
I haven’t read a full book this year… and I don’t really feel bad about it because I’ve been learning so much from running my company, watching Youtube videos, watching livestreams and interacting with makers and founders.
For 2022 let’s keep it simple with a few goals:
- Close deal(s) with WildMeta & get more visibility on the future (we can’t keep bootstrapping forever)
- Keep evangelising with talks/events/panels and community involvement
- Do more to promote our monthly AMAs, reach a wider audience and help more founders
- Do regular videos? (that’s more of a promise that I’ll try than a goal!)
- Explore more creative projects and learn new skills with the Createch streams
- Continue doing some paid and free mentoring
- Be active 2–3 hours a week minimum (walking, exercising,…)
- Practice the guitar regularly and keep learning the foundations
- Afford to take a weekend break to relax (a wish rather than a goal)
Let me know about your own year and goals for 2022!
I know this second year of the pandemic hasn’t been easy for everyone and it can be hard to find some positive notes to end 2021. Writing this blog post has been for me more difficult than it has been the previous years but it is a fantastic exercise to reflect on the year and realise you’ve actually done a lot of great stuff!