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DAY THREE – AUGUST 28TH, 2013

Erin Hopmann

What’s the plan?
Really great ideas are coming out of the woodwork. Many we’ve considered before, but even so, it’s helpful to get new insight into how we might execute on them. New twists. And entirely new ideas. The power in this is that each one is a vote of confidence. Being aligned on unprompted ideas from our users is great.

One thing that we’re playing with is how we might better monetize a few different things going on with our model. One thing that’s become both a pro and a con for Dabble is that teachers fit a few different profiles. The idea that people have been able to monetize a skillset through Dabble (not unlike Lyft or AirBnB) is pretty incredible, and that’s always been a mission of ours – to expose the teacher in everyone. But also, Dabble clearly provides a lot of value for businesses. So, at one end of the spectrum, we’re a very community-oriented, almost co-op model. And at the other, we’re a huge lead gen tool for businesses and individuals. There’s something here in the way of two (or more) different types of revenue streams.

Stay tuned with more details. We know we need to do a few small things to test, while also weighing the bigger things that could really move the needle (pardon the jargon) on the business. We’ve decided to ask for feedback on this stuff. Still getting organized, but will update tomorrow.

How are you feeling about the project today?
One of the reasons Dabble’s been awesome to work on is how rewarding it’s been. I’ve always had a bit of Anne Frank in me (aka, believing there is good in everyone), but if ever my faith in humanity wanes, Dabble often comes to the rescue with case after case to the contrary. I figured this project would yield a few cheers (Dabble’s great! We’re rooting for you!), but I wouldn’t’ve expected so many heartfelt emails. Long emails, where people are clearly carving out time to help us strategize. Offers for free advice, financial modeling, life coaching sessions, reiki. Asking for help and getting it without any expectation of payback is pretty profound.

We’ve gotten offers to satiate hunger: “I wanted to get Firecake Donuts and bring them to your team at your office space, which I now understand that no one really physically works at.” And stories about the impact Dabble has had on people: “I’ve lost count of how many Dabble classes I’ve done. All have been informative, and some have been ah-may-zing – with new friendships sprouting. You have no idea (maybe you do) of the domino effect.”

Do you worry about what other people will think?
With regard to 30 Days, I don’t worry so much as I care. I do care how we’re affecting people. And I do care if something we say makes people discount Dabble as a business. But the internet is not permanent, right? Umm…

Odds & Ends
I had drinks tonight with two formerly Chicago-based entrepreneurs who’ve recently moved to San Francisco (like me). We chatted a bit about 30 Days, and the freeing nature of honest conversations. One told a story about a guy he spoke with who really hit a low with his team – memorable because of the matter-of-fact nature of how this guy spoke. No mincing words. Raw and real. I mentioned that it’s not just the macro nature of things not going your way, it’s also in the small details that begin to add up. But – and I don’t always do the best job of this – finding humor in them is important.

Case in point: this morning, I picked up a prescription from Walgreens. “$47.39,” the guy told me. “Huh?” I said. And then: “Insurance covers this, right?” He squints into the computer screen. “It looks like you have pretty bad insurance. It covered $0.99.”

Meh. For a very non-fancy, non-indulgent prescription, I thought, ‘man! this sucks. Curse the cheap insurance I had to get!’ And then I laughed on my way home. Things could be so much worse.

DAY THREE – AUGUST 28TH, 2013

Jess Lybeck

What’s the plan?
Erin & I chatted a few times today about the gameplan. We’ve started to prioritize both our own ideas as well as what we’ve heard from supporters, investors, colleagues, etc. Separating what’s “shiny & exciting” from “what’s possible” and “what will make an impact” – both for our users & for our bottom line.

We have a list of 6-8 experiments that we’ll likely introduce in the next week or so. On paper it seems do-able but we notoriously bite off more than we can chew. It’ll be scrappy and put together with duct tape, but I think we’ll make it work. More to come …

How do you feel about this project?
Good. A bit tired, but good. I have been popping out of bed before my alarm at 5:30am the last few days, which in my world translates to “I’m really fucking excited about my day”. But it means when it gets to 10pm, I’m done.

I have a ton of meetings tomorrow with people I really respect & trust. We’ll be talking about topics I consider to be personal weak points (financial modeling being the achilles heel) – but THIS is what we need to be more comfortable with as entrepreneurs. Admiting our weak spots and asking for help. I’m starting to see this as the real way forward.

Do you worry about what other people think?
I do and I don’t. In business, the way you present yourself has a lot to do with your success. You must be confident, you must believe in what you’re doing. There’s some pressure to be put together even if you don’t feel put together. Largely, I think that facade is harmless and everyone does it.

In my personal life – I don’t worry too much. I try to surround myself with positive, amazing people that genuinely like me for me. Sure, I feel the need to be put together at times for friends & family. But the times when I’m a mess are the times I get closest to my friends and family.

I DO worry about what our teachers & students think. We’ve gotten in a good habit (or bad habit?) of thinking of our teachers & students before we think of ourselves. I believe it’s the why we’ve built the brand and user experience that has delighted people thus far. But things need to change – and we’ll probably make some people unhappy.

Odds & Ends
It was a turning point for me to realize that my strength was my weakness. My constant need to be strong was dulling my relationships, my creativity. It was putting a laser-like focus on one aspect of my life (work) while casually ignoring the things that really matter – balance, happiness, family.

I’ve since reorganized a bit. Watching “Brené Brown: The power of vulnerability” was one of the first steps in that journey. For those of you who haven’t watched this TED talk yet, it will pretty much change your life.

 

We plan on answering different questions every day. Submit a question you’d like answered by emailing 30daysofhonesty (at) dabble.co.

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Photo By jkfjellestad

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