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DAY TWELVE – SEPTEMBER 6TH, 2013

Erin Hopmann

How do you feel about the project?
Good. Continue to feel good. Nothing really new here.

What’s the plan?
Vet, model, and design. And repeat. As we’ve mentioned, we’re working toward a new fee structure.

We sent out a survey to all teachers today, and the initial responses are mixed with some being clear that they’d jump ship if anything about our fee structure changes (and some not afraid to tell us off… oh, the anonymity of the internet).

The million dollar question is this: knowing we can’t please everyone, are we prepared to lose a good majority of our teacher base if it means slipping a little (or a lot) in the short-term to ultimately build a more sustainable Dabble? It all hinges on continuing to deliver value to our users. So can we continue to do this with a fee change, or does this spell the ultimate demise of Dabble if we’re not careful?

What gets you up in the morning?
A lot gets me up in the morning. Living in a new city where everything is novel. Good coffee. My work and Dabble, of course.

I’m not sure if I can replicate the first six months of Dabble, though, as far as the excitement I had when I leapt out of bed each morning. It was this awesome natural high. Jess and I both talked about how we knew we’d been dreaming about Dabble when we woke up, because we’d be mid-thought about it. And the funny part was, we’re light years ahead of where we were then. And we’re that much smarter about what we’re doing with the business.

Yet somehow there are lots of added pressures that, as a whole, don’t give me quite the natural high as in the early days. I’ve talked to other startup founders, and this feeling isn’t unusual. Ignorance is bliss? The same reason we long for our youth, realizing that in hindsight, our worries were so very trivial?

This isn’t to say my commitment to Dabble is any less. Just that my relationship with it has evolved.

But probably most of all – cheese factor alert – what gets me up in the morning are the relationships in my life. Family and friends. One of the factors that brought me to San Francisco was that my boyfriend is out here. I got a lot of flak – and continue to get flak – where people questioned my commitment to Dabble. (More on this in a separate post.) The decision was a tough one. And if he lived in a city that wasn’t ripe for Dabble or wasn’t the heart of the start-up world, it would’ve been a different consideration. But as I weighed my decision, I had to remind myself of my priorities in life: never will career surpass the relationships that matter to me.

DAY TWELVE – SEPTEMBER 6TH, 2013

Jess Lybeck

How do you feel about the project?
Good. We’re making some real progress. The abundance of feedback and conversations we’ve had in the last week have really helped the most important things we need to accomplish float to the top.

I spoke to a teacher today that used Dabble as her only (yes, only) marketing when starting up her arts studio. We’ve been so valuable to her business. She sees Dabble as a long term strategy. She has 12 upcoming classes in the next few months. We’re really partners with our teachers – hoping this next chapter helps us strengthen that.

What’s the plan?
Starting to feel repetitive here. But …

We’re building the technology to allow teachers to choose their own fee structure. Even though we’re still waiting on survey results to hash out the details, we’re almost finished with the framework. I feel like the fee changes are really the foundation that we can build upon.

Frank & I talked through the basics of the new feature yesterday and today he’s almost done building it. It’s pretty nuts. Probably 6 months ago he had very little experience coding, just playing around with some things from the customer service perspective. Now he’s taught himself enough code to be building features. It’s pretty fucking amazing.

What gets you up in the morning?
I’m an early morning person – like get up between 5:30 and 6 am by myself morning person. So it doesn’t take much for me to get out of bed. But for me, it’s the difference between being really excited about my day and just going through the motions.

Going through the motions is the worst thing. I did years of this when I was working in the corporate world. I get up, I get dressed, I get on the train. I spent so much energy doing the most basic things – because the truth I just didn’t want to do it. I would rather sit on the train for another 20 minutes than walk into the office. That’s going through the motions.

Being excited about your day feels light. It feels natural. It feels full of possibility. It feels like you’re doing what you’re supposed to be doing. Sure, you question things. You have off days where you want to stay in your pajamas. But for the most part, you can’t wait to attack your next project because it matters.

It has taken me a long time to find what matters to me. I tried lots of different things before I found it. I like a mix of challenge, impact and variety. I like people. I like to hear their stories. I like to help. Dabble wraps all of those things in a nice neat little bow. It’s why I can’t imagine doing anything else.

 

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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29 responses to “Day Twelve”

  1. Susan says:

    I stumbled upon Dabble looking for a class in Chicago. I live in Marin but still have family and friends in the Chicago area and visit often. I just read Erin is now living out here and wondering if there’s a Bay Area Dabble in the future? Sure hope so!

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  15. This is getting a bit more subjective, but I much prefer the Zune Marketplace. The interface is colorful, has more flair, and some cool features like ‘Mixview’ that let you quickly see related albums, songs, or other users related to what you’re listening to. Clicking on one of those will center on that item, and another set of “neighbors” will come into view, allowing you to navigate around exploring by similar artists, songs, or users. Speaking of users, the Zune “Social” is also great fun, letting you find others with shared tastes and becoming friends with them. You then can listen to a playlist created based on an amalgamation of what all your friends are listening to, which is also enjoyable. Those concerned with privacy will be relieved to know you can prevent the public from seeing your personal listening habits if you so choose.

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