We’ve been a little quiet recently. So this is less of a monthly update and more of a ‘LifeWork refresh’ announcement.
Introducing Stefan Wrobel as co-founder and CTO!
By far the biggest news we have to announce is the completion of a highly successful search for a CTO! Stefan is a four-time technical founder and was immediately bought in to the mission after having spent the past four years as a freelance CTO. He suffered all of the freelancing pains that we’re looking to solve while he sought out his next startup adventure, and we’re thrilled that LifeWork was the right opportunity.
Stefan is based in Los Angeles so we’re doubling-down on our commitment to build LifeWork as a fully distributed company. It’s the future. Thankfully we’re on the same timezone. He is fully committed to LifeWork’s values. During the interview process he raised how as two white male founders we will need to be especially thoughtful in hiring a diverse team - preempting the only question I had left to ask him.
Stefan - I’m very grateful to have you as a cofounder and I can’t wait to see what comes next!
Beta-launch scheduled for mid-August, fundraising mid-September
The reason that we’ve been so quiet for so long is that we hit a wall in trying to build our MVP. Our undergrad engineering team didn’t have the technical ability to secure the payment platform and we didn’t (at the time) have the cash to hire an expert to finish the job. But now we have an expert CTO who is building the MVP as we speak.
We have therefore been able to reassess our operating plan. We are aiming for:
Aug 19th - Beta product launch
Sept 16th - Pre-seed fundraising opens
Oct 4th - Fundraising closed
This is an ambitious timeline, not only to have the service built but to have our pipeline of freelancers and clients in place to begin using the service as soon as it is live. We think it is achievable.
Our commitment to transparency
You might have thought it was bold putting our launch timeline out in public like that. Well, get used to it. Just because we are publishing our monthly updates publicly doesn’t mean that we’re going to hold back on our “confidential” information. That’s our commitment to transparency. Joel at Buffer is a big inspiration for us in this conviction - you can read his rationale here. I’ll write my own thoughts down at some point but for me I believe in striving for and sharing the truth in all aspects of life. It just happens that this honesty creates an accountability that improves business performance too. Win-win.
Kicking off at Berkeley Skydeck accelerator
We were recently accepted into the Berkeley SkyDeck Accelerator as a HotDesk team. This means that SkyDeck hasn’t invested in LifeWork, but we have access to working space in Berkeley, advisors, resources from the multitude of partners and a community of driven entrepreneurs. The view isn’t half bad either!
Trione Student Venture Fund award winners
Just before I graduated from my Berkeley Haas MBA program in May we received news of LifeWork winning the $5,000 grant from the school. This award used to be called the Dean’s Seed fund and this was my third (and final possible) application so safe to say I was very please (and relieved!) to be awarded it.
Okay that was a lot of big announcements. It won’t be like that every month, we just had a lot to share this time! We’ll normally condense our highlights, and updates on team, product and finances. The sections below though are as you should expect every month.
Freelancers registered interest: 113
Freelancers/clients agreed to test the platform: 21
Goals for the month
Platform ready for initial testing with freelancers/clients
Reach 45 freelancers/clients ready to test the platform
Conduct 20 interviews with ‘clients’ to better understand their reception to the platform
Please send us the details of three freelancers you know - we can help them. You will be their favorite person!
Please introduce us to any Angel investors or small VCs that have an interest in the Future of Work and having positive impact in the world. I’m beginning to have conversations ahead of fundraising in a couple of months time.
Thanks as always! Please send me any thoughts/comments/feedback/questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. I am also open to hearing from you.