This page logs the mistakes we’ve made and the lessons we’ve learned. We are only at the start of our enterprise journey, but we hope that by starting this early we create a culture of continuous improvement that will stick with us as we grow. We got the idea from Givewell, a charity rating and reviewing site in the US.
Please contact us with other items that should be listed here.
- May 2019: Having children
- 29 May 2015: Not paying for Founder’s time
- 28 April 2015: Not responding to an email for 12 days
- 17 April 2015 (2): Missed a meeting due to miscommunication
- 17 April 2015 (1): Broken links on website
- Situation: Our founder had children. So the business was neglected for a long time. This situation is continuing and will hopefully be resolved by the onset of schooling in a couple of years…
- Learning: No. More. Children.
29 May 2015: Not paying for Founder’s time
- Situation: We thought it was great that we could keep our overheads low by not paying our Founder, Emma, for her time. One potential investor did ask us whether this was feasible over the long term and we justified it with passion and intent. And then we watched The Difference Incubator’s video How Not to Piss Off an Investor and realised that our optimism over unpaid work was not only unfounded, it was off-putting and unrealistic.
- Learning: We now pay Founder’s fees. They’re not huge, but they’re enough to justify demanding Emma’s time when it’s needed.
- Situation: An email was left unanswered for 12 days. This was unprofessional (rude even) and resulted in a delay in setting up a meeting.
- Learning: We now have a policy to reply to emails within 24 hours. We have also scheduled half hour email and administration ‘catch-up’ times twice a week, to ensure we’re up-to-date.
17 April 2015 (2): Missed a meeting due to miscommunication
- Situation: We thought a meeting was a week later then the people we were going to meet, which led to them waiting 20 minutes. While the date we had in our diaries was the one agreed in the email, this miscommunication was avoidable.
- Learning: We now make sure to repeat meeting details back in long email threads and by default send electronic calendar invites including time and place.
17 April 2015 (1) Broken links on website
- Situation: To help search engines find us, we changed the URL addresses of the pages our website. Unfortunately we didn’t update all the internal links on the site to reflect the new URLs. We presented to a national forum and directed people to our page. Over 25% of the clicks on our site that day led to a 404 error message.
- Learning: We don’t change URLs any more. If we ever were to, we would redo and check every hyperlink to our site. Twice.