December Devs is a sole proprietorship LLC run by me, Emma Lindsay (here's My Linked In.) For the past 15 years, I have been programming at startups. I completed my Computer Science degree at MIT in 2007, and have been a full time dev since then. Most of my work has been at very early stage startups (seed or pre-seed) where I have usually functioned as one of the founding developers, and often (in more recent years) as a combination developer/manager.
During that time, I have seen a lot of things go wrong – but sometimes, I have seen things go right. I have also developed a love of what I would call "the something from nothing" problem (what other people might call "pre product-market fit problem.")
One of my favorite photographs, is this photo of the Beatles from December 1961 (and it is my love of this photo that inspired the name December Devs.)
In 1962 the Beatles produced their first hit, "Love Me Do," and by 1964 they were international superstars. In 1966, John Lennon would remark that the Beatles were "bigger than Jesus," but it is this photograph, from before they were famous when they were playing to a crowd of 18 people, that has captured my imagination about them.
To create "something from nothing," you must go through a long period where it doesn't look like you are accomplishing much, but organic success relies on going through a period like this. In some situations this period is longer, in other situations the period shorter - but it's rare to be able to skip this period completely.
In my experiences, for many startups or early projects, this period can be disorienting and confusing. When it is unclear which behaviors are going to push your project towards success, the people involved can become anxious and impatient. And, this period of anxious confusion is actually very dangerous; in an effort to soothe their anxiety, people in early stage projects will often copy what established companies or projects are trying to do. The problem is, the type of behaviors – the type of development practices, project management skills, marketing techniques, etc. – that work for established companies do not work for new ones.
Simply stated, the established techniques are often too expensive and too inflexible. It makes sense to pour money into a project that you know has product market fit, but before then, copying similar strategies may actually make it harder to find product market fit because you will burn through your capital investment too quickly.
I created this company to help people early in the lifecycles of their projects – either because they're starting a new company, or because they're starting a new initiative at an established company. I'm available to do development work myself, or to help people find and vet developers, designers, product managers, or sales and marketing people who are good fits for early stage projects.
Alternatively, you can just check out my blog where I will also cover many of the insights that I have learned from my 15 years in the startup world.
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