03 Jan 2015, 00:40

2014 Year In Review

2014 was a stellar year for me and will certainly be one I remember fondly as one of the best in my life.

First, lets review the 2014 goals that I set.

1. Get married.

Zheng and I got married in Rarotonga in the Cook Islands on October 31st. It was an absolutely flawless event surrounded by our closest friends. We both had a fantastic time and I could not be happier.

2. Twelve high quality posts here.

I failed at this, only managing 4 posts across the year.

3. Double my investment portfolio value.

This one is hard to measure as I specifically excluded my private business ownership. In April Mindscape completed a capital raise that I personally invested in since I believe so strongly in what we do. If I were to include just the sum invested in that round, I far exceeded my goal.

4. Complete the round-the-lake cycle race

I failed at this. With our wedding, a lot of travel, and a frantic pace of work at Mindscape, I wasn’t in a position to do the race this year.

5. Get my weight under 80kg

I failed at this. I did pretty well at staying healthy, running approximately 1,500km but my weight didn’t decrease by a meaningful amount (thankfully it didn’t increase!)

6. 2,500 twitter followers

I failed at this. I ended up on 1495 followers at the end of the year.

7. Two business goals

At the time of writing my 2014 goals I wasn’t prepared to announce what we were doing at Mindscape. We had concluded to raise capital, and I had strong ambitions for what we could do in 2014. I’m pleased to say that both the goals were met (the latter, exceeded), they were:

  • Complete a successful capital raise for Mindscape to accelerate the Raygun product.
  • Increase Raygun monthly revenues by of 500%

It is likely that my failures in 2014 were a result of achieving these goals. I’m OK with that.

Looking at some of the bigger themes of 2014

A year dominated by business

Committing to undertaking a capital raise is no small endeavour. Jeremy & I were both excited and a touch intimidated by the whole process and what it would mean when we completed the raise. Having a great support network around us helped a lot, Mark Clare certainly helped us a lot in managing the process. We did a lot of things our own way, and in retrospect, it was the right thing for us.

We also moved the company office to a bigger location, more than doubled the head count and got a lot more customers. It was intensely busy for the entire year. I’ve been learning a lot more about trying to cultivate a good team culture, building scalable sales & marketing teams, and rounding out the team to plug the areas that we’re weak in.

It was also awesome to win the New Zealand Hi-Tech Awards category for Innovative Software for our work on Raygun.

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Getting married

Getting married later in the year was a wonderful experience. I’m extremely fortunate to have found a person who so perfectly complements me. There was the added benefit of being able to escape to a tropical island with an awesome set of friends just as everyone was feeling ready for a holiday too!

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Travel

I’m very fortunate that I get to travel a lot for work – I get to see some really great places. I finally visited Seattle and got to see the Microsoft headquarters (something that I’ve wanted to do since I was about 10). It’s fantastic getting to meet customers, partners – even competitors – in their home towns.

The ironic thing is, I actually really hate flying. My Stag Do involved hiring two chartered aircraft and my friends can attest that I’m a giant wuss when it comes to air travel. I do what I need to do however.

Family

This is the one area I’m a bit disappointed in for 2014. I didn’t see my siblings or parents enough. It was great to get them to our wedding, but there was too much time between seeing them. I’ll aim to fix this in 2015.

2015, come at me bro

2014 was such an amazing year that I’m slightly daunted for how high I have to aim for 2015! That’s a high quality problem.

I’ll post my goals for 2015 shortly – certainly writing them down has kept my goals close to front of mind in 2014 so I’ll be sticking with this tradition.