Alive and kicking

Confirmed. Cash is in the bank.

That’s how 2019 ended.

After a marathon-esque process we finally came to term with our investors and closed Stamped’s pre-seed round. Finally. Or isn’t it just the beginning?

The year didn’t start like this, though. Backwards 12 months.

A good friend is staying in Vancouver for 1 year, and I’m visiting him for 2 weeks. I like to spend mornings working in one of the amazing coffee shops of the city, like Nemesis and Revolver.

Simon and I started to do a now traditional founder’s breakfast every so and then. We use this time together, away from the daily buzz, to sync and discuss the next macro decisions.

I’ve started attending a digital marketing meetup and met amazing people expert at what they do.

In May I had the opportunity to give a talk at 2 laits un sucre, an event bringing Quebec-based entrepreneurs in front of small audiences to share their journey. I presented Stamped and the lessons I’ve learned until now, which are:

  1. Dogfooding works really well
  2. Fake it until you make it
  3. Be scrappy
  4. Chase the best candidates, don’t compromise
  5. Fundraising in sparse ecosystems is harder than in dense ones
  6. Over-communicate with your cofounder(s)

While on the topic of self-awareness and improvement, as a first-time founder, I’ve come to realize that so much of my own identity was tied to the business. Many times I’ve heard experienced founders give advice around the theme of distancing yourself from your startup, that it’s failure is far from being yours. Like many things, it’s easier to say than to do. Nonetheless, recently I feel like I’ve been able to put the right distance between the all-consumming beast and myself; a good thing.

A few other notable events this year:

  • Simon & I attended Creative Destruction Lab’s Super Session in Toronto, which officialised our graduation from the Montreal’s AI stream with a James Bond-esque cocktail amongst dinosaur fossils at the Royal Ontario Museum. Epic.
  • Stamped passed with success its first professional inspection as a CPA firm.
  • In October we had the first Stamped team retreat at Île d’orléan near Quebec.
  • I went to Vancouver & the Whistler area for an epic backcountry skiing trip.
  • I went to Maine for a friend’s bachelor party. Apologies to our southern neighbours.
  • I went to Mexico for the same friend’s wedding. Surf & tacos goes so well together.