I’m getting a new tattoo. The tattoo will simply be 2019. Because 2019, what the actual…
In early January, my wife Katie and I welcomed our new baby boy, a brother to our (then 2.5-year-old) little girl. In February, we started development on Eggy. And so began THE most epic of years.
As a professional athlete, I’ve taken myself, and been taken to, some dark places. Physically, mentally, emotionally. I know what it takes to get through these dark places and to come out the other side. I also know that it’s these dark places that can cost the most, but also offer the most when you do come out the other side. The risk, the effort, the pain is worth the reward. (A bit like childbirth…apparently hey Katie?! 😉)
Someone once said to me that if everything’s going to plan in your startup, you’re not doing things right. And 2019 is littered with mistakes and stuff ups we’ve made at Eggy. We’ve had funding, product and team challenges that nearly saw our vision extinguished. I’ve woken up in cold sweats more times this year than I care to remember. I’ve been the sickest I’ve been in 23 years (according to my wife who’s known me for that long, #Schoolies1996) which was likely a result of burnout, stress, new flu strains and kid's germs (thanks daycare).
Don’t get me wrong, there’ve been some incredibly exciting and satisfying highs. We’ve had so much bloody good validation that we’re onto something real AND awesome with Eggy. Not least of which was winning Suncorp’s digital incubator program. (Suncorp even wrote this story about us and made, this little video that shows real life footage of us trying to work with our kids climbing all over us, plus we’ve had some other pretty cool media coverage here, here, here.)
But in amongst all the intoxicating highs and the nauseating lows, my biggest concern has been that it could break our family unit. I know that personally I can withstand pretty much anything. I know I can ride out those tough times and endure being in those dark places, but to take my wife and two young kids with me? When do you risk the roof over your head and food on the table? How do you know that the reward will all be worth it in the end? At what point do you stop?
It was towards the end of this most epic of epic years that I was in one of those aforementioned dark places. A dark place that I couldn’t find my way out of. Despite having been here lots of times before, I couldn’t figure out what it was that was eating me up so much. That’s when Katie (who also happens to be my co-founder and Eggy’s CMO) said “We’re not going anywhere. No matter what happens, we’ll all still be here. We’ll do whatever it takes.” Then the cloud started to lift. I pulled myself off the floor. I got out of the dark place.
Here I was, so worried that our little family wouldn’t be able to withstand the pain of this startup roller coaster. But when Katie spoke those words, it suddenly dawned on me. She’s the greatest athlete I’ve ever met. I’ve seen her handle a newborn, a toddler, a PhD, lecturing (paid work), a tech startup (unpaid work) AND a house move all at the same time. She has what it takes times a billion, and together we’ll ALWAYS find our way out of those dark places. We just will.
So I guess I better go book in for that tattoo. Although, with Eggy’s launch set for early-mid 2020, it could be an even more epic year than 2019.
- Kirk Reynoldson, Co-founder, CEO, Eggy
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December 5, 2019