Archive | May, 2014

A Growing Team

23 May

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Hello All,

After one of the longest winters we’ve ever experienced (with most of our team hailing from South Africa, India, and Brazil, this might not be too surprising), we are so thrilled to be back in sunshine and therefore back out on the bike. The great benefit of working on Hammerhead is that even when we’re having fun, we’re getting work done. Every time we go for a ride, whether on the bustling, tricky streets of NYC or the beautiful, subdued roads of Westchester County, New Jersey, and Connecticut, we’re gathering critical data for Hammerhead. Our next post is going to get into the technical details of Hammerhead’s path to manufacturing. But for now, we want to share some thoughts on growing together as a team.

As we move deeper and deeper into this venture together, into building Hammerhead and shaping the company we’ve built around it, we’re becoming increasingly aware of how we’re evolving as a team. For young startups, every transition in the product development cycle has the potential to create big changes in team dynamics and company culture. Priorities change, roles change, and expectations change constantly.

If you haven’t yet, check out our most recent video update here: 

In the last year, Hammerhead has gone from a vision, to a series of rough prototypes, then to a series of working prototypes, on through a wave of design iterations, finally to where it stands today at a stone’s throw from manufacturing. Unsurprisingly, our team has changed in response to these shifts. We’ve gone from a loose arrangement of friends and acquaintances, to a small team in a one-bedroom apartment, to a company with a growing team, and now to a true enterprise with rules, standards & practices. Even with our tremendous experience in the R/GA Techstars Accelerator, our relationships with extremely knowledgeable mentors, and our engagement in the New York startup community as a whole, there remains no clear path through these transitions.

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Being a hardware startup with both a physical device and an app, the pressure is on. There are thousands of little things that have to happen between now and when Hammerhead One ships to over 35 countries this fall. And once it ships, we have to be ready to provide support to users the world over. We’re in an enviable position, to be sure. We have a great team, dedicated supporters and investors, and an awesome, game-changing product. But the team that handles this release will have to be a well-oiled machine. It will have to be bigger than ours, and even more invested in the satisfaction of its users. Knowing that we’re going to be that team – that we have to be that team to succeed – but not how we’re going to get there is daunting indeed.

What our experience thus far has taught us, though, is that we don’t need to know the path ahead to ride it. As entrepreneurs, we have already accepted that the one constant in this industry is change. We know that to take Hammerhead from a vision to a product on a shelf, our vision has to change, our company has to change, we have to change. To a degree, this has happened already. We’re growing together, and we know it. So, we trust in ourselves – trust that even as the sands shift around our foundations, the bottom will never truly fall out from under us.

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We can head into the next phase with the confidence of knowing that we’re making Hammerhead great both for all of you and for ourselves. Our strength lies in the direct, identifiable connection between who we are and what we’re building. We love biking. It is a passion for some of us, an escape for others. But for our team, it is an identity. And to be building a tool that is making it safer, easier, and more accessible for riders all over the world is incredibly gratifying.

Our team dynamics will change, our individual roles will change. Our culture will probably change, too. But at the end of the day, we’ll still get out on the bike.

Until next time,

Team Hammerhead

Video 19 May

Catch up with our progress this month as we continue our journey towards shipping the Hammerhead One. Laurence and the rest of the team are working hard and having a great time riding around New York City.

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