However, that day did come. 2016 arrived and after weeks of basking in the fact that we existed properly, we now had to reconcile ourselves with the fact that we had customers. That was something we hadn't experienced before... It was the thing of dreams, and the thing of nightmares.
In June 2016, Jesse Wood - according to the Guinness Book of Records, the largest Wood known to man - joined the Conqa team all the way from the fair shores of Tauranga.
Throughout 2016 we had made the decision to forgo any building tools to enable Jesse and Nef to build customer facing product. For 3 non-technical people, that meant raw-dawg JSON coding for all projects, fruitless hours on JSON validators (if you don't know, please never find out), and one mistake constituting hours of clean up. Many a Sunday at the pub or the office (customers had to be offline for the clean ups).
We had also made the decision to use Firebase - a tool with numerous benefits but one quite significant flaw. It turns out you can delete everything that's every taken place in the software with a quick shift + delete. Which, one afternoon, I did. I've never been so scared in all my life. Daniel thought I'd only deleted all users (again, a possibility back then), but no - I'd deleted all customer data that'd ever been recorded in Conqa. By some stroke of luck, Google gave it all back to us bar 30minutes, so somehow, again, we survived.
All the while, we were burning money quickly and we never really had much at all. Murray have cleverly (for both himself and us) only invested $20K at a time based upon milestones, and his last $20K arrived in late 2016 as we were desperately talking to every investor in town (which in Auckland is like, 2).
Dan was burning himself out selling to everyone; Peter, Nef & Jesse were rebuilding checklists 2.0 and I was trying to raise money with zero experience in anything. November/December 2016 I'm still not 100% sure how we held it together. The 2016 Xmas party would suggest we didn't.
Amongst all of that, Luke joined. His first day in the office wasn't jumping into the deep end so much as skipping the frying pan and jumping straight into the fire.
The end of 2016 felt like the end of our first marathon. We had made it. We'd run as fast as we could for 365 days.
We raised $600,000 dollars on the 24th December - more money than we'd ever seen in our lives. All confirmed with desperate phone calls on Christmas eve to miffed shareholders and new investors. But it happened.