Start-up life is a whirlwind. In London, my day is split between product development with the team of 16, recruiting, talking to potential partners, and interfacing with investors. Luluvise is growing quickly — we hope to be 25-strong in a few months. Hiring is critical and very time-consuming. We’ve picked up talented engineers from Germany, Spain and Britain and are recruiting a woman from California.
■ I’ve spent a lot of time in America lately, in preparation for our product launches. In San Francisco last month, I had five packed days of meetings with investors, candidates and fellow CEOs. Now I’m in New York, where I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with the brilliant Jack Dorsey, founder of Twitter and Square. He gave some great feedback on our mobile product.
Between New York and Silicon Valley, I’ve also met some amazing women: Wendi Deng Murdoch, Arianna Huffington, Mary Meeker and Comcast’s Amy Banse, who invited me to the Women and Digital Symposium on May 1.
It’s so exciting to spend time with these women. Madeleine Albright, who said “there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women”, would approve.
■ By the middle of this month, we should have a stronger team, new office space, and be ready to push forward with our product redesign. All of this makes me proud to say that we are a London-based start-up.
We’re making a big move towards a largely mobile experience. For young women on the go, mobile is everything. Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram for $1 billion (£620m) has been a morale booster, and affirms our instincts that mobile is the way forward for Luluvisers.
■ My co-founder, Alison Schwartz, a literary agent, is moving from New York this month. We’ve been navigating the NY/London time change for two years. When Alison arrives, she’ll take over a lot of the day-to-day responsibilities. I’ll be free to focus on the product itself and our investors. Eileen Burbidge, one of our investors at Passion Capital, says that start-ups have the best chance of success when co-founders can support each other, and Ali’s arrival will be a big relief.
■ Start-up life is thrilling and challenging in the best sense, but it can also be physically gruelling. My instinct is to push, push, push — both myself and the team — but I know it comes at a high price.
Right now, I’m usually awake at 4am, reading emails I didn’t get to during the day, and that’s not healthy. I need to learn to work efficiently, optimise my working hours — and find time to play tennis.
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