The Tavern Keeper Blog

Getting Something Started

In college, the very last class I needed to graduate was Speech Class. I saved it to the very very very end… I had to take it as a summer cram course because I put it off so late.

I was absolutely petrified of the idea of having to stand up and talk to people. I didn’t want dozens of people looking at me, noticing me, and most of all, disapproving of what I had to say.

I had it really bad in high school. I was the kid everyone made fun of. So I basically had this mental ruleset of: “people by default don’t like me” and “don’t call attention to myself” and “hide behind my art”.

Fast forward 10 years later –

I had a conversation with my mother the other week, where I basically pitched her our start up idea. Towards the end, she said to me “I’m so glad you have your Grampa’s sales voice. He can get up and talk to anyone”.

… wait, what? When did that happen?

It’s really, really hard to put yourself out there. It’s even harder to convince yourself, let alone the rest of the world, that your ideas aren’t complete trash and you shouldn’t even waste your time.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve really come that much farther away from that scared person in high school/college, I just learned how to Roleplay my life. I figured if I just Roleplayed that super confident person that believed in everything I did, people might just buy it.

And holy shit, it worked.

Roleplay helped me hide my fears and play “normal person”, when all my adolescent life my peers convinced me I was freak-girl.

Tavern Keeper has, after give or take a year as a tinkering side project, finally went into Beta. We opened the doors to let strangers kick and prod our little idea, and hope we didn’t completely blow it or that it doesn’t totally suck. We shipped with the bare minimum of features in each section, probably 1/1000th of what is in my sketchbook or even in the wireframes, but we knew we just had to ship the damn thing and put it out there.

It’s only been two weeks since then, and today we’ll have our 100th user sign up. It’s a tiny little snowball, but it’s still a snowball, right?

I alternate every other day (ok, sometimes several times a day) with the feelings of “We’re on to something! We can do this!” and “What the hell are we thinking, no one is going to pay for this!?”. Every time a Google+ post doesn’t generate many new pageviews or when my discussion posts don’t see a reply, I dip back a little bit into panic mode.

But then I remind myself one thing:

“If we don’t build this, what else are we gonna use?”

And that keeps me mentally on track. Because that’s why we started this thing. Because the ‘other stuff’ wasn’t good enough, and we wanted to make something cooler and better.

We’re not the best Tabletop Roleplaying site … yet. But I’ll be acting as we are until we really are. :)