Starting the Gretel journey

As we move Gretel into Alpha testing, now is a good time to share a little something about what led Gretel to be.

4 previously explored direction for Gretel
Examples of some early Gretel ideas

I've worked with a lot of incredible people over the years, and I've loved playing a role in building teams and companies, but I've always been envious. For all the great experiences and incredible moments, I've always wished the company was mine. That I was the founder and that I had built the company from the ground up.

Over the years, I've tried and failed a few times to start something. Still, despite successfully building products for other people, I could never translate that to my own efforts. The self-doubt and fear that inevitably showed itself quickly resulted in the project gathering dust before ever seeing the light of day.

Gretel almost fell to a similar fate. A little under 2 years ago, Gretel's original idea came together via myself and my friend, James Costa. We worked together for several months and really laid the foundation for what the product is today. But one missed deadline at a time, Gretel was quickly going the way of the others.

Screenshot of early gretel planning board
Early planning Miro board.

That was until the beginning of this year. I had a moment that I refer to as a "What the f**k are you doing?" moment. This product and idea that I was so enthusiastic about was withering away. I didn't want to let that happen, but me "wanting it" wasn't nearly enough. Something had to change.

My wife and I made some tough decisions. We organized our finances and were able to allocate some savings and income to Gretel (Yes! We're bootstrapped). We adjusted our lifestyle in a way that allowed me to dedicate more time to Gretel without neglecting my regular work or my personal life.

These changes brought the effects I had hoped. I hired people who strengthened the team in a way that made sure the mistakes I previously made were less likely to happen again. I give the product & company the structure and respect I needed to have a healthy work-life balance. This allowed me to continue working my regular day and work on Gretel without feeling overwhelmed.

So today, here we are - 4 people working part-time. Each of us contributing in our own way, moving the product forward little by little.

As we move on to trying to become a real-life company with revenue and things, I'm sure all the above will get somewhat lost and forgotten. Still, right now, it feels like battle well won.

Have a nice day,
Alex, Gretel Founder

Sign up for early access to Gretel