Answering that casual question – how is our startup doing?

Written by Petri Pekkarinen

Probably the most frequently asked questions we get a lot – mostly by friends and family members that don’t have to live right in the middle of the daily startup buzz – are:

“How are you guys doing?

“Have you had plenty of work?”

“Are you really working full-time on your own business?”


And the answers are usually something like “We’re doing alright, nothing special. Plenty to do.” or “No, we’re not Supercell anytime soon, thanks for asking.”

And for the last one, “Yes, in fact we are.” (This is a funny one, as it seems to raise either doubt or admiration. You never know which one.)

Then again, sometimes, when speaking with a close friend or another startup entrepreneur we might say things with a bit more realism: “You know, it’s been a really busy couple of weeks that haven’t exactly turned into anything groundbreaking just yet. But we have a few interesting things going on. It’s tough but we enjoy it.”

All of those answers sum up the ups and downs of past days, weeks or months even, but actually give no real information whatsoever. Those answers are easily given just to politely check off the question, because it’s a fine line between boring or scaring the person asking. 

How do people react?

It is surprisingly difficult to answer those questions well. Some people have been happy to hear those “We’re fine, thank you!” lines – a casual answer to a casual question. Others are entrepreneurs themselves (or just interested in entrepreneurship and startup culture) and wish for some sparring/inspiration/encouragement on their own business. To some, it’s most natural to start rambling about how the development of Gunnheim is advancing. And so on.

Here is, however, an overview for what we’ve been up to lately. Especially for those who are really interested but haven’t got the answer yet. Here it is, all of our recent ups and downs:

  • We have been working on Gunnheim since January. From a pre-alpha prototype the game has advanced greatly and we’re looking for Steam Greenlight approval with our campaign starting in the beginning of May.
  • We’ve done very little client work since the beginning of the year. Good for Gunnheim, bad for paying bills (not to mention salaries). But we have managed, with some rather big, temporary compromises. (Tuna and noodles taste good together, just add ketchup)
  • Our current, even stricter budget of bootstrapping has forced us to be more focused and productive (as in getting more done with less paid hours), but at the same time to pursue as many leads as possible. The key roles in our team have only just now started to take shape beyond obvious skill-based differences.
  • From the very beginning we have embraced the idea of “Plan it well, get it done and release it when it’s good enough. Then make it better.” Now it is crucial for us to really live up to that mantra and remember to add “collect & listen to feedback” in every suitable occasion.

In a nutshell

Though we have had a fairly difficult beginning of 2015 we have managed to secure the development and completion of Gunnheim with careful planning, budgeting and sign of great motivation from the whole crew. We are not blindly focusing on this game though, as we are concepting new ideas and following potential leads for client projects all the time. We have set a direction for our startup and now is the time to make the journey. It will probably require a bit more chaos and getting lost a bit, as the picture below perfectly shows. But we are ready.


I know that many of you reading this have asked those casual questions with real interest and/or concern, and I really thank you for that. Please keep on doing so, as it feels supportive and helps us do what we do. But just remember that sometimes you might actually get what you’re asking for!


 If you have any specific questions on the topics mentioned above, just write down a comment below or send me an e-mail at