Looking Back on the Early Days of Diremo: A Memory of the Final 72 Hours Before Launch
Personal narrative on the final 72 hours before Diremo officially launched.
May 5, 2022
By Diremo Staff • Published on May 5, 2022
It’s Tuesday night, 10pm to be precise, and I’ve just finished my homework. Junior year of high school has been piling up work in quantities higher than I could have ever imagined, and, because of this, the mentally exhausted state I feel myself in is not unusual. I close out of my tabs and am about to flop into bed when the text comes through.
“Arthur, can you hop on a Diremo call right now. Extremely important. If you’re sleeping, it’s fine though.”
The text is coming from my friend and co-worker, Daniel de Beer, and, although I had intended to fall asleep at that very moment, I can’t help but find myself intrigued by this mysterious message. Ignoring the bleariness in my eyes and buzzing sensation in my head, I text back:
“Yeah I can. What’s up?”
When I join the call, I am met with what can be most appropriately described as excited pandemonium. Evidently, much has occurred in my absence that day and, induced by this rapid acceleration of events, my co-worker’s animation feels almost tangible. I am soon filled in by Gabriel Romualdo, the Co-CEO of Diremo: “we’re pushing our release date closer than we initially believed,” he says.
“To when?” I inquire. Diremo has already been running on a fast moving time frame so the news of us further quickening our speed confuses me. After all, because of the hard work of our team, we were able to resolutely announce that all aspects of our product would be out by April 1. What I most certainly did not expect to hear in response was that which I received.
Gabriel doesn’t even take the time to mull this question over; “as soon as possible,” he tells me resolutely. By the conviction he enforces his words with and my prior understanding of his working habits, I deduce that we will likely be up and running within the next several days. I am both shocked and impressed, but, before jumping to any conclusions, I hasten to clarify.
“When precisely do you mean?” I ask, and receive the answer I had been expecting. This news is both spectacular and imposing. Like my fellow co-workers, I am greatly excited by the fact that Diremo will be out early. We’ve been working systematically on our product for several months and will undoubtedly feel fulfilled from seeing results sooner than later. Of course, there is the counterargument of the hefty amount of work such an early release would entail, however, I convince myself that this will be worthwhile considering the reward. That said, I already have the sneaking suspicion that I might be going to bed considerably later than my body would prefer.
We spent the remainder of that night drafting up copy for our product’s release date. I personally feel optimistic about the development. Gabriel and Daniel share my philosophy; both see the merit in a “you only live once” mentality, and, thus, our group is eager to proceed with work as soon as possible. Joined by our two dedicated founders, Vinci and Luigi, we keep conversation light as we sift through the piles of necessary work before our release date. During this time, I am able to ask the group further questions about what prompted such a pivotal turn of events. Gabriel, an optimist, responds to my queries with the simple answer of “why not?” As he reasons, we have the resources to act upon this accelerated plan and, recognising this, effectuating said plan would allow us to accomplish more along the line. Aside from perhaps a temporary feeling of exhaustion, there are simply no downsides to going the extra mile.
I help the product for as long as I can that night before fatigue overpowers me, diminishing my utility and forcing me to go to bed. But from that moment onwards, an unstoppable seed of ambition has been planted in my mind. I am determined to assist with product development in any way possible.
When I wake up the next morning, I am met by a barrage of text messages across our several chats. In my overnight absence, Gabriel has been hard at work finding and bringing together Shopify products to include on our website. “We’re up to 45,000 products on our website now,” he texts us excitedly. That said, I am more preoccupied by the periodic messages I’ve received ever since I left the call last night. “Have you gotten any sleep?” I ask, concerned.
“Nope,” he responds, throwing in a jaunty “LOL” in a second message. Gabriel’s propensity to work unrelentingly has led him to go sleepless and, to be honest, I’m not surprised.
Perhaps less impressive than–albeit just as necessary as–the remarkable fifteen hour coding marathon pulled off by Gabriel, the rest of us do what we can to pitch in that following day. Granted, we all have school which bites into a hefty chunk of our time, but as soon as we get home it’s back to product development. Six of us are on call together that night, this time tasked with sorting the individual sites into product genres. The process is somewhat of an ordeal; after all, each of our 200 selling websites must be sifted through carefully and then assigned a domain relative to what they sell. The categories we settle on are “Clothing”, “Jewelry”, “Beauty”, “Books”, “Entertainment”, “Health”, “Food”, “Tools” and “Accessories”. We want to keep the number of genres relatively small for consumer convenience but simultaneously enough that reach a broad spectrum of products. All cannabis and drug related products are identified and promptly removed.
When we finish, we all feel pleased and our sense of accomplishment gives rise to a cheerful ambience. With just 36 hours to go until our product’s launch, I stay on call until late that night, talking to my co-workers and providing feedback on their writing.
The day before the release of Diremo is decidedly less hectic than the two preceding it. By this point, the code is set in stone, meaning that all we have left to do is touch up on some final aspects of the website before we are ready to release. We do these in a perfunctory manner, any excitement for our present duties overshadowed by the greater anticipation of our nearing release date. The idea that all of our hard work will be going public so soon makes us think and talk about the future of Diremo. All of us feel extremely passionate about this company and, thus, we resolve to continue putting our best foot forward for the company.
With the moment six hours away, I find myself on call with the three founders and Daniel one last time. We have to finalize a few things: some last words about the company, plans for the publications sector and most importantly a one minute video from the founders of the company. Daniel and I work together, giving the founders feedback as they speak, writing up potential scripts and catchphrases for them to repeat. As the night wears on, an increasingly mellow undertone steers the dynamic of conversation. Perhaps it's our disbelief of the fact that this moment has finally come but more plausibly, we’re just exhausted from what has been a hectic last three days. I bid my co-workers a good night at 11 pm and go to sleep happy. We could not have hoped for a more productive 72 hours.
Five hours later at 4am GMT of March 24, all aspects of Diremo were released to the public. This entailed the buyer feature and the seller feature with 60,000+ products to accompany. Our dedicated team is working towards adding more products in the coming months and, considering our productivity so far, we feel optimistic about future progress.