Podcast Episode 1: An Apology Regarding Aboard

By Paul Ford

Introducing our new podcast—The Aboard Podcast, featuring your hosts, Rich Ziade and Paul Ford. We look forward to sharing our wonderful (terrible) and beautiful (often hideous) journey of software development with you. But first…an apology.


Paul Ford: Look man, I just want to say I’m sorry. That’s the only reason I want to do this right now. I just wanna tell everybody how sorry I am.

Rich Ziade: What the hell are you apologizing for?

Paul Ford: Well, we, we held that big event. “We’re like, we’re gonna launch our new data and workflow product. It’s gonna be called Aboard. Come to New York City, come to right above Union Square, we have appetizers, and we’ll tell you all about how wonderful it is, and then we’re gonna invite you in to use it.”

And we didn’t do that. And we have to tell people why. And it kind of felt bad because we got up in front of 200 people and we said, “Check it out. It’s really cool. And then we didn’t invite them.

Rich Ziade: We didn’t. We lied. We lied to their faces.

Paul Ford: We kind of started in the middle here. My name is Paul Ford.

Rich Ziade: My name is Rich Ziade.

Paul Ford: And there’s more to us than just compulsive lying to hundreds of people about the products that we built. We started a company together about 10 years ago. We sold that company and then for reasons that are kind of hard to explain, but nonetheless, here we are. We started another company.

Rich Ziade: it’s called Aboard, and you can check it out at [00:01:00] https://aboard.io. But don’t read it too carefully, cuz we’re changing a bunch of stuff.

Paul Ford: We are either terrible dilettantes or visionaries, and sometimes you can’t tell because we like to change the software that we’re building–more than might be healthy. Definitely more than our employees would love.

Rich Ziade: On a weekly basis. We are going to share the pain, the struggles, the successes, the failures, the triumphs, and the tragedies of launching a tech startup. Uh, and we’re gonna kick it off with a nice big stumble right outta the gate, Paul.

Paul Ford: Okay, so what was the stumble?

Rich Ziade: We didn’t love it. We didn’t love it. We knew we could make it a success because you and I know how to sell into companies. And as, as soon as that event ended and it was a successful event, people wanted access. People wanted to have a call with us. They wanted to connect, they wanted to get behind it.

And we pulled back. And we pulled back because we didn’t fall in love with it ourselves. But more importantly, we aim for something even [00:02:00] bigger. That’s a scary thing to do, Paul. It’s scary to tell a team a great team. By the way. The Aboard team is a bunch of really talented people. To tell them that we changed our minds–but here we are.

Paul Ford: There is this moment when you get on the video call and you look in people’s eyes and you say, “yeah, you know how we’re having that party, that launch party. We’re not actually launching.”

Rich Ziade: There is no straight line. There are no shortcuts. It is hard. It is brutal. There will be some good stories that come out of it, but guess what? We’re not gonna, Paul, have you ever seen an Apple keynote?

Paul Ford: I’ve seen so many. Rich,

Rich Ziade: Oh my God, they’re, they’re getting longer and longer.

Paul Ford: they are. But they’re tucking in their shirts more often.

Rich Ziade: Which is good to see. I like people tidied up. Yes. They say “everything is awesome.” So many times it’s painful. Listen to this.

Apple Computer: Super powerful. Great. Great. Huge. Great. Amazing. Great. Really handy. Great. Great. Great. Great. Great. 

Paul Ford: got it. I got it. We 

Apple Computer: Great. Beautiful, buttery.

Rich Ziade: You want another five or 10 [00:03:00] seconds?

Paul Ford: I truly do not. 

Rich Ziade: Uh, here’s what we’re not gonna do on this podcast. We’re not gonna pitch to you with rolled up sleeves telling you how awesome we are and how awesome the world’s gonna be once our product is out in the world. The world is hard. Products are difficult. Most of the time they fail. And we’re gonna share the journey with everyone on this podcast every week. I don’t know if the product’s gonna be awesome. I don’t know if Aboard is gonna be awesome, but if I’m a betting man, I’m gonna bet it is gonna be awesome. But I tell you what will definitely be awesome. This podcast.

Paul Ford: I’d settle for a working product, frankly, at this point, but let’s not. Okay. Yes. Okay. Okay, okay. Okay, fine.

Rich Ziade: Check us out at Aboard.io. Subscribe to this podcast in all the usual places. Paul, I need a little more energy in the closing here.

Paul Ford: Hey Rich, if people want to get in touch, what do they need to do?

Rich Ziade: Get in touch. Email to hello@aboard.io.

Paul Ford: Sounds good to me. I’m gonna send an email right now.

Rich Ziade: All right. Say “hi.” See you next week, everybody.

Paul Ford: Bye.

Apple Computer: Super powerful. [00:04:00] Great. Great. Huge. Great. Amazing. Great. Really handy.