Daily Stand-up January 5, 2021

Weekly Check-In (2021 Week 1 - All welcome!)

Dave Young @Davey

Woot! Happy New Year everyone!

I got SO wrapped up in end of year stuff (including some downtime) that I didn't send out an update this weekend, and by the looks of it many others were in the same situation.

So in the tradition of that started by @Janice..

  1. How did you fare last week?
  2. What's on deck for this week?
  3. What's your goal for the month?
  4. [Optional] 2020 Wrap up!
  5. [Optional] Brief description of project with link (if applicable)
  1. 5

    This will be my check in for the month!

    [Last Year]

    My Product Hunt launch was a mix bag, but with the bag did contain bonafide success.

    🔥I attracted 62 sign ups.
    🧊None converted to paid.

    🔥Lots of inquiries for partnerships.
    🧊I'm having a tough time staying on top of the inquiries due to day gig.

    🔥I committed.
    🧊Due to aforementioned day gig, I relegated to small bites of progression.

    That last 🔥was probably the most important. But launching, I declared to the world that Diversity Decoded is a thing. And now my rep is on the line to keep me going.

    [This Month]

    I gotta focus this month and next on content. I've still 39 newsletters to write and that consumes all of my moonlight. Goal for this month is to write six.

    I'm also going to do my damnedest to post to LinkedIn once pre week.

    [This Year]

    I'm still after 300 paid customers.

    [The Hustle]

    Diversity Decoded. Refactor your tech team for diversity.

    1. 2

      Congratulations continue with that focus

    2. 2

      I'm proud of what you got done in 2020. Good luck getting through the slog this month!!

      1. 1

        Thanks, Davey! Looking forward to poking my head back in next month! (And seeing what you're up to!)

    3. 2

      Congrats on the launch.

      Take your wins and commitment!

      The paid customers will come, it is just a matter of time and perseverance (as with most things)

      1. 1

        You may be right. Or my product may be shitty. Or the demand is just lip service. Or, I've priced it too high.

        I won't have time to play with it until the content is complete. But I will eventually play.

        1. 2

          Nope, pretty convinced that your product won't be shitty.
          You have a shit ton of experience, are good with words and able to built a following. I think you should have a little more trust in the product that you are working on.

  2. 4

    [Last Week]
    Still reeling from the excitement of actually getting a job offer. It's an amazing thing. Still need to have the background check finish up and come back OK, but otherwise it's good to go.

    On Announcr:

    • I added the ability to add multiple actions to triggers, which was major surgery.
    • Fixed the location device registration system so it doesn't require the device being hooked up to a keyboard/mouse/remote control. This was languishing
    • Added a spam-prevention timeout to the UI so someone couldn't harass others easily.

    Then.. I took some breaks from coding and worked on marketing a lot more. Note.. trying to do more marketing inline with building to hopefully inform the build process.

    • Set up some new info/landing pages and got some great feedback from fellow IH'ers. It was pointed out to me that I didn't have a clear audience on the pages, which makes it HARD to write a functional message.

    • Focused on an audience! More and more, Announcr is really a platform which enables different but similar solutions. I need to be able to effectively communicate those solutions (and pain points) to specific audiences. This might even mean different UIs in the main app, etc which pare down the solution points to those pertinent to the solution.

    • Made a page that was solution-specific.. the first such solution is being announced as Talking Houses!

    I originally meant this as a release for 'DIY' folks, but it makes more sense like this. More importantly, I can craft a digestible message for it.

    [This Week]

    • Continue to separate the logic into related pieces. Locations->Triggers->Actions. Need to separate triggers from locations so we can have multiple of the same kind of trigger defined, as each may have different resets. Not 100% sure I need to do this now but if I don't it could make things much more complex later on and put a lot of pressure on. This is a major task which is why I took a break from coding and focused on messaging.
    • Working on a test video ad now, which I will circulate, along with an image ad. These will go to an early release sign-up list

    [Goal for Month]
    Landing page and early signups for "Talking Houses" by Announcr

    [Description]
    Announcr is a location-based action platform. Trigger various actions depending on user locations. Play sounds, make API calls, etc. New Landing Page

    1. 2

      Wow.. on so much progress overall!

      Glad to hear that things are going well with both the hustle as well as the job offer.

    2. 1

      Ooh Love the new landing page and I echo @vimalin's kudos. That's a shit-ton of work!

  3. 3

    How did you fare last week?
    More testing and tweaking Vimalin. Bumped into a VMware Workstation bug with a new feature I was implementing which caused me to rewrite the feature so that it now is completely optional. Disabled it by default so as not to have users bump into the bug, but added configuration options (not currently exposed in the UI) to enable the option.
    This will enable me to continue testing to see how widespread that bug is while I can go forward with releasing a much needed update.

    What's on deck for this week?
    Finish up testing and release an update of Vimalin.
    Work on vimarun.

    Goal for the month?
    Keep on growing the sales for Vimalin.

    Last Year
    I launched vimarun and while it isn't a standing success yet, there certainly is interest and there is a bit of sales ongoing.

    As far as Vimalin goes. Sales has gone up 2.5x compared to last year. This doesn't mean that it generates an income (it does not), but as things keep growing it does at least validate that I can spent time on Vimalin to make it better and better.

    Brief description
    Vimarun - run VMware Virtual Machines automatically.
    Vimalin - automated Virtual Machine backups for VMware Fusion, Workstation and Player.

    1. 1

      You've a bunch of successes to counter the shit-show that was 2020. Well played and congrats!

      What happened with VMWare potentially not deprecating the feature that you've sought to replace?

      1. 1

        Oh, the feature has been brought back, but only for one version.
        If you open the main screen, then it is there, but it is suffixed by " deprecated".

        Basically that means they are giving me a year of time to improve my product ;)
        Meanwhile I am making some sales with it. Not a lot, but every couple of licenses I sell helps me to validate spending time on improving the tool.

    2. 1

      2.5X! Very nice, it's so nice to get those dollars for validation :)
      Good luck growing the sales this month! Looking forward to seeing what you do there. As a main coder, this is a prob for me always ;)

      1. 2

        There's a couple of things here that seem to work for me.

        First: believe in your product.

        Then there's also: patience. Not all products are high runners at once. Not everybody can do a "Product Hunt" hit. I know I can't. So while I looked into that, I'm not even spending time on PH as I don't believe a "VM backup program" is hot enough for PH.

        One of the things I do to raise awareness is to help out at a relevant forum.
        At the forum I have vimalin as a link in my signature. FWIW, I rarely refer to my own product, however other forum regulars do sometimes recommend people to look into it. I don't believe in spamming about my product, it has to sell on merit, not on BS.

        Besides that I make sure to regularly get an update out. I'm aiming at one release every 4 weeks. This way people can see I'm serious about the tool and that "shit gets fixed". It also forces me to not endlessly refine things users don't care about.

        When people have problems I try to help. Of course I help paying customers faster, but even people trying Vimalin out, or those who are using the free version do get help. Their problems can still help in identifying problems that paying customers also experience.

        So basically it is all about refine & improve.

  4. 3

    Hey @Davey 👋 and others

    Excited to join my first weekly stand up! Will definitely look through some others projects and if you need a tester, feedback-er etc just ping me.

    How did you fare last week?

    Pretty good, I continued development on the MVP, soft-launched a website for finding closed-beta users and came to the agreement with myself that I would look for small wins, bite-sized progress and take learning over metrics.

    What's on deck for this week?

    Start sourcing some users interested in trying the beta, build my network of others here building and enjoy the process of shipping my first project 😊

    What's your goal for the month?

    Have 5 closed-beta users!

    Brief description of project with link (if applicable)

    Sendsheet.co - Schedule and send rich content Email & SMS from a Google Sheet, CSV or .TXT file. Built for creators, sellers, organisers who need to get up-and-running fast with planned content.

    1. 1

      Great simple premise and landing page. How will you find your target audience?

      1. 1

        @Davey Thanks!

        I'm working through this part at the moment - I'm planning on offering the tool for free (pivoting away from a paid product) with an optional 'Keep the lights on' button (Buy me a coffee type thing)

        I'm thinking I will build a list of places where Sales working with lead generation, Email marketers, indie builders hang out and go that route.

        Do you have any suggestions? :) Would love to hear your thoughts.

  5. 3

    HAPPY NEW YEAR my beautiful people! 🎉
    1. How did you fare last week?

    • Published new website copy that supports new thesis & model (aka a real business 😂).

    2. What's on deck for this week?

    • Since I worked up to New Years Day, I'm taking a vacation to rest & reset.

    3. What's your goal for the month?

    • First half is to do staycation/retreat. I'll get my house/finance in order, reassess my progress, set goals, read & prepare for my next sales/product sprints.

    4. [Optional] 2020 Wrap up!

    • I learned to prioritize my actions under a single KPI.
    • I'm still grappling with estimating realistic timeframes for projects & tasks.
    • I've learned to be flexible when it's time to reprioritize or persist on a goal/task or to move on completely.
    • I learned to audit myself and identify ways I block customers from buying from me.
    • I validated Jovial, now I need to improve my go-to market strategy.

    5. [Optional] Brief description of project with link (if applicable)

    1. 2

      This sounds halfway...normal! Enjoy the downtime

      1. 1

        Ha! I’m trying to be normal. I do have to admit I am enjoying getting 8 hours of sleep 😴 😁

    2. 2

      The content on the site does indeed give a visitor a better idea on how you can help.

      Also a belated congratulations with your mother's birthday.
      Hope you get to enjoy your staycation/retreat time a bit.

      1. 1

        Thanks @vimalin for the feedback and my mom says thanks too.

        Curious, what makes the content clearer on how I help?

        1. 1

          Before the text was more abstract and it was much less clear as to what service Jovial would provide.
          eg.
          "Spend your best hours on the right projects.

          Software developers get a business development tool and service that advocates for you. Your consultancy get projects that support your tech stack, workflow, lifestyle, and values.
          Develop relationships while you code.

          Qualify clients, projects, and budgets before spending your marketing time on a call. Jovial find projects that meet your revenue targets, plans, and preferred technologies."

          versus
          "Pointless sales calls, bye-bye.

          Jovial is a client referral notification service for developers. The service screen then matches you to small and mid-sized companies."

          While I still haven't seen a screenshot of that particular service screen. It does give a much better idea how Jovial can help.

          With the original text I have more of a feeling with (sorry for the term) buzzword bingo. I'm sure that works with some target groups.
          I'm less convinced that developers are in that group.

          eg. "business development tool" versus "service screen". Same thing I guess, but different audience.

    1. 3

      Happy new year, @Davey! Many thanks for picking up my slack! 🙇🏾‍♀️

      For the month of January, I plan to focus on getting back on the healthy wagon. (I did some serious damage!) But I look forward to jumping thereafter!

    2. 2

      Happy New Year everyone!

      Wishing you all the best of luck with your project(s).

    3. 2

      Happy New Year everyone!
      Last week the team finished halfway for Jemsplash's front end (we switched to a different tech stack)
      This week we are finishing the front end and having a experienced UX Expert test our front end and provide feedback
      My goal for the month is to be at least almost complete with the MVP to beta test

      My project is -->> jemsplash.com

      1. 1

        Cool product! I used Kajabi for a few months and it was REALLY nice for courses, but pricey because I wasn't doing high enough sales.

        1. 1

          What do you currently use?

          1. 1

            I used Kajabi once for a course, that's it :) Not a typical activity

  6. 1

    Last week was super successful for us! We managed to push the paperless.io website further. If you have any feedback we will be happy to hear from you!

    This week we have implemented more features and want to push them further! We are also upgrading more users from our beta on.

    This month the big goal is to prepare the launch of paperless.io completely. So that we can go live on time in February.

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