Daily Stand-up January 14, 2021

Weekly Check-In (2021 Week 2 - All welcome!)

Wil van Antwerpen @vimalin

Hello everyone,

With all that is going on in the USA (and elsewhere) it is easy to forget that we still have our side projects to focus on.
At least I can ascertain you that it was very hard to focus.. and I don't even live in the USA.
So can't even imagine how bad it was there.

So here it goes, in the tradition of what was 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] Brief description of project with link (if applicable)
  1. 3
    1. How did I fare last week?
      -I was able to write and post one blog post- https://belindakendi.com/how-to-sell-on-facebook-all-you-need-to-know/
      -Read one book- A company of One- Why staying small is the next big thing for business by Paul Javis.
      -Started taking notes as I read.
      -Applied for writing jobs but didn't reach my target but got one response

    2. What's on the deck for this week?
      I've already written another blog post- https://belindakendi.com/how-to-sell-on-etsy-all-you-need-to-know/

    • Reading a book- Rework- by Jason Fried
    • Taking notes
    • Completing clients work that has a tight deadline
    1. What's your goal for the month
    • Read a book per week
    • Write short notes
    • Share what you read
    • Find better clients

    My current project is to build an e-commerce blog that teaches everything on how to sell online. www.belindakendi.com. It's a big goal but will see how I niche it down further.

    This is also a brilliant idea that will keep me accountable. I am not that serious just trying to push myself. Hahahaha Heads up

    1. 2

      Hi Belinda,

      Welcome.

      Yes these weekly accountability posts also helped me a lot with motivation. I am thankful for @Janice who started these accountability posts.

      Love your blog and posts!
      Also a huge fan of Prestashop, so was surprised to see your post about it.

    2. 1

      Ok, good to know! It’s good to be accountable, and at least compare what you did vs what you thought you’d be doing. It’s super rare for those to match for me and there’s always a good story why hehe

  2. 3

    Holy cow this week got away from me! I’m having some insanely productive days. I literally just jumped up from my chair and yelled “Who’s a sexy b*it%h” because I got something so cool working.

    I’m trying to get as much done as I can because I’m starting the new full time job on Monday. (The background check went great)

    I’ve just come through some major code surgery and am putting things back together. There’s been much streamlining and simplification for greater utility.

    [Last Week]

    On Announcr:

    • completed the work to separate locations, triggers, actions.
    • built and tweaked the UI to add and edit each object type
    • added ability to use all Polly voices and select audio targets
    • wrote script for a video ad
    • tested a trigger event with multiple actions running on different devices. Works so well

    [This Week]

    • Realized that there is a useful spinoff here... smart speakers you can use with any automation platform to get audio announcements in your house. Will flesh out what I’d need for permissions etc and how to charge for it
    • Build support in the app to activate a couple more triggers, respecting daily frequency limits, reset times, and possibly filter tags
    • Add the notion of a bad word filter to filter profanity for those who want that
    • add ability to delete/disable locations, triggers, actions

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

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

    1. 1

      Looks like Announcr keeps on growing and improving!
      Curious, what's a "Polly voice"?
      When you say "automation platform" you mean things like "Home Assistant"?

      Also congrats on landing that new job, hope your first day was awesome.

      1. 1

        Polly is a service by AWS which is a text-to-speech service. You feed it some SSML (Speech Markup Language) and it returns an MP3. One of Announcr's core capabilities is creating dynamic audio announcements using this API and then piping the output down to devices and user phones, possibly combining it with other audio files in the payload in sequence. Polly is nice because it has a huge range of international voices and even some speaking styles.

        Automation platform could be like Google Assistant, Alexa, IFTTT, Zapier, etc. or any kind of SASS, etc. Those in turn could be setup to trigger off of whatever, new emails, etc. I've made an API endpoint so that you can send any location speaker an arbitrary message to turn into audio and play. So it's now also effectively useful as a generic audio notification platform (aside from my own location-based use cases).

        1. 2

          That sounds great!

          Was about to ask if you had considered non English based voice messages. Turns out that that's a Yes.
          Which in turn then means that you've basically got the whole world as a potential customer.

          1. 1

            I hadn’t thought of that, good point!

  3. 3

    How did you fare last week?
    As I was busy with getting an update of Vimalin released I totally forgot last week that the week before I had managed to figure out why Microsoft's Smartscreen tags my software with a "not commonly downloaded" warning. This is something that undoubtedly causes me to loose a lot of sales. Had a user contact me about this issue and in a moment of frustration I submitted it to Hacker News Microsoft hurts sales of indie developers with "not commonly downloaded" error
    To be honest I did not expect much from that. But I was wrong..

    So as it turns out you can work around the "not commonly downloaded" error/warning by buying yourself an EV certificate and sign your software with that instead of with normal code signing certificate. Finding that out was great news, so you can buy yourself a better reputation (download points?) by spending more money.

    The sad part however is that currently coughing up another EUR 400 for a fancy new EV certificate is not within my budget.

    I was wondering if some of the people here reading this, those who are using Windows 10, would be willing to download + run my installer and report it as "this software is safe". You don't need to finish the install, canceling out of the opening screen of the installer is fine.

    https://vimarun.com/downloads/

    https://www.vimalin.com/downloads/

    It's a bit sad to have to ask this, but it would make a real difference if the "download warning" is addressed.
    FWIW, I can guarantee you that the software is safe (if you run it, it will show my personal house address for publisher, because of the certificate the installer is signed with, so it is not like I can go hide somewhere)

    What's on deck for this week?
    Accounting and figure out some solutions for reported issues with vimarun.

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

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

    1. 2

      Downloaded and run!
      You are right, they're not trusted just yet. Got the message on both installs and clicked through it. FOOEY ON YOU MS.

      "Windows protected your PC
      Microsoft Defender SmartScreen prevented an unrecognized app from starting. Running this app might put your PC at risk."

      1. 1

        Thanks!

        Yeah, it is a particularly nasty warning.
        It kind of surprises me that I still have any sales left.

        I'm going to ask this at a programmer's forum, where everybody knows me, as well and -hopefully- the certificate then gets the "it's fine" approval from Microsoft.

        If not, then my only resort will be to spent the EUR 400 on the EV certificate. Luckily I had some consultancy work over the past week, so things are looking a bit less bleak than a week ago.

  4. 2

    [Pokes head in here... ] Love the teamwork @vimalin and @Davey! Thanks for holding it down! 2021 is already proving a handful. (But let's hope less of handful than 2020!)

    I'll be back in here for a formal check in at the top of February!

    1. 1

      No worries! Been seeing your posts on LinkedIn, I know you're busy! Rooting for ya!

  5. 1

    Hi heres my weeks update.

    last week 18-24 Jan 2021

    Reading

    • I read Re-Work by Jason Fried- Key takeaway- Sell your by product. Every project has a byproduct find it , package it nicely and sell it. You never know it can be a good source of income. Re-work was a byproduct from BaseCamp an experience of what they had learned over the years that was packaged to a book, that turned out to be a best-seller.

    Writing

    This week 25-31 Jan

    Reading
    I read 4 Hours Work Week (4HWW) by Tim Ferris. The Key take away is there is more to this world other than work, work, work. Tim discovered that and made plans to cut his work hours to four in a week. Not forgeting he already has a 8 plus figure business that he manages by himself. So free your time and do many other things that matters. As the saying goes. We only live once and die forever so, so, live your life......

    Writing

    • Just imagine iam still reaseaching on my next blogpost. I think this week had less hours but i have to push myself to make it happen. One blogpost per week- Yes just one.

    I reaalized that my topic (selling on Amazon) was broad like the real Amazon as we see it in Nat Geo Wild . And maybe I will consider doing a blog series

    Next week 1-7 Feb

    Reading
    I plan to read the 80/20 Principle by Richard Koch

    writing
    Do a blog series How to sell online selling on Amazon

    Thats my plan, I am happy to hear from others too and thanks for the support too

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