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34 Comments

Weekly Check-In (Week 48 - All welcome!)

  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] Still on target for end of year goal?
  5. [Optional] Brief description of project with link (if applicable)
  1. 4
    1. I failed to validate my idea for Startab, so I decided to drop it.
    2. Came up with an idea for Detoxbox (a privacy-focused Chrome extension to unsubscribe from all these annoying mailing lists), the goal is to make a PoC and set up a landing page for validating it.
    3. Find an idea for the first step of the stairstep approach and start working on it.
    1. 2

      It's always great to hear when someone knows they're on the wrong trail and takes their learnings back to keep moving forward on the big journey!

    2. 1

      To unsubscribe from all these annoying mailing lists...

      (Laughing!) I'll be adding to the mailing morass!

      What's the stair-step approach?

  2. 4

    [Last Week]

    1. I was finally home for a weekend (welcome back Deep Quarantine) + had side hustle energy.
    2. Made a decision between "shit" and "get off the pot". Opted for "shit".

    Consequently, I got lots of "shit" done.

    • Put together milestones to get me ass in gear. Next milestone is 15 December, by which point I should have 30 subscribers.
    • Fleshed out tasks related to two promotions that can be implemented by 15 December.
    • SImplified the landing page, created a new purchase page. [Let me know what y'all think.]
    • Started email automation for folks who checkout the free issue.
    • Sent emails requesting testimonials.
    • Researched successful PH launches and started executing the playbook.

    [This Week]

    • Finish website conversion to simplified format.
    • Wrap up email automation for folks who checkout the free issue.
    • Continue executing the PH playbook.
    • Content for newsletter.
    • Content for LinkedIn scheduler.

    [Goal for November]

    Be positioned to launch on PH by 4 December.
    Have email automation in play for folks captured via LinkedIn.

    [Goal for 2020]

    Milestone 1: 30 paid subscribers (Dec 15)
    Milestone 2: 60 subscribers (Jan 9)

    [Side Hustle]

    Diversity Decoded: A weekly newsletter of pragmatic, actionable insights to build and retain diverse engineering talent

    1. 2

      Hi! The landing page looks simple and concise! My two questions are:

      • if it's a paid newsletter that should probably be mentioned explicitly
      • was "Dive into the first issue free!" supposed to be a link to a free issue? Or do I have to sign-up to receive it? If so then maybe it should be 'subscribe to dive into the first issue free'?

      Pricing page looks great, maybe you could add some FAQ at the bottom around common objections (refunds, security, what do I get, etc).

      1. 2

        Thanks for the fab feedback!

        re Paid. I debated this. But I decided I'd like to gauge interest irrespective of pricing and track conversion rates from the first bite. Plus, "grab the first issue free" suggests that one need pay for the others.

        But we shall see. (Smiling) I reserve the right to change tactics!

        re Special Offer. Recommendation incorporated! Thanks!

        re Pricing. I likely added this page since last you visited. Let me know what you think. I'll likely keep the Purchase page free of all distractions. But again, I reserve the right to change tactics!

        Many thanks for giving it a look!

    2. 2

      Welcome back on the hustle, it feels like jammin'!

    3. 2

      I just got back a little "side hustle" energy last night, myself. Glad to see you moving it forward!

      1. 2

        It's a tough gig. Generating the content is a full-time side hustle. And so is promotion. I definitely need the weekends to get traction on both!

  3. 3

    Been a while since I've posted here so a bit of catch up.

    Last Week
    Last week was one of the more productive weeks I've had in a while. Likely because my kids are back to remote learning this week and I wanted to cram in as much as I could last week.

    • A few weeks back I decided on a micro SaaS product to move forward with. After stalling a bit, last week I put up a landing page and have started work to gain a few potential users.
    • I made a quick survey for Browse Me Later early user signups in hopes of gaining a better understanding of which browsers/mobileOS to support first and gain some knowledge on pricing expectations.
    • I had put Carme Desk on hold at the end of the summer and finally pushed through last week to get two products posted for sale. I'm making a shift in future products to be more one-off or less-than-5 run designs. The scope of producing larger quantities is more than I could deal with for now.

    This Week

    • Posting more about Browse Me Later in a few communities to find more potential early users and gain feedback on the product concept.
    • So far, I'm not doing well getting signups to complete the survey so I need to do some work to make that better. Planning to reach out to a few of the signups directly to see what could be better and get feedback directly rather than the questionnaire.
    • Start prototyping the back end service to begin testing out concepts for browser extensions and email.

    This Month

    • Only a week left but I'm hoping to get 25 early access interest signups for Browse Me Later.
    1. 2

      Welcome back! You have been productive! Looking forward to reading the results from your client survey/nterviews! Browse Me Later looks promising!

    2. 2

      Wow! Congrats on pushing through to put some products up on Carme! I personally have my own little routine when it comes to reading articles and I do it on mobile or email myself.. the articles will stay in a browser tab until I'm ready or do clean up...

  4. 3

    [Last Week]
    Dealing with a pretty involved job search. I've been through a couple intensive interview/code test/5 hour interview cycles already for jobs I really wanted.

    The bad news: No offers yet, 0 for 2.
    The good news: I'm getting good feedback

    My resume seems to have too many "CEO/Founder" titles on it, as I'm going after Senior Full Stack Engineer style jobs. I am also speaking too quickly and assuming too much. I look back over the many years of building and leading I've been through and it seems like I'm a fantastic candidate for the jobs I'm going for, but I'm having difficulty communicating that effectively through the interviews. So that's frustrating!

    I've decided to halt development on the community app for Lift Academy for now. I have been getting attacked in very uncomfortable ways which I am not prepared to battle, nor do I have the desire to right now. I'll probably continue to build some courses under the brand name until I can effectively combat the nastiness and work on the community app.

    So my goal for the year is officially shot, and redefined.

    I've been thinking more and more about the next 6 months of COVID lockdowns and what the world is going to look like afterwards. I feel like I want to work on something that will bring joy and a new breath in Customer Experience/Hospitality. So I'm going to revisit the concept of Announcr and see if I can come up with a workable Go To Market strategy for it.

    [This Week]
    Look back over the model I made for Announcr, and see what tech pieces are still applicable, see what's changed in the tech world that impacts me.

    [End of Year Goal]
    Landing page and early signups for Announcr

    1. 2

      Oompf.. letting go of working on a project you poured your soul into is hard.

      As for the nastiness, obviously I don't know what happened.
      But I have noticed as a moderator at the VMware forums that people are now way more edgy than normal and quite often being unreasonable about trivial things.
      My take on that is that they have had some nastiness to cope with in their own life and that just gets ventilated in other -completely unrelated- channels.

      What I'm trying to say is that whatever the nastiness is.. do not take it personal even if the attacks had been personal.
      Those people will never be your friends, but they probably have other problems and you just happened to come in their way and they have no proper ways of dealing with the issues they have no control over.
      People can be nasty at times.

      Try to ignore them as best as you can, you're awesome!

      Good idea to look at Announcr again.
      Be positive and you will overcome.

      1. 2

        Just came in here to second the @davey awesomeness!

      2. 2

        It’s very personal unfortunately and it’s better to work on things which don’t need as much of a public presence for now, until things take their course. Thank you very much for the encouragement!

        1. 2

          Uhh.. yeah reading your reply to Janice, maybe better to wait until things cool down a bit.

    2. 2

      Interviewing is tough! I felt like I had two full-time gigs when going through the process myself. Persevere! You're uber-talented and will land something sweet!

      It's been a hot second since I've really been in here. Nastiness!? What nastiness?

      1. 2

        I take it you’ve never had a mentally ill person try to follow you around online and randomly sabotage things you do. It’s an unusual privilege but I’ll gladly divest of it.

        1. 1

          I haven't! And that reads awful. Any possibility of relief?

          1. 1

            Yes, but it’s an extensive process and may not conclude for another 9-10 months I think. Some little relief coming soon :) In the meantime I pivot hehe

  5. 2
    1. Last week:
    • published a prod version of web client and app
    • polished the landing page, ready for public
    • posted on Reddit, some downloads, very little feedback :(
    • two unexpected roadblocks, didn't finish the QR-code based flow :(
    • submitted to BetaList and BetaPage
    1. Next (this) week:
    • finish the QR-code flow
    • update landing page to include the QR-code feature
    • switch to getting the word out and gathering feedback: post on HN, Reddit, come up with other ways for doing that
    • start building relationships with tech bloggers
    1. This month:
    • It's almost over and I'm glad I finished an MVP which is actually useful and usable, next month I'm focusing on promotion and gathering feedback and making small improvements like bug fixes
    • By the end of next month and the year I need to decide whether I'm on the right path, or need to change the direction
    1. See above.

    2. Recall is an Android app which enables web-browser access to the files on your phone. You can transfer files to your PC, send big files to family devices on the local network, or share select files with others with a link. All without uploading to the cloud, 100% privately. It's an alternative to a combination of AirDroid, ShareIt and Dropbox. More here: https://recall.im

    1. 2

      Interesting concept!

      While you headline describes what it is (and can read more than a bit scary for folks worried about privacy), it doesn't convey the benefits.

      And rarely do I suggest this, but I think you're landing page could benefit from a 3 or 4-step "How it works". And in one of those steps, emphasize strongly the encryption bits.

      All in, though, well played! 🎖🎖🎖Launching an MVP is no small feat!🎖🎖🎖

      Any feedback from BetaList and BetaPage? What are your other plans for feedback?

      1. 1

        Thank you for taking a look. I agree with the benefits part. The project enables a lot of use cases, even within 'web access to files' part, which itself is just one use case of the file server. I'm still figuring out the initial positioning and best initial use case that some people would love.

        How it works part is a good idea, thank you!

        BetaList and BetaPage will approve my app in a month or two, so no feedback yet. Got some from IH, HN and Reddit. As I said, some people kinda like it. i need people to love it, so my current feeling is I have to keep iterating on the product and positioning.

        Thank you!

  6. 2

    How did you fare last week?

    ✅ Scheduled a couple of new Q&As with experts. We've now got events planned on idea validation (this Wednesday!), scaling your company abroad, funding (by a well-known VC) and many more. I think this will be an awesome start of a lot of super valuable and info-packed events.

    ✅ Now got 18 paying members of Enter Network, which is a solid start. We really need to ramp up marketing/sales though, to be able to increase that number tenfold.

    ❌ I was ill last week, so it wasn't nearly as productive as I had hoped. Unfortunately, this was out of my hands.

    What am I working on this week, and what are my goals?

    1. I'm interviewing a couple of internship candidates this week, and hope I can find 1 or 2 good candidates who can help me boost Enter Network's marketing efforts.

    2. This week I'm starting a new mastermind group, called Thinking Big! We have 4-5 entrepreneurs joining in a 3-month trial, which should be a great start.

    3. I plan to do more marketing for Enter Network, and the goal is to bring in at least 6 new members on a 14-day trial.

    What's your goal for the month?

    The month is almost over, but I would be exceptionally happy once we have our first 25 paying members at Enter Network.

    1. 1

      What kind of events on Wednesday?

      1. 2

        Hey Davey, this Wednesday at 5pm GMT+1 we've invited a published author and teacher (Robert de Bruijn) to talk about:

        • How do you validate your ideas, and determine if an idea is the right one?
        • How do you contrast validating an idea with creating an MVP?
        • And how do you go about testing your assumptions?

        If you're interested, send me a DM or email and I'll send you an invite.

  7. 2

    How did you fare last week?
    Currently at 42 beta testers for Vimarun. Even got some feedback saying that the users are basically loving it.
    Last week I got a bug report for Vimalin by a new user so I fixed the issue and released a new version of Vimalin on Friday with a few more improvements.

    On Friday night i was roaming the VMware forums and bumped into a post from the Workstation product manager. It said that the removed Workstation feature I was building Vimarun for has returned in the update they released on Thursday.
    Turns out that it is a short term solution for the people who complained, as in that the feature is still expected to be removed in the next major update.
    I'm really happy for the users that they have this feature back, but it also means that my profit for Vimarun will be marginalized and that last month's work was basically another month "working for free".
    At least for now.

    From my point of view my product is still different enough to warrant continuing release and today I finished the last bits of getting it ready for release.
    However as it is now I do not expect it will generate more than $100 for the next year... (happy to be wrong about that, but it will be a relatively cheap product anyways)

    What's on deck for this week?
    Write help for Vimarun, extend the website, offer customers the ability to buy a license.

    Goal for the month?
    Release vimarun so I that can get back to Vimalin.

    End of Year goal
    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

      Little bit of a rollercoaster on Vimarun then, I wonder why they removed and decided to re-add the feature?

      1. 2

        The product manager did let me in on that, but it is not something I can share. Let's just say that they had some extra motivation to have the feature return for a bit.

        Still getting daily requests from people to get added to the beta, so perhaps it all doesn't matter much. We'll see how it all works out.

    2. 1

      42 beta testers! That's brilliant! Congratulations!

      Pretty interesting that VMware is opting for the countdown approach. Since they want to purge the feature Vimarun now provides, any chance they could pitch you as the official replacement?

      1. 1

        Maybe in time once the tool has matured a bit. That's the good news about all that, I get more time for working on additional features.

        Just as a fyi, vimarun was released, even sold it a few times.

        Will do a proper write up tomorrow (or at least later this week).

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