May 2 – Plan: Stitch 'er up, I'm done!

Today

Yesterday was surgery, I took the codebase around the chat room requesting apart and cut out a lot of crappy code.  In the last week I have replaced lots of old tech and upgraded many of the gems that are the foundation of ServiceChat (especially mongoid, Rails and Tweetstream) and refactored all the supporting apps (Tron and Blabby).

That is a lot to happen to a codebase and now it is time to heal and get some feedback.  Healing for me is  about taking out spurious code, some minor refactoring etc.  With tests passing and all good functionally, I need to tidy up, remove debug comments and the like.

The main goal today is to get the end to end with pre-approved hosts being able to request chats. All the pieces are there and the tie up should not be too cumbersome.

Looking forward to releasing this beast into the wild.

I will also continue my marketing exploration  (in my in-between time) of paid advertising on Linked (I have a voucher that expires tomorrow, I don’t want that option to expire!).

 

May 1 – Retro : Pulled a Train

By: Kecko

Check In

  • I’m sad I got mad with Katharine, it was a silly trivial thing that didn’t need to happen.
  • Glad that we talked about it and made good.
  • Glad that the surge of effort (I worked pretty late) to crack the twitter request functions of ServiceChat was successful
  • Glad I decided to use sferik’s twitter gem as readymade classes, saved me a whole lot of hair pulling!

I’m tired but content. I’m In. 

Achievements Since Last Retro

  • Completed major refactor of chat provisioning from twitter

How The Trello Board Now Looks

I Learned…

  • My plan for was hugely over-ambitious.
  • Capistrano can be a muthafucka!

I Loved…

Riding the wave of options that emerged by using the Twitter gem, working with (rather than against) the design that emerged was a total delight.

I’m Grateful For…

The open source community – I’m hugely proud of this community that I am a small part of, the sharing of ideas and the acceptance of each other’s abilities (or lack thereof).

May 1 – Plan : Full of Promise.

Trello after planning on 01/May

Today

The main push today is to get ServiceChat hosts being able to request from Twitter. This is currently the biggest differentiator from other products out there.  It is the simplest, fastest and most unobtrusive mechanism I have seen.   it just works (well at least it did in ChittyChat!).

I’m going to start by running all the tests and making them pass, then comes the tricky bit.

ServiceChat has a modified model (based on billable customers and approved hosts) and this needs to be injected into the design. So I’ll have to write tests for them too.

But!!   Today is the first day in a 3-day fiesta in Pinos del Valle and I’m taking an extended lunch to participate in the diversiónes!

 

April 30 – Retro : Beautiful Things Unfolding!

Copyright 2013 – Brianna Sutton

Check In

  • I’m glad that my cold and fatigue are conquered for now.
  • Glad that I stuck to my schedule and worked sustainably
  • Glad I did 80 pushups across all 4 of my ten-minute breaks!
  • I’m mad that I am still discovering more things to be done.
  • Glad that there are more things to be done
  • Afraid/Excited to learn new things

I’m in. 

Achievements Since Last Retro

  • Closed ChittyChat for revamp.  This was non-trivial – had to write some new tech to do it graceful (and another product idea emerged!)
  • Sent off invitations to prospective ServiceChat customers to a chat to validate my pricing (what would they pay for a service that delivered the outcomes that ServiceChat tries to deliver?)
  • Drafted my network outreach email.

How The Trello Board Now Looks

Trello at close of 30/April/2013

I Learned…

  • I can’t do it all, but I should at least be able, and prepared, to do anything required in my business.
  • Help can come from the unlikeliest of sources.
  • I may not be the best coder, but I ain’t so bad at finding solutions to stuff.

I Loved…

Chatting with my friend Amit (who is doing some awesome writing for  ServiceChat) and  is also an amazing SEO , internet marketing guy. We came up with some interesting experiments to amplify the value of any content we produce. Very excited.

I’m Grateful For…

My  first daughter, Brianna , celebrating her 16th birthday. She is such a beautiful person who is overcoming so much. I feel deeply inspired by her.

April 24: Much Done, Much To Do

By: devra

Check In

  • I’m glad that just as I began to slip back into disorganisation I recovered with some planning and regained focus.
  • I’m glad that so many people thing ServiceChat is a great idea (except they don’t have to pay for it)
  • I’m sad the all these people don’t have to pay for it (if they did – we’d be in business!)
  • I’m glad that I achieved a tremendous amount today
  • I’m mad that I didn’t get to do any language study
  • I’m glad that I’m now in flow.

I’m in. 

Achievements Since Last Retro

Screenshot_25_04_2013_00_58

Most notably:

  • The ServiceChat site is up, serving the content (blogs and static info)
  • The ServiceChat App site is also up, serving the chatrooms and account management
  • Both work seamlessly with each other! (BTW both are password protected for beta purposes, shout me if you want a peek)
  • Mapped out my marketing strategyMarketing Strategy Map
  • Mapped out my game plan for the next few months (with lots of flexibility – who knows what options may emerge)
  • Complete 40 push ups and 40 squats in the 2 of 3 ten minute breaks I took today.
  • Updated my Business Model Canvas again (2nd time in a week!!)

I Learned…

  • That marketing is a skill that anyone can do, but it requires thinking very differently.
  • I don’t need anyones permission to pursue my dreams (I really needed to be reminded of this today!)

I Loved…

The buzz.

I’m Grateful For…

Having the skills to turn most of my vision into a reality.

Next Desired Outcomes

  1. In-chat invite functionality ported to ServiceChat
  2. Validate my pricing with a customer.
  3. Caught up on my language study.

April 23: Scary Challenges

Check In

I’m glad that just after my entry yesterday, I was able to knuckle down (aided by some wine) and fix my issues.
I’m sad that, as a result,  I went to bed pretty early in the morning and so today was tiring.
I’m glad that I spent time with my wife, having coffee and catching up in the sunshine.
I’m excited that my WordPress blog site for ServiceChat is almost completely styled and ready for beta soon.
I’m excited at the options that emerged to run ServiceChat app with its blog – making life much easier for me.
I’m glad I pushed myself to exercise even though it was pretty late.
I’m afraid about the challenges that lie ahead and whether I will get through them.
I’m glad that right now I feel I can.

I’m in. 

Achievements Since Last Retro

  • ServiceChat chat is completed and ready to rock!
  • Blab.by – the pub/sub platform I wrote for ServiceChat is completely refactored. and is more robust, stable and faster!

I Learned…

  1. How to optimise WordPress and a whole heap of DevOps know how.
  2. People are a bundle of stories and it is always worth it to have the conversation.

I Loved…

  • Stopping for 45 minutes to have a long conversation with a stranger on the street, helping them feel better and helping myself make a new friend.
  • Trying to help a friend with some empathy and thinking round a personal challenge.

I’m Grateful For…

Broadband , which spelt forwards spells ‘FREEDOM’

Next Desired Outcomes

  1. In-chat invite functionality ported to ServiceChat
  2. Basic info pages sketched out
  3. Two hours of language study (I think it’s going to be a 6am start)

April 22: Frustrations Galore

 

Check In

I’m mad that I’ve spent most of today on two of the functional bits that should just work but don’t. With really important customer discovery effectively paused until I can get the ServiceChat beta site up, I’m seething that something I can’t identify is toying with me. Arrgghh – frustrating!
I’m glad that I’m physically feeling pretty great.
I’m excited at the blog posts that are being worked on by my buddy Amit Jaspal.

I’m in. Big time.

Achievements Since Last Retro

Still breathing.
Refactored my chat server to be cleaner and faster.

I Learned…

  1. Knowledge is not the pure domain of the experts.
  2. It’s ok to build something because you have a need (better if you can validate that others have similar need and willing to pay for it)

I Loved…

Every moment of today, even the mad bits.

I’m Grateful For…

My sons – who remind me that life is not startups and tech.

Next Desired Outcomes

  1. The rebranding completed
  2. Customer research started.
  3. Catching up with my adviser(s) this week.

April 19 : Leaps and Bounds!

 

Check In

I’m glad that I only worked a half day today, I got to spend the afternoon with my sons.
I’m glad  that I was inspired to steal, with permission, Olaf’s template that he was inspired to make by reading this blog (everything is connected!) – Please let me know what you think of the format.
I’m mad that I had intermittent network issues with my broadband.  If I only lived 200 meters closer to the exchange!
I’m sad that the week has come to an end, I feel like I could just make and make and make.
I’m glad my wife went to the Alhambra palace with her Mama – I think when we get bigger with children of our own we neglect experience-making with our own parents.
I’m sad about the bombing in Boston – it is an unnecessary was of lives
I’m mad that the first instinct of the media is to try and paint the perpetrators as muslim and stoke the flames of intolerance.

I’m in.

Achievements Since Last Retro

  1. I reviewed my business model canvas (I use BMFiddle.com – it is really awesome)
  2. I hired someone to work on a wordpress site for the ServiceChat blog to make it look seamlessly with the rebranding – he should be done by Monday
  3. The chat page of the rebranding is further ahead than I expected , though still not complete
  4. I got the first public not-self-initiated contact about ServiceChat today.
  5. Getting feedback from trying to deploy a beta version of ServiceChat. Lots broken in deploy, but better to know now.

I Learned…

  1. The spanish word for pig sty – ‘Pocilga’ (don’t ask me why I learned this)
  2. My business model canvas is indispensable as a coherent memory of the assumptions I made waaay back.
  3. My business mode canvas is only as good as the information I take the time to put into it.

I Loved…

  1. Watching my HootSuite research dashboard of the 4 companies I’m searching, wow – what a stream of pain.

I’m Grateful For…

Spotify. I am having so much fun singing, dancing and discovering new music during my working day.

Next Desired Outcomes

  1. The Chat screen completely restyled and working responsively on common handsets and browsers.
  2. Blog titles and synopses written up and ready for discussion with my collaborator on Sunday

18-April-2013: Habits are forming!

Check In

I’m glad that today (day 3 ) of this new way of doing my thing, is the first day that it all pretty much worked.
I’m delighted that I have never been happier.
I’m glad I took time to sketch out the skins, made things go a lot faster and smoother.
I’m sad that my friend had a really hard time last year (lost his Mama – and now he is an orphan) and I knew nothing about it.
I’m glad I took my breaks at the timer
I’m very glad that I was able to do 60 pushups and 30 squats during my 10 minute breaks.
I’m mad I didn’t review my business model canvas as I had expected.

I’m so in.

Desired Outcomes For Today

Two days of toil and I recognise the truth that my rebranding is not a 2-day job. I am at peace with that and very happy with the results so far.
Therefore I am revising my outcomes. I expect to still be working on rebranding ServiceChat – specifically skinning the chat screens to make them responsive and to pare them down to the basics (ChittyChat has some bits I actually don’t want in the MVP for ServiceChat).

3 Things I Learned

  1. Progress is slow when I am learning how to do the work and doing the work. I must think about this, identify when this is the case and manage my expectations accordingly.
  2. My gut is very wise – it knows what I need
  3. Design takes time and thought (all kinds of design!)

3 Things I Will Improve On Before The Next Retro

  1. Reading a customer service oriented blog
  2. Getting out of bed on the first alarm.
  3. Get to bed before midnight (might help with above 😉

Something I’m Grateful For

That, inspite of myself, I am able to learn new things and that I’m loving the process of learning. Awesome!

Outcomes For Tomorrow

  1. The Chat screen completely restyled and working responsively on common handsets and browsers.

17-April-2013: Sloooow!

Check In

I’m frustrated that everything I tried to do today took longer than I thought it would.
I’m glad I stopped to consider why and what I could do about it.
I’m mad that I needed to continue my task to research customers (this shit is important!!! and urgent) and I was not able to.
I’m glad I decided to use a template instead of handcrafting the ServiceChat temporary skin – it made the day less sloow!
I’m afraid that it is Thursday tomorrow.
I’m frustrated that I can be let down by tech (my network) and entire hours can be swallowed up trying to solve it
I’m glad that I can see an end to the re-skinning task tomorrow and I should get an opportunity to get on the Customer Discovery work.
I’m glad that I had almost no distractions (just pain!)

I’m in.

Desired Outcomes For Today

From my high of yesterday I had to reach my outcome of ServiceChat having its own visible identity and completing the work I needed to have at least 2 potential customers researched.

I’m farther along, just not as far as my outcomes. Progress is progress – as they say in Spain  “poco a poco”.

3 Things I Learned

  1. Sometimes I need to step back as a developer and look at what solution is required – I don’t have to build everything.
  2. Sometimes the people I pay to do things can do them better than me.
  3. Sometimes I really am the best person to do the thing I hired someone else to do.

3 Things I Will Improve On Before The Next Retro

  1. Sketching/wireframe out what I want the new ServiceChat UI to look like (so I don’t overly experiment when I code)
  2. Taking my break when the timer goes off.
  3. Update my neglected Business Model Canvas!

Something I’m Grateful For

The huge list of stuff that I have done in my life. Skills that I cannot consciously recollect have been internalised in me and they crop up when I need them the most. I just know how to do certain things. Awesome!

Outcomes For Tomorrow

  1. Continue to reach my original outcomes ( a rebranded  ServiceChat app that does atleast as much as ChittyChat does AND have at least 2 customers researched)
  2. An updated business model canvas that reflects what I have learnt since I last updated it 3 weeks ago.