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This newsletter is an experiment of sorts: Paul and I email each other weekly, with you lovely people bcc’d. Please hit reply if you’d like to talk to me about anything I cover below.


Hey Paul,

Well, if you were tired last week, then I’m feeling frazzled this week. Not in a bad way, but there seems to be lots going on… maybe breaking it down will help…

So we moved away from running our projects in Basecamp and jumped into Asana with both feet. As with any tool there’s the good and the bad, but in general I’m feeling really positive about it. The team seem to be embracing it too which is great to see. Asana has forced us to focus on projects and tasks more than we were before and that is a big plus. But I suppose herein lies the first problem… we have an awful lot going on. That’s not to say I wasn’t aware of it before but having it presented to you as a long list of todos feels fairly daunting. I’m currently looking at 15 overdue tasks, most of which are at least a couple of days work. Still, the first step is to be aware of them, and now we just need to better manage our estimations and expectations.

Next is something you touched on last week. You mentioned being back in the codebase, something we’ve both made a conscious effort to avoid for a good six months or so in order to work on the business not in the business. The idea behind this was to be able to focus on bigger picture things… sales, marketing, partnerships and (most importantly for me) processes. As we’re planning to hire it’s vital we have a company where the day-to-day is calm, managed and safe for our existing team and anyone new coming in. We agreed that the product team would work in six-week sprints and we prioritised a lot of behind the scenes work since the user-facing features and functions were still a bit fuzzy and hard to define up front.

Hindsight, etc. but maybe we did that too soon and we needed to keep iterating on what we had. Or maybe not. I was chatting to Kim yesterday and questioned whether we were right to change our focus back then while Vito was so young. She 100% believes we were. While we were in the weeds everything else was being neglected. But now we’re back in the code there are more todos, more calls to talk through implementation details, more Stackoverflowing (just me?)… and, of course, less time to work on the company-level things. A lot of this would be eased by hiring, but we’ve agreed that the processes and policies need to come first and I stand by that. 

With all that said, I’m excited by what we’ve been working on. Vito has SO much potential and I think we just need a few more weeks to shunt things forward to a place where the product reflects what we have in our heads. It feels tantalisingly close.

So, yeah, frazzled but in a good way. We have momentum and we’re getting some great feedback from folks. As you said last week, we just need to grind it out a little longer...

Thanks for listening, I’ll see you at our weekly Office Hours stream tomorrow (4pm Irish time). Hopefully my camera behaves itself this time...

— Doc

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