1. 8

Last week’s thread: https://barnacl.es/s/jcbex6/what_did_you_accomplish_this_week

This is a place to share what you accomplished this week for your business. Feel free to brag a little, and don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice!


  2. 4

    Shoot. Is it friday again? almost nothing. I now have an index page for all of my galleries. I post-processed 1 galleries worth of photos. I thought a lot about business models, but I don’t have any answers. It does look like I’m starting something new though (lifestyle, service oriented) /w a friend of mine: I’ll keep you updated as it shakes out.

    1. 3

      I’ve been building a chat/IM-inspired comments system + API for blogs. I use Jekyll a lot now which is a static site generator so any solution has to work without a backend (so no WordPress plugins, etc.) Today I finally got two-way working on my test page (can see messages and can post a new messages) which is a big step forward! :)

      (Q: why not use Disqus? A: because I hate Disqus. Next question… 😜)

      1. 2

        Sounds like you’re scratching your own itch, a nice start. Do you have a unique selling proposition, something that will really differentiate your system from the competitors?

        Also, if it hasn’t yet, easyXDM is going to save you a week or two of tearing out chunks of your hair.

        1. 2

          lol. So…. you’re facebook comments /wo the facebook? j/k. I’ve been looking at non-disqus systems. Do you have a website yet? How do you deal with Spam? Do you gravatar? Are you a jekyll plugin or are you drop in javascript (ie: are you github pages compatible?)

          1. 1

            I made a comment system for Jekyll, take a look to it you may like it (https://github.com/llyt/Komdroid).

            Answering your questions:

            Do you have a website yet?

            No. It’s a niche so no need to do IMO.

            How do you deal with Spam?

            I only lately started getting spam… I may add some captcha or something later… However there’s an option to share comments only after you review them. Which is what I use.

            Do you gravatar?

            Yes. Also the email hash using Jekyll can be useful on other things, like number of comments, first comment date… You can even make user profiles using it.

            Are you a jekyll plugin or are you drop in javascript (ie: are you github pages compatible?)

            It’s a Node.js app you host yourself. It doesn’t need JavaScript. And yes it’s compatible with GitHub pages.

            Read more and see a live example here: http://mounir.im/the-comments-system-jekyll-deserve/.

            1. 1

              Interesting Solution! Not what I expected. Cool Stuff.

              EDIT: looks like you are not the O.P. It’s a little uncool to comment jack /w your own project. However I appreciate the link.

              1. 1

                I wanted to start my comment with “I’m not OP but…”, then was like “how the hell he wouldn’t notice…”. Wasn’t intended to deceive you or something.

            2. 1

              Hey there - I’m the OP. :) I don’t have a website yet…very early stages and will be rolling out initially on my own blog to test things out for a while. Spam/gravatar – I’m starting out only supporting login via social signin (Facebook and Twitter), which will help to a certain extent though it’s no magic bullet. Right now it’s dependent on a Jekyll plugin because I’m writing front-end code in Opal (Ruby-to-Javascript compiler), but that part can be abstracted out into a drop-in Javascript file down the road so no plugin necessary. There’s a lot of UX stuff I want to experiment with and hopefully innovate as I go, so launching it on my own site with real-world users is my primary objective at present. Thanks for the questions!

            3. 2

              There was a great thread on HN this week where someone abstracted their AWS Lambda commenting system: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=11644042.

              We’ve been using Lambda to do async image processing and it’s such a great service—totally makes sense as a static commenting technology also.

            4. 3

              finalized everything so that I can start offering .vc domains on park.io

              1. 1

                .ac ? or did you have those before?

                1. 1

                  park.io has had .ac for several months now, but .vc will be new. Also adding .gg and .je soon

              2. 2

                1) switched from exolymph.com –> exolymph.news

                2) got https set up on exolymph.news

                3) installed WooCommerce, set up a Stripe sub-account, etc

                4) asked for my audience’s feedback on a recent idea: https://exolymph.news/2016/05/05/uncertainty-risk-trying-make-money/

                1. 1

                  Curious: Why the domain switch? seems largely irrelevant. I think you’re going to have a hard time getting people to pay for a subscription to your newsletter (Newspapers, for instance, have not proven the model). Seems to me that selling merch that appeals to your base (aka the online comic model) seems the way to go. T-shirts that say “F*ck Trump” and “If you can read this the NSA has cloned you” and whatnot (I actually have no idea what your audience is and if i’ve just insulted you I’m sorry, I was trying to give meaningful examples to drive the point home). Keep producing meaningful content, promote it as far and wide as possible, and use it as a funnel to drive traffic to your online store that sells niche products that appeals to your base.

                  1. 1

                    The domain switch was mostly aesthetic. As for selling subscriptions – I’m not sure. It’s worked out for a couple of people I know of, e.g. Ben Thompson of Stratechery. I’m considering merch too, but I’m not sure that would be high-margin enough.

                2. 2

                  Sadly, very little. I did finish some of the stuff I mentioned before about Stripe, especially in terms of getting integrated into our app using Stripe.js and setting up subscription support. But I’d hoped to finish the pricing page on the “create environment” wizard, and finish the end-to-end workflow of “register, create environment, load data, train model, make predictions”, but other outside priorities interrupted me. But I do expect to get a lot done this coming week, so hopefully that will make up for this last week basically being a dud.

                  1. 2

                    Working on a informational site which picks up details about android app like frameworks, services and libraries. It particularly attempts to answer the question, How did you build this app?

                    I have been able to create framework for unwrapping apk and picking set of classes used. I am currently creating corpus linking class names to services or library urls.

                    1. 2

                      Officially zip on my personal projects!

                      I was able to fit in quite a bit of reading about market research, but was not able to apply any of it due to lack of time. Hopefully the weekend will be kind to me

                      1. 2

                        We’ve increased all our sign-ups / beta-testers metrics from last week 75/25 -> 134/34 (we’re a bit behind on beta-testers because we had a huge influx of sign ups on Thur and Friday, so we’re still in email conversations).

                        Speaking of influx of sign-ups, LinkedIn has been our best free distribution channel by a wide margin. Our service is catered toward professional architects/firms so I guess it should have been obvious that LinkedIn would beat other channels, but we weren’t sure. If you have a tool that could reach marketers, heads of engineering, etc definitely participate in LinkedIn groups a few months before you launch. It’s also interesting to note that there’s a delay between when you post and when you get traffic since most people don’t actively hang out in the group BUT they do get monthly or weekly digest emails directly in their inbox.

                        One other accomplishment of note: During the two week marketing run, we’ve had two Architecture firms interested in a custom websites. One is looking to pay $8k for a non-exclusive template created in the very near future (essentially being paid beta-tester #1). Second is looking for a fully custom Rails app on the order of $30-35k, which we’re debating internally if that would be a distraction or a learning opportunity (there’s a bunch of feature requests that we won’t add to our product).

                        1. 2

                          I deployed a web app I was working on for some time, shared it with friends (alpha testers :P), a bug showed up out of nowhere and had no idea where it comes from. The bug make the app unusable and waste resources so I have to shutdown my website until I fix it.

                          1. 1

                            Ouch! That’s one of the nastiest kinds of bug to have. Good luck getting it back up and running!

                          2. 2

                            Hey guys, first comment here so ummm… hi :)

                            Thought I’d start off here by bragging a little .

                            This week: Created a “Getting Started PDF” I’ll be sending to any new lead/opportunity. I’ve used this strategy in my freelance consulting business to a great success. Makes sense to use in for the agency. Completed the website copy, launched our framework page (key to our sales process). And wrote the first draft of our onboarding email sequence. I need to revise it and then, set the whole automation.

                            Looking back at the list now, it doesn’t sound like much. Then again, I’m building the startup while still running the consultancy full-time and I guess I should be happy I got all this done :)

                            1. 2

                              Made a list of podcasts to reach out for promoting my book and I’m laboring my way through writing the pitch email now.

                              Had the first round of weekly one-on-one mentorship meetings with junior developers, those are every Monday. I find it super-rewarding and I’m taking heavy notes towards what’s probably an online course for junior developers in their first year of work. I think promotion for it is probably going to be blog posts about how to find that first dev job - two of the jr devs were back on the market within three months due to unstable companies, so I’m seeing a lot of that process.

                              At the day job I got the current client on an even keel - this consulting project started off with poor communication on both sides, so it was a drain on my attention.

                              Also, and to draw attention to it, I made what feels like my first substantive moderation action here.

                              1. 2

                                Replying here because the original thread is dead. I meant no offense to Amy, and I’m sure her content is produced with the best of intentions. Her success with her own ventures speaks for itself and by all means she can market her personal experience and advice as she see’s fit. I was simply trying to point out an underlying tend that I found disturbing. In any case, content that is only available behind a paywall (of whatever form) is probably not appropriate for barnacles and I think you made the right call.

                                1. 2

                                  I think you’re dead right about the trend, and it is super-hard to tell what’s produced with good intentions vs. exploitative ones. I wouldn’t be surprised or annoyed if my endorsement carried little to no weight and you are still skeptical of Amy Hoy, because the overwhelming majority of products that claim to teach how to start a business are scammy garbage. And just because I like hers doesn’t mean I want its lead-gen funnel/sales page on the site.

                                  I think, as it grows, Barnacles is going to have to address a lot of gray area around marketing products and services directly to users of the site.

                                2. 1

                                  Oops, I just re-submitted the link to the thing you removed without knowing it had already come and gone. My bad.

                                  1. 1

                                    No worries, I merged them. Actually, you shouldn’t have been able to - the code that prevents stories from being reposted within 30 days should’ve prevented it. I’ll look into it.