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Last weeks thread: https://barnacl.es/s/49nl3m/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!

Lets keep it going people! This week: Even if you didn’t get much done, share the problem (either business related or technical) that you are currently trying to tackle.

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    Been a bit behind posting here, but wanted to update the community with recent progress (Working on Monograph — a website builder for architects).

    We had an architecture firm who was eager to get their website live and chose to “fund” the dev work for the Avant template (also the most popular template based on our mailing list!). It’s been great so far having direct feedback from a paying customer which forced us to restructure our database abstractions to allow for a bit more flexibility. Hoping to have this first template out and testing with 20-ish beta customers by the end of June.

    Also this week a close friend recently won a prestigious architecture prize and he offered to tie some it’s publicity to Monograph, so we’re also working on finishing Mezzanine (a simpler portfolio template) by weeks end.

    On the softer side of things, we’ve been working on branding and messaging by writing our “About” page. We’ve struggled a bit with people asking “How are you different from Squarespace?” but we do have strong stance and opinion on why we’re different. We’re working together to find the best articulation of that vision.

    Lastly on the technical side, we resolved a majority of our database schema, built 80% of the React components for the website builder, and figured out how to use customer domains on Heroku. This weekend the production app had it’s first deploy and it’s starting to feel alive!

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      Launched cafemicro.com today with an associated Facebook page and $30 of Facebook ads. It’s a week late but better late than never I guess. Now I get to learn all about marketing…

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        This week I’ve been battling the big questions: how to make money. I know the answers: “b2b, business problem, something with the opportunity for recurring revenue”, but I don’t yet have path to get there. Maybe I should stop philosophizing, but then again, without a plan how can I hope to get anywhere.

        My muses this week: NomadList, baremetrics. Nomadlist took information that people wanted and built a community around it. Baremetrics took a popular product (Stripe) and provided an easy to use “analtyics” layer that generated meaningful insight from raw data.

        I’ve toyed with the idea of building a community like NomadList, but the key was that it started out as a google-docs list that people loved and couldn’t get enough of. Baremetrics, on the other hand, presents a straight-forward solution to a highly common problem, but is fundamentally enabled by the fact that there is an existing highly popular incumbent with a flexible API that his business is built on. This is not true for some of the other industries I’ve looked at: Photographers and Restaurants.

        I recently discovered https://www.stickyalbums.com/, which (AFAICT from the marketing material), is simply a per-customer personalized web-app for photo-albums utilizing (I presume) the mobile browser’s built in “add to homescreen” functionality. (Un)fortunately, this is a perfect application for the side-project i’ve been working on (custom photo gallery). However, it feels wrong to outright duplicate the business model.

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          I made a lot of progress on some backend work for https://neuralobjects.com that I was working on. I had been briefly held up by some issues getting JPA working in an OSGI environment (we use ServiceMix as the container for our backend services), as my first stab at this was based on Spring Data JPA, and Pivotal no longer package the Spring jars as OSGI bundles… and I ran into dependency hell trying to get it all to work.

          Then, I realized that I really don’t need Spring Data for this, and since Hibernate ships with OSGI support, I switched it all out to use Hibernate directly and got that working. Now I have to finish defining some domain classes, and plug that code into my provisioning service so that it updates the database in response to provisioning operations.

          next step: wire that up to a progress indicator in the web interface, and set up something to send an email, xmpp message, etc. when the provisioning of a new environment is complete.