Thursday, 5 August 2010

Week 1: Go!

So, here we are; a company. At least, we will be when we get our certificates of incorporation, but every day it feels as if "the company" becomes more real, more tangible than the day before.

Our sales strategy is to get a trial product ready for 1st November 2010. That's just three months from now, and we started officially on Monday.   Of course, it's not like a development cycle at Pure360. There we would be starting fresh every few months.  Here we have an accumulated history or thinking, waiting and planning. For me it's a few months, for Mike you can count it in years. So are we ready? Hell yes.

Three months to develop a brand new software product and not a bad start this week.  We've signed off a project scope, and I've decided to try something different with the specification process; we're creating a "functional workflow". I'm not sure I'm using the right phrase, but we've worked out what data is needed at what points without thinking about the user experience. This'll form the "restrictions" for when we design the user experience. I'm hoping that by doing it this way, we'll catch more functional issues so we don't get so many re-designs later in the development. It's a hunch, but I don't believe in blindly following someone else's system.

The advantage of having developed software for so long is that I know if my development team has the right skills. Our team was light on user experience knowledge and interface development skills. Roger and I can ace the rest, but get to building an interface and we don't shine. We went looking and were lucky enough to find the right man for the job.  He's a user experience don, an interface whizz, and just the right amount of crazy to want to help us in his spare time. We'll have more on him in the future.

It's easy to think that all we have to do is write software, but I'd say it's like we're juggling with one hand but we're also trying to catch balls with the other; there's companies house, setting up a bank, investigating payment systems, getting a logo, sales and cost forecasting, not to mention that little thing called sales. For us, it was a simple choice; Mike is the company, Roger and I are the tech. Mike has beavered away in the time he has available and we're making good progress in catching those balls (note to self, avoid "balls" analogies).

Last thing, we've decided to get an office for the period of the trial development (and probably beyond). We think the investment will pay back in improved efficiency. I think that as a collective that'll probably hold true. Thanks to twitter, we hooked up with the lovely people @CECBrighton and hopefully we can sort something out with them pretty soon. If we do, then expect a 'moving in' pic next week.

Excitement levels: We can do this.

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