Interweave Progress Reports #BuildInPublic
Interweave Progress Reports #BuildInPublic
I recently came across the #BuildInPublic "movement" when Noah Bragg mentioned he'd be doing that for his new startup Potion (that's what this site is published with). After mulling it over for a couple months I decided to give it a try. I'll be posting deeper thoughts here, but the main reports will be on twitter.
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Week 12 - March 28, 2021

Not a lot of time spent on Interweave this week, BUT, lots of velocity created, I've really hit my stride again. I decided to return to a format like I used when I first started. Bit sized updates FTW, if I have a bigger insight I'll write a paragraph or two, but that'll be the exception.
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Weekly Project Progress Stats
  • πŸ—“ Days Worked: 3 (πŸ”» -2) β€” Fewest days yet!
  • ⏱ Hours Worked: 5.37 hours (πŸ”»πŸ”» 6.15 hours)
  • πŸ’» Commits: 14 (πŸ”» 7)
  • πŸ“ Words Written: 0 (- 0)
  • 🐦 Tweets: 15 (πŸ”» 8)
  • 🐦 Followers: 255 (πŸ”Ί 4)
  • πŸ“§ Early Access Subscribers: 33 (πŸ”Ί 3)
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Maker
  • πŸŽ‰ Finished the data model, API, and interface refactor! This feels huge even though I'm only back to where I was at.
  • πŸ’― Moved to use React Query for API calls and state management. It's awesome.
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Manager
  • πŸ™‰ I interviewed an early stage founder to see if Interweave might be a fit, too early to say.
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Lessons Learned
  • πŸ”» Don't be discouraged by the drop-off in stats, I'm at the point where I need product progress.
  • ✍🏼 That said, I really should be publishing SOMETHING weekly.
  • πŸ€ͺ Can I have it both ways?
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Next Week
  • Wrap up Insight creation for Interviews β€Ό
  • Start and share a short essay (probably on JtbD) πŸ“

Week 11 - March 21, 2021

Still playing around with progress report formats, what do you think of this format? Let me know.
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I'm past the major DynamoDB road blocks!
πŸš€ You can tell the barriers I was running into with AWS have been knocked down simply by looking at my stats this week. 21 commits! You can also tell where my focus has been, no writing, and not much community engagement has led to slow awareness growth. I'm honestly okay with that for the moment. Product progress is finally zooming along and that makes me happy.
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Multi-tenant serverless SaaS is easier and harder than server bound
There are things in serverless-land that are easier to do than rolling your own. Things like authenticating a user (so fast with Amplify and Cognito!) having awesome redundancy (built in!) and so much more.
But once you steer into areas that are off the beaten path. Watch out.
One of those is a multi-tenant SaaS that has multiple users per tenant. Why is it hard? Because 99.99999% of examples out there assume 1 account per customer.
I'll be sharing what I'm doing on this front as a writeup for others in the future. I've found some good resources, but quite a few are dated, or worse either dive deep and narrow on one part of the problem, or go shallow and wide and don't give you actionable content.
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Your network has help, but only if you ask
Someone in my mastermind group was able to connect me with an AWS expert who has kindly offered to review my plans for multi-tenancy. I really don't want to waste my cycles on dead ends in AWS anymore.
I reached out to a few people I know who I thought might be able to connect me to someone. I don't mind paying for help, but finding help has been an issue for the small review task I'm looking for. I could have used Upwork, but I wanted to see if my network could help first. And it did.
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More customer discovery
I'm prepping to do a round of discovery research over the next couple of weeks. Why? I want to revisit some assumptions I had from my research into Interweave in 2020. I'm planning to do Jason Cohen's email approach to find people I've never talked to. I'll also be reaching out to my early access list. I'm excited about this because I always learn a ton when interviewing customers. Yes I know they're not my customers... yet.
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Weekly Project Progress Stats
  • πŸ—“ Days Worked: 5 (- 0)
  • ⏱ Hours Worked: 11.52 hours (πŸ”Ί 0.1 hours)
  • πŸ’» Commits: 21 (πŸ”ΊπŸ”Ί 18)
  • πŸ“ Words Written: 0 (- 0)
  • 🐦 Tweets: 23 (πŸ”Ί 11)
  • 🐦 Followers: 251 (πŸ”Ί 2)
  • πŸ“§ Early Access Subscribers: 30 (πŸ”Ί 2)
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Week 10 - March 15, 2021

πŸ₯Š Bryan: 1 - DynamoDB: 0
If DynamoDB was a game I'd be winning (finally). So long story short I've finally wrapped my head around DynamoDB, and while the going was slow, I think the benefits will outweigh the slow initial pace.
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Here's why...
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Having to think through what your data model entities are and the access patterns forces you up front to face assumptions and hand wavy "I'll build that later" thinking. No you don't have to build it all, but you do have to clearly think it all through. So in short you end up building a data model of your entire app.
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And this practice is why I love it. Because now I know the atomic units of Interweave. Something Matt Wensing has been talking a lot about on the Out of Beta podcast.
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So in short...
  • Because I spent time up front I know my atomic unit of Interweave early
  • This is what makes the app tick
  • Atomic units have to align to the users world view otherwise they won't get it
  • I now have something I can test for alignment with the users world view
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All before I've really written much. That's awesome.
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The rest of the week was just implementing that data model anew in AWS and redoing my API to match it. So onto the stats!
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Weekly Project Progress Stats
  • πŸ—“ Days Worked: 4 (πŸ”» 1)
  • ⏱ Hours Worked: 11.42 hours (πŸ”ΊπŸ”Ί 4.21 hours)
  • πŸ’» Commits: 3 (πŸ”Ί 3)
  • πŸ“ Words Written: 0 (πŸ”ΊπŸ”Ί -995)
  • 🐦 Tweets: 12 (πŸ”»πŸ”» 33)
  • 🐦 Followers: 249 (πŸ”Ί 5)
  • πŸ“§ Early Access Subscribers: 28 (πŸ”Ί 2)
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Week 9 β€” March 8, 2021

(Moving the checkins to Monday)
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I'm not really sure what to say here, other than I spent hours and hours attempting to grock DynamoDB. I think I won? You know how they say don't pick a new tech for a new project. This is why. That said I think my troubles are behind me and I can see now how single-table design is better.
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Skipping the normal progress report bits and just sharing movement on the Manager Front and stats today.
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  • Giving HyperFury a try out. Not sure what I think overall, but I sense I'm too early audience building for this.
  • I've been giving a tool called @gettheaudience a go for a bit. I like the premise of the app, it helps you identify key people in your audience.
    • I like this app because the premise is building an audience is about interacting with an audience, it's not a passive engagement, this helps you find them
  • I've spent a few cycles working on the Interweave site, no changes yet, but a big update is coming
  • And finally, started mapping out a big project, I guess this would be a lead magnet to use marketing terms. I'm excited about where this might go.
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πŸ‘†πŸ»When I look at it this way I don't feel like I only banged my head against new technology wall last week!
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Weekly Project Progress Stats
  • πŸ—“ Days Worked: 5 (πŸ”ΊπŸ”Ί 3)
  • ⏱ Hours Worked: 7.21 hours (πŸ”Ί 2.66 hours)
  • πŸ’» Commits: 0 (πŸ”» 0)
  • πŸ“ Words Written: 995 (πŸ”ΊπŸ”Ί 661)
  • 🐦 Tweets: 45 (πŸ”ΊπŸ”Ί 37)
  • 🐦 Followers: 244 (πŸ”ΊπŸ”Ί 11)
  • πŸ“§ Early Access Subscribers: 26 (πŸ”Ί 3)
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So I'm wrapping up this weeks post with stats, since pretty much all last week was no-code, just data model design, with a tad bit of writing. πŸ‘‹πŸ»
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PS: Next week == get get some commits in!

Week 8 β€” February 28, 2021

Managing energy is hard, especially when you're managing that energy for what's essentially #3 on life's priorities (family and the day job being 1 and 2 respectively). I don't hear many founders talk about this subject, but after 6 weeks of working nights and weekends things were catching up on me.
One thing that's been close to mind to many people this last year is stress needs releases. It's not healthy otherwise. Last week did wonders for my stress and energy levels, but one shot solutions are not a long term solution.
For me those releases come in working out (something I've been inhibited with due to a knee injury the last couple of weeks), getting outdoors (again knee and the cold of winter), and time for personal prayer and reflection. I've short shifted myself on the latter recently in the hurry of life and the two former ones have been harder to achieve (but that's getting better!)
Anyhow, I just wanted to share the above because I don't see people often speak to this. Yes, lots of talk about "the hustle" and all it's glory. πŸ™„ But not as much on the fact it takes a toll. You need to know how your energy is recharged to forge ahead.
I know I'm insanely blessed to have been able to take a week off. Many are not. But there are other ways and if you're reading this you might be working on that side hustle to get you to the position that you can. Find what recharges your batteries, and remember it's consistency over the long haul that pays off. The 🐒 > πŸ‡.
Speaking of tortoises, even though the last two weeks were very low output, notice the bricks I laid down previously are paying off with 3 new early access subscribers.
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This week's checkin will be brief, but next week I will back to the "normal scheduling".
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Weekly Project Progress Stats (since week 6):
  • πŸ—“ Days Worked: 2 (πŸ”»πŸ”» 3)
  • ⏱ Hours Worked: 4.55 hours (πŸ”Ί 0.37 hours)
  • πŸ’» Commits: 0 (πŸ”»πŸ”» 2)
  • πŸ“ Words Written: 344 (πŸ”»πŸ”» 910)
  • 🐦 Tweets: 8 (πŸ”»πŸ”» 46)
  • 🐦 Followers: 233 (πŸ”ΊπŸ”Ί 2)
  • πŸ“§ Early Access Subscribers: 23 (πŸ”Ί 3)

Week 7 β€” February 21, 2021

I relaxed, chilled, and enjoyed life. 1 of 3 missions accomplished. More next week.
notion image

Week 6 β€” February 14, 2021 ❀️

I'm calling this week the "Back to Basics" week. Code wise I didn't move the needle like I wanted to, BUT look at the good and the bad below. I think that's an okay trade-off. But I didn't finish off the Evidence Vault, close but not quite, just one last dumb bug.
That said I did get 2 out of 3 of my "Next Week" done. Feels good with shorter hours.
Also this week I focused big on audience building and I think it's showing (check out the stats). Love of words written, lots of engagement on Twitter (and now on Indie Hackers) and you can see the needle moving.
Finally, ❀️ Shout out to all the makers who have a loved one by their side. My wife is an all-star. She knows I need to make things and has always been patient and loving. I consider myself blessed that she's in my life.
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The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
Good: Hiring the contractor paid off big time. The code I needed is already done for my editor modification. Plus he did it way better than I would have done. Trading some πŸ’° for something I "could" do, but frankly I don't need to do is quite nice.
Bad: I'm not really sure there was any bad this week, other than what I said above. I don't know React as well as I need to now. But I have a great resource by Dave Ceddia called Pure React that's teaching me what I know (mostly I got hung up on not knowing the React life cycle like I need to).
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Weekly Project Progress Stats:
  • πŸ—“ Days Worked: 5 (-)
  • ⏱ Hours Worked: 4.92 hours (πŸ”»πŸ”» 8.18 hours)
  • πŸ’» Commits: 2 (πŸ”»πŸ”» 4)
  • πŸ“ Words Written: 1,254 (πŸ”ΊπŸ”Ί 1,254)
  • 🐦 Tweets: 54 (πŸ”ΊπŸ”Ί 24)
  • 🐦 Followers: 231 (πŸ”ΊπŸ”Ί 11)
  • πŸ“§ Early Access Subscribers: 20 (πŸ”Ί 4)
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Maker
  • πŸ”’ Just one stupid bug left in the Evidence Vault
  • πŸ“š Getting smart on React
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Manager
  • πŸ“» I don't want to be a radio, always broadcasting, and never interacting. So I pushed myself to contribute this week... and found it was a lot of fun.
  • πŸ’Έ Learned how to make an international wire transfer to pay my contractor. Hope I'm not on some watch list now. 😳
  • ✍🏼 I wrote a lot this week, I really do like sharing what I know.
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Lessons Learned
  • 🧱 Audience building is stacking bricks, interact, brick by brick, and people will listen.
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Next Week
  • 1️⃣ Relax, chill, and enjoy life.
  • 2️⃣ Get smart πŸ‘¨β€πŸ”¬ on React and finish off that bug and the vault πŸ”’
  • 3️⃣ Publish two essays on Product Market Fit

Week 5 β€” February 7, 2021

I'm five weeks into solid work on Interweave, I easily have five more weeks to go. But saying, "Coming Spring 2021" feels realistic. The hard look last week at what a MVP is and isn't has really taken hold and I feel like I regained velocity.
I found myself repeatedly wishing I had someone to talk React with. React is fairly new to me, heck, I've never released production code with React before Interweave. So I know my code isn't great yet. My biggest hangup is extracting and organizing component. I know I'm putting WAY too much in one file. But at least I know I can refactor that later (famous last words).
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The Good, the Bad, the Ugly
Good: Solid progress on the Evidence Vault this week and I have a lead on a developer to work on the plugin I need for SlateJS.
Bad: I'm losing traction on the content front. In early January I was able to juggle strong pushes in code AND write. But for the last two weeks I've never made it to writing anything. I have lots of thoughts, just don't prioritize this. Even though I put it on my 'Next Week' list of action items. This all matters because writing about Interweave AND writing for my audience leads to people interested in Interweave. I don't want to launch to an audience of 0. Past work is still paying off, as the stats show there are 3 new early access subscribers and 4 more Twitter followers. But I want to pour some gas on this.
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Weekly Project Progress Stats:
(I switched up the order to what matters and order of precedence)
  • πŸ—“ Days Worked: 5 (-)
  • ⏱ Hours Worked: 13.1 hours (πŸ”Ί 3.43 hours)
  • πŸ’» Commits: 7 (πŸ”» 4)
  • πŸ“ Words Written: 0 (πŸ”» 168!!!)
  • 🐦 Tweets: 24 (πŸ”Ί 1)
  • 🐦 Followers: 220 (πŸ”Ί 4)
  • πŸ“§ Early Access Subscribers: 16 (πŸ”Ί 3)
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Maker
  • πŸ”’ Solid progress on the Evidence Vault this week. Exciting to see this feature shape up.
  • This list looks short, but those 7 commits where fantastic commits 😊
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Manager
  • πŸͺš I did a bunch of Audience research this week. Digging deeper what people are saying about their tool sets.
  • 🀞🏻 Still working to lineup a developer for the SlateJS plugin. Found someone on their Slack and hoping to pull the trigger next week.
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Lessons Learned
  • πŸ€ΉπŸΌβ€β™‚οΈ Solo founders have to juggle a lot, but I can't lose focus on audience building.
  • πŸ”’ Ordered my 'Next Week' to reflect my priorities and as an unordered list.
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Next Week
  • 1️⃣ Get a developer signed on for the SlateJS plugin
  • 2️⃣ Write draft for a new essay on prioritizing your roadmap with evidence & strategy
  • 3️⃣ Finish off the Evidence Vault

Week 4 β€” January 31, 2021

Progress is progress, I didn't get as much done as I'd like, but still I did make progress, so I'm calling this last week a win. That said, after reading a tweet by Noah Bragg, I thought I'd add a new section to these progress reports and talk more about the upside and downsides of startups. Because building a SaaS on the side is not all 🌞 & 🌈.
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MVP ← Do I know what that means? I'm not always sure, I, like many other founders, often suffer with "my eyes are bigger than my stomach" syndrome. I started the week out with a vision of what Interweave is. And after the Bad/Ugly below I started wondering what I'd have by Spring when I want to soft launch.
Then I started realizing I'm way over shooting! You can check out my initial thoughts on saying "Not Yet" when planning an MVP out on my latest essay start: The Art of Saying Not Yet. Just some short notes so far, but I think this will be a great essay for anyone who suffers from the same syndrome.
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The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
Good: I haven't been paying attention, but would you look at those subscribers! That's 13 people who came across Interweave and are interested enough to give me their email. 13 isn't huge, but that's 12 more than last week. Writing about what I'm doing and sharing about it appears to be working. I'm sure they're not all target customers, but still, it's nice to see.
Bad/Ugly: I spent 90% of my time this week implementing something I thought would take a couple hours. I had multiple false starts on the text editor in Interweave. I tried out 3 or 4 of editors (paid and free), finally settling on one that I think will be a great choice. But then getting it to do something that their example made simple looking... was not simple. Because they don't mention anywhere if you don't give it valid default starting data it'll just throw some esoteric error at you. Plus also their examples were in Typescript. Ugh.
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Weekly Project Progress Stats:
  • πŸ“§ Subscribers: 13 (πŸ”Ί 12)
  • πŸ’» Commits: 11 (πŸ”» 7)
  • πŸ“ Words Written: 168 (πŸ”» 240)
  • 🐦 Tweets: 23 (πŸ”Ί 4)
  • ⏱ Hours Worked: 9.67 hours (πŸ”» 4.11)
  • πŸ—“ Days Worked: 5 (-)
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Maker
  • πŸ”’ Made the login page "pretty" because I wanted something light and fun to do.
  • πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’» A bunch of refactoring early in the week.
  • πŸ“ Implemented SlateJS as the text editor.
    • The editor matters because of what it will enable, not for the actual data entry.
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Manager
  • ⛔️ Did you see last weeks list? I wanted to get a bunch of writing in and start on a major content pillar. Neither were achieved.
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Lessons Learned
  • 🧐 You can't always predict where you'll get hung up. Don't stress over it.
  • πŸ”¬ Look critically at everything you're working on. Is it necessary! Likely no.
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Next Week
  • (Dare I try to guess?! I'm going to aim a bit smaller) ⁉️
  • Start on the Evidence Vault πŸ‘¨πŸ»β€πŸ’»
  • Investigate hiring someone on UpWork to make a plugin for me πŸ’°
  • Get writing on that essay πŸ“

Week 3 β€” January 24, 2021

Another great week of proving that 🐒 > πŸ‡. It's amazing what you can do if you string enough 1 hour chunks together. That said, Interweave is still far from an MVP. Today it's basically a note taking app (and only a mediocre one at that). However, the foundation is essentially done!
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That is a milestone!
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On the manager side lots of audience building this week. Really excited about the progress here. But I think the biggest thing to highlight this week is progress in Jobs to be Done thinking. I rewrote the byline to the Interweave website to read:
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Before Interweave: You've got too many spreadsheets, notes, and tools. You know a customer said it but can't remember where. You think you're making the right call but can't quickly show why. After Interweave: You've taken control back and now your whole team understands why things are on the roadmap. The evidence is at their fingertips.
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I wanted to highlight the customer as the hero in a journey. Where they started (pains) and what they've been able to achieve. As I was looking at ways on how to write this out I saw Basecamp's website and blatantly "borrowed" the Before/After format. It's just a v1, but I like this SO much better than the previous feature statement.
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Anyways onto the report! The stats below are only things relating to audience and company building. (e.g. I didn't count my tweets on Brady beating Rogers πŸ˜‚πŸˆ)
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Weekly Project Progress Stats:
  • πŸ’» Commits: 18
  • πŸ“ Words Written: 407
  • 🐦 Tweets: 19
  • ⏱ Hours Worked: 14.08 hours (~1.0 hours / session)
  • πŸ—“ Days Worked: 5
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Maker
  • πŸ”¨ Wrapped up a 0.1 version of Interview capture!
  • πŸͺš Refactored authorization and routes. Simpler & better.
  • πŸš€ Now properly hosted using Netlify 😱
  • πŸ—Ί Mapped out the high-level functionality for an MVP (!!)
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Manager
  • Audience building:
    • πŸš€ Published 1 essay (used a launch plan)
    • πŸ“ Republished an old essay
    • πŸ“ Started a new one
    • 🐦 Published a tweet thread (using @casjam's Thready)
    • 🌊 Lots of activity on key audience watering holes
  • Reframed marketing content on before/after Interweave #jtbd πŸ’―
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Lessons Learned
  • 🐒 Consistency mattered. 14 hours is both a lot and not much. But constant progress, across many sessions, still equals progress!
  • πŸ’‘ Major #JtbD thinking this week, realized not spending enough time thinking through Anxiety and Habit negative forces on progress.
    • Not thinking in features is HARD. Reframing language for Interweave away from it means needing to live the customers voice.
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Next Week
  • Achieve 50% WIP on the next essay πŸ“
  • Introduce one more foundational component (Projects) πŸͺ¨
  • Dig into one of the key major features, the evidence vault. πŸ”’
  • Actually start on the first major content anchor πŸ› 

Week 2 β€” January 17, 2021

What a week! Lots of progress and that was even with a major windstorm πŸ’¨ and 18 hour power outage ⚑️. Importantly made progress on Maker and Manager tasks. Adding in a new "stats" section, these are for things related directly to Interweave progress.
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Weekly Project Progress Stats:
  • πŸ’» Commits: 11
  • πŸ“ Words Written: 908
  • 🐦 Tweets: 10
  • ⏱ Hours Worked: 9.88 (~1.24 hours / session)
  • πŸ—“ Days Worked: 5
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Maker
  • Frontend is setup and working!
  • Essentials setup like Routing, Authentication, UI Libraries, etc.
  • No progress on actual functionality, BUT, the basic infrastructure is done.
  • Did not get to Stripe, and won't for a while.
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Manager
  • Waitlist is through ConvertKit
  • Committing to a Spring release! πŸ‘€
  • Started working on audience building with new content on bryansmith.io
  • Started planning major content pieces which will be on Interweave
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Next Week
  • I'll be working on core functionality around interview capturing and the ideas system
  • Publish the draft of the my essay to a couple audiences for feedback.
  • Start work on the first major content anchor

Week 1 β€” January 10th, 2021

As a recovering technologist I backslid and spent all my time on technology. Oops.
Maker
  • I largely scrapped my previous work (except for the DB). I decided Amplify just took me too far from the core AWS components.
  • Starting from scratch 😳
  • But it's all good! Published a core API, got Auth working on it, setup user identity, etc.
  • I made the right call.
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Manager
  • I don't want to spend all my time on Maker, but as I've said before 2021 is sus. So I ended up spending all my time on coding.
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Next Week
  • I'll be integrating with Stripe, rebuilding the frontend, and building out the signup flow.
  • I plan to move the Interweave website to Versoly (away from ConvertKit landing pages).
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