Had dinner with a friend who’s a high-tech executive (marketing and business development mostly), and he gave me two very good pieces of advice:
(1) don’t make it more complicated than it has to be
(2) do things only when you need to have them done: not everything has to be done at once.
This is good advice, especially since I was feeling a little overwhelmed at the magnitude of the task. So I sat down and brainstormed a list of all the tasks ahead of us – design and development, marketing, legal, business. Then I mentally split them out into phases – prototype, design, development, testing, release.
What I’ve realized is that we are in the prototype phase, with maybe a little bit of design. We’re not in development yet, meaning I not only don’t have to, but shouldn’t, be working on implementing the site. One of our volunteers is a user experience designer and has offered to write up requirements for the site. Until she does, no development can really take place – so I should quit feeling the pressure to code everything up NOW. Right now is a time to relax, learn Drupal, prototype some of the site components that I know are going to be needed, and basically play around with the system, learning its ins and outs. So I am doing precisely that. I have created a Drupal test site and am working my way through the tutorials from the Drupal.org website, getting a feel for what it does and doesn’t do.
Other things that don’t need to be done right this very moment include things like incorporating, legal stuff, marketing stuff, etc. Those can all be done once we’re closer to launch.
So right now, the three important items are:
- Design the user flow and the feature content (Marian)
- Learn Drupal and prototype known features (me)
- Research funding sources (Claudia)
There! That’s easy to manage.
In other news:
- The wood shop came back with a quote of $260 to make three not-very-complicated pieces of wood for my back beam. I don’t think so. I got in touch with a woodworking shop in Sunnyvale that offers private lessons (which can also be help with your own projects). At $60/hr, I can get it done significantly cheaper than the woodworking shop would manage, plus I get the fun of playing with power tools! (Don’t worry, I will remember to tie my hair back and keep random appendages out of the table saw.)
- I have signed up for an event with Ladies who Launch – an incubator targeted at women entrepreneurs. The keynote speaker is the co-founder of Ning, a build-your-own social network startup! I looked at Ning early on but decided not to use it as it doesn’t have the features needed to do project notebooks (the heart of Ravelry). But it would be really interesting to see what she has to say about building social networks. I am considering their incubator as well.
- I discovered a new chocolate shop, Chocolate Covered, in San Francisco! I was going for dinner with some friends and happened to pass the shop. I stopped in out of curiosity, not expecting much – most chocolate shops are pretty low-end – but this one was spectacular! They had an entire wall full of different kinds of chocolate bars, all very high grade chocolate – I was amazed. I spent some time talking to the proprietor, and bought a collection of very unusual flavors – from bacon (tastes surprisingly good! I liked it a lot) to beer to “tiger nut” (whatever that is) to poppyseed-and-cherry. I’m going to taste them this weekend. More truffle ideas!