Launch it already

It’s very rare that I get to have this conversation with a client.

“Launch it already. We can always improve the app the next week and the week after.”

Software is a continuous process. It needs constant improvements. There is user feedback to be worked on, bugs which are yet to encountered and design which needs tweaking.

If you have 5 out of the 10 features ready(well tested of course), you should launch that app / product you are working on. You can always improve it.

Make it easy to switch

A good design is important, so are the basic features which your app needs before it is launched.

With B2B apps being launched almost everyday, I never see thought being put into making it easier for people to switch from something they already use. If I already have a CRM system setup, please make it easier for me to try your software by providing a quick import.

I realise it’s difficult to have data import built for all the competition out there, but hopefully you consider building an easy way to import data from 4-5 top competitors.

Make it easy for people to switch to your product.

Side Projects

I can’t stress how important side projects are. You should have one too. They have always been my playground to learn new tools / framework which I then get to use in client projects.

Building and managing a project means that you choose stable over new and risky. New frameworks / software take a while to mature and be ready by usage in production. It also takes a while to learn something new and be comfortable using it every day.

Macbook Pro

Last week, Apple announced their latest version of Macbook Pro. Most people on my twitter timeline did not have good things to say about the update.

My initial reaction to the update was similar to how most people reacted. No MagSafe? Now we need to carry around a lot of dongles? This is not right.

Hurray for the Touch Bar though! I can see how it can be helpful.

Having had sometime to process my thoughts about the new Macbook, I am ready to make the purchase. Change is the only constant.

This is a temporary phase, where we have to carry around dongles. Someone needs to push the envelope forward and I am happy that Apple is taking the initiative.

I am sure hardware manufactures will get onboard and more peripherals we use will switch to USB C / Thunderbolt.

Why remove the MagSafe though Apple? Not all change is good. That thing has saved my laptop a few times.

We Make Shitty Software

An old software slogan at Living Videotext: “We Make Shitty Software… With Bugs!” It makes me laugh! We never ran this slogan in an ad. People wouldn’t understand. But it’s the truth. We make shitty software. And so do you!

Software is a process, it’s never finished, it’s always evolving. That’s its nature. We know our software sucks. But it’s shipping! Next time we’ll do better, but even then it will be shitty. The only software that’s perfect is one you’re dreaming about. Real software crashes, loses data, is hard to learn and hard to use. But it’s a process. We’ll make it less shitty. Just watch!

Talking with an unhappy customer, first validate their belief that you’ve let them down. I agree that our software isn’t perfect. You won’t get an argument here. Let’s move on, find a workaround, a way to get your data back. And we promise to take a look at this problem and, if possible, fix it in the next release.

So, when you get an upgrade, you look for the process, see if they responded to your needs. Which way are they moving?

We make shitty software. And so do you!

It’s not all about the numbers.

Too many business owners want more sales, higher traffic, more subscribers, and more likes, but those are just vanity metrics. It can be easy to get caught up in the stats, numbers, and analytics instead of the quality of each of those numbers.

I’ll take 1,000 true fans over one million semi-interested people any day. Small numbers are not as impressive to flaunt, but keeping things small has allowed me to build an extremely loyal fan base and connect directly with my customers, one on one.

In fact, many times there are tradeoffs of getting bigger. Rapid growth often means hiring a big team, but I’ve been very intentional about keeping Ugmonk small. This lets me maintain the business at a scale where I can have the creative fulfillment and flexibility that I love, and ensures the quality and attention to detail you’ve come to expect from our products.

Takeaway: The beauty in staying small is often overlooked.

8 Things I’ve Learned from 8 Years of Ugmonk

Taking time off

I love my work. A bit too much actually. The last 4 months have been really good. I have been more productive than last year and managed to learn things in these four months which would take me a year to go through before.

Having been heads down working meant that I was not prioritising my health and the urges to do things other than work. Been sick is a good reminder that your body needs rest. You cannot keep asking it to do more on a regular basis. It is also important to prioritise non work time as much as you focus on work time.

Having spent the weekend resting and recovering and still in the process of recovering, I am again reminded how I am in this for the long run and that I need to take care of my health and well being while continuing to do work that I enjoy.

I enjoy looking at analytics like any other person who has a online blog or website. It is interesting to know about people who visit your website from all around the world.

Google Analytics is one of the most popular online analytics tool, but it did too much for what I wanted an analytics tool to do. There was too much information on screen, most of which did not interest me.

After looking around for an alternative and trying out a few tools, I have been using since over a year now. It’s simple, easy to use and makes analytics easy to understand. I am also now more confident about inviting client’s to have a look at their website analytics.

If you are looking around for a really simple and good web analytics tool, do give a try.

The big three o

I usually write this a day before my birthday, but since I have been travelling the last 30 days I have not had the time to sit and put my thoughts down.

Ever since returning back to India from New Zealand in 2009, I have always wanted to return to New Zealand and spend a few days traveling around the north and south island. After 6 long years, this year December felt like the right time. Good weather, most friends and family being on vacation and a chance to turn 30 in a country I really like.

This year has been great fun. I dont remember the last 6 years going by as fast as 2015 did. I have to thank my niece Saanvi for being a big part of the reason why. Getting to spend more time with her as she grows up has been great fun. Friends who previously lived around India have now moved back to Mumbai, which was also an highlight of this year.

Spent a lot of time tweaking and making Brightpod better this year. A growing user base meant that we had to re write a lot of modules. Hoping to release the mobile app for Brightpod in 2016.

My goal last year was to travel to 6 countries in 2015, but I only managed to travel to 3. This year, I travelled to Australia, Bali and New Zealand. Thanks Sneha, Rajnikanth, Max, Vikas and Maddi for travelling with me. You guys were awesome fun to travel with. Looking forward to traveling more with you soon.

I also travelled to quite a few places in India this year. Vijaywada, Goa, Bangalore, Delhi and Nagpur.

With most of my friends now married, the pressure to also get married is now real :)

So much more to write, but this already seems like a long post. Things I want to do in 2016:

1) Build 2 iPhone apps and 1 Pebble watch app. 2) Drink more water. Avoid fizzy drinks. 3) Exercise at least 4 days a week. 4) Travel to at least 3 new countries. Japan being quite high on the list. 5) Read at least 1 book a month. 6) Make time to date someone seriously. 7) Focus on a few things. 8) Be less distracted when working. 9) Spend more time with family and friends.

Hope you all have a great 2016.