On April 1st, 2005 I founded Linking Paths. By that time I didn’t know almost anything about running a company, especially after the main idea behind it fell apart seven days later. And I’m still not sure about what is this all about, but that’s another story. I’ve an announcement to do today and felt this birthday a round date for it.
This is something that some of you, dear readers, already knew. A few of you guessed it since I haven’t write any weeknote for the past months. But today is finally becoming formal, public and final: yesterday was my last day at Linking Paths.
But this is not its end. Aitor has taken the lead and I’m sure he will do many memorable things in the coming time. That’s is what he has always done since he joined me in 2007. I made this decision for personal reasons, I really feel it’s time for a change. For me and for Linking Paths.
I would like to use this last post to thank you all of you, friends, customers and occasional readers, for your support all this time. It has been a long and worthwhile journey and I really appreciate it. I’m very proud of what we’ve achieved together in this eight years, even with its not-so-funny moments. Thank you very much for being there.
That’s all. Take care.
PS: To satisfy the curious. I’m taking a couple of months off while closing the transition for some customers that took longer than expected. No plan after that yet.
Friday evening and week #403 is coming to an end for Linking Paths.
I started the week at a hospital and I’ll end it quite tired after a few nights with problems to fall asleep. In the meantime I’ve been working on Bazaar mainly, closing small issues reported in the last meeting and stuck for a while with elasticsearch and its indexation of special and accented characters.
Aitor has had a more productive week improving some Verkami minor features -password recovery- and designing their strategy for a tighter integration with Facebook. He also reviewed our work during this year and is preparing us for 2013. We have a lot of open fronts in form of pitches, small customer projects, Stage features and SAAS services we use that needed a clean up to start the new year with a fresh feeling.
This week my recommendation is The Inconvenient Truth About SEO by Paul Boag for Smashing Magazine. It’s not that I believe SEO is irrelevant, because I don’t, but I firmly believe that there are no shortcuts to delight your audience. So, please, read the article and think about it the next time someone promises you the Holy Grail just tweaking your website’s indexation. SEO is a hard and long term task, not a silver bullet you shoot one time.
Have a nice weekend.
Week #401 is done. This has been one of those weeks when you do so many little things that you feel you haven’t done much. Stage support, different work on customer’s projects, my son has been sick a couple of days, etc.
On Tuesday I visited Otogami’s office and spent most of the day working there with David and Jerónimo. We also found time to share experiences and our products’ current situation and future plans. Building a product company is far from easy and having someone to share your fears, doubts and to celebrate small victories is always helpful.
After spending most of the week working on Verkami’s multilingual support (and some improvements caching API calls), Aitor spent Thursday in a couple of interesting events. First he was in Seth Godin’s first conference in Europe since 2010. The conference was organized by Icelandic Marketing Association and besides Seth, they had as speakers Lazy Town’s founder Magnus Scheving and George Bryan of Brooklyn Brothers. If you follow Aitor in Twitter you may already know that this was one of the best conferences he has attended lately. During the afternoon he attended a meeting from The Open Knowledge Foundation on one of our beloved topics at Linking Paths: Open Data.
And finally my recommended reading for the weekend. This week I have had a few conversation on startup strategic, so I want to recommend you a post written by Andreas Klinger, founder of LOOKK: Founders lie about comfort zones.
That’s all for this week, have a nice weekend.
Friday is here again and the working week comes to an end. It’s time to relax and enjoy more time with family and friends. This weekend is gonna be crazy for me, though, since I’ll host a party for more than twenty (4-year old) kids: my son and all his school friends born on November and December will celebrate a birthday party together! Managing all these kids in the same room is going to be something heroic for anyone but a Kindergarten teacher… but we will worry about that when the time comes. Let’s start with this week’s review.
As promised last week, Aitor has implemented multi-provider support for transactional email in Verkami and has started migrating some mailers to the new platform (Mandrill). The migration must be gradual to stay under the hourly limits imposed by the service so the migration will continue in the coming weeks. Although there was some stats and activity backlogging during the week, it looks like a very promising service (the use of SMTP custom headers, metadata and mustache templates for über simple integration is brilliant!).
Additionally he rolled out another nice feature: one-off photo uploads to Verkami’s CDN so authors can host all the media they use in their project’s blogs with the best performance. He also found time for a small update in Steel Stock Exchange and to support Stage’s users.
I’ve spent much of my week working at Qstion’s headquarters. Things finally are taking off for them and a new developer has joined the team. I have spent some time with him to make the landing easier. Regarding Bazaar, I’ve been tweaking its searching features, digging in elasticsearch’s internals and in Tire, a ruby gem for easier integration. We don’t have any production app using this tandem yet so please take my advice with a grain of salt, but as today, I would recommend it.
Finally my recommended reading for the weekend. This time is a blog post from a very famous person, so odds are pretty high that you have already read it. I’m talking about Pruning: Making room for something new from 37signals’s founder, Jason Fried. It’s always hard to say goodbye to something you like, and it’s even harder if it’s something you have created. It takes a long time until you are prepared for it, but once you accept it’s for the best, your mind will be free for accepting new challenges.
Have a nice weekend.
Life is getting back to normal. Aitor is back in Reykjavik and I’m again alone in Madrid. Winter is arriving to Madrid slowly, but that means nothing compared to Iceland. Specially this windy week. Aitor’s trip on Monday and the spanish holiday of All Saints’ Day have made this week pretty short. But as most of the weeks, we have managed to achieve quite a lot of work.
Aitor has been improving Verkami’s backend, adapting it to a new workflow for managing projects from proposal to conclusion. Verkami needs to adapt as it evolves: requirements are not the same for one hundred projects than for several thousands. As time goes by, you also learn about the different users the application serves, how they interact, and which parts of the service you should improve to give them more value (while making your life easier). You can try to make it perfect from the beginning, but the fact is that whatever you do, it’ll evolve over time.
We also met with the team of Bazaar’s project in Madrid before Aitor took his plane. Our friends from Swwwet are working on the UX+UI of the first shop developed for the platform. I really can’t wait to see the first public output of such a long lasting project. On the other side, we have tried to close down the last open details of the platform, but that isn’t always easy for an international environment.
Regarding Stage, don’t ask me why, but this week we had an unusual high amount of support tickets. They were mostly email bounces caused by people who made a mistake typing their email. Most are easily solved, but some of them are really tricky. It would be much easier if everyone could follow a standard when choosing a new email address instead of being creative :).
And finally my recommended lecture for the weekend. My wife is writing a book to support her new e-learning product certificacionpm. I’m trying to help her with the publishing and of course we had to evaluate Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. Since most of customers are located in Latin America, their 70% royalty option doesn’t apply, so we are looking for alternatives. In this process I’ve found this post from last June written by Andrew Hide: Amazon’s markup of digital delivery to indie authors is ~129,000%. Pretty interesting not only for the explanation of Amazon’s hidden costs, but also for how the sales sources changes after he published the post.
Have a nice weekend.
Linking Paths’ week #394 has finished. This week I’ve met at least one person every single day what is far from usual for me. I’ve had lunch/dinner six times in a restaurant so I really need the weekend to purge my stomach.
In my way from restaurant to restaurant I managed it to continue with Bazaar’s implementation and even I had a meeting about the future of Payout, he payment gateway we are trying to build. Burocracy is taking us away from our goals of simplicity and wide availability which makes everything harder to the point we have doubts about the whole project.
Aitor has been working in Verkami and Bazaar. He has also do a great job supporting Stage’s users. This has been a grazy week in that front, with many more support request than usual. He has also been plannign his trip to Spain. We’ll meet some customers and talk about the future of their apps but also planning Linking Path’s and Stage next steps for the coming months.
My reading recomendation for the weeked is the post Why “saving money” and “ROI” are probably the wrong way to sell your product from Jason Cohen. A nice article that may help you on deciding how to market your products. Some times the obvious is far from prefect.
And one little note. I want to congratulate Jositajosi (Aitor’s side-business) for their 4th anniversary. Happy birthday Bego, Itxaso and Aitor!. Their are celebrating with a 15% off in all their products.
Another week gone and September ends with it. My son will attend school in the evenings again in October and I’ll have more time for Linking Paths. It’s always nice to spend time with your son/family, but when have so much to do, working such a limited amount of time feels like a pain too. Starting next week I’ll be able to work till 5pm.
Aitor has been working in a few new features and performance improvements in authors’ backend for Verkami. In Stage he has been helping some users setting their events up but also implemented a small improvement to our custom fields feature.
I’ve been mostly working on Bazaar. Bazaar’s first public website is finally being shaped and I also had to fix a few bugs from one of their backend applications. Bazaar’s first shop should open by the end of this year, a great milestone for this ambitious project.
This week is hard to choose just one link for my recommended reading, so I’ll point you to four interesting articles.
Since most of our readers are developers, I’would recommend you to read a bit about Color Theory in this article from Herman Tulleken. Theory is hidden as the foundation for an algorithm, so if you need to find code in an article to trust it, you will find some. Via @javisantana.
And for all of you: What Happened to Downtime? The Extinction of Deep Thinking & Sacred Space by @scottbelsky on the opportunity for disconnection . Includes a link to Sabbath Manifesto, which I wasn’t aware of.
Have a nice weekend.
Friday. First friday after coming back from Holidays. I almost forgot to write this weeknote. Winter is arriving to Iceland and I’m enjoying a couple of weeks of part time work sponsored by Madrid’s school system. This is one of those situations where the flexibility of being your own boss shines. I’m still not sure if it’s always for better, but the fact is that I’m picking my son from school at noon and I’ve to work late at night to finish my tasks.
Regarding work, this week has been also regular. We’re on a roll, two in a row!. Aitor has been mainly working on Verkami and Stage. I’ve been trying to get a couple projects back in track, hiring a designer to help us in Bazaar and figuring out how to finish a project called Plankio which was frozen three months ago. I managed to write a small ruby gem to generate Norma34 files, a standard from the spanish bank industry for issuing wire transfers. This gem should be used by Stage and a couple of projects, including Plankio.
And finally my reading recommendation for the weekend. If you have seen my last recommendations, you may figure out that I’m in some kind of introspective moment in my life. And you would be right. So, if you have enjoyed these series, you will probably enjoy Gregory Ciotti’s post ‘How to Avoid the Natural Reactions that Prevent Good Decision Making’.
Have a nice weekend.
Hi there. It’s friday again, but this time is different. Next week I’m taking a week off so you can imagine I’m pretty happy :). A week in Malaga, enjoying the beach, my family and unfortunately a new heat wave that is supposed to last till next Wednesday.
This week hasn’t been the most productive week in my professional carrier. Summer and the still-lasting-works at my place hasn’t help me. Yes, you have read right. The reform at my home was supposed to last two months but after four months there are still a few things to be finished :(.
Anyway, I managed it to work on Bazaar and finish a small subset of features and close a couple of bugs. Aitor has been mainly working on Verkami’s new invoicing system. We have also rejected a contract for building a new service in the new medias sector. We were very excited with taking part of this project but at the end it didn’t work out. Creating a successful project in internet is quite difficult, so we prefer to reject projects if we believe it hasn’t enough resources or a clear focus.
We have also been working on Payout. Since bureaucracy and entry barriers are bigger than expected, we are starting to play with the idea of offering the service to users bringing their own merchant account. That’s far from being our dreamed scenario but some people have approach us asking for using our infrastructure and benefit from our knowledge on the payment sector. Please, feel free to contact us if you are looking for a simple solution for online payments.
Have a nice weekend.
Friday. And finally this week’s heat wave is gone. Today is still warm but not incredible hot last the last four days. A little breeze is coming through the window and the air conditioner at the office is finally off.
Aitor is finishing his second week at CIID. The school is much more demanding that what we expected, but I’m really happy because he is enjoying the experience a lot. Although I haven’t talk to him for the last couple of days, so he could also been killed by a laser cutting machine in one of the workshops. I’m going to send him an SMS just to be sure.
From my side this week has been quite conventional. I’ve been working on Bazaar, closing some of the import+initial load details and also working on qstion. We found a small problem in Stage when browsed with Chrome for iOS, but our users has been so kind that didn’t require to much support.
And finally my reading recommendation for the weekend: Study: Physical possessions and U.S. families from Unclutterer. Please, read it with an open mind, not just thinking in kids or discard it because you don’t live in US or you live in a flat without backyard. And as always, don’t forget to read the comments.
In short, a family’s desire to save time ended up costing space and creating anxiety. Finally, he postulated families could reclaim their homes and stress levels if they became more comfortable with letting things go.
PS: Ok, it seems I spoke to soon. Breeze is gone, hot again, air conditioner on.