Small Tasks

The trick, of course, is to choose the small tasks which Vilfredo Pareto - he of the 80/20 Rule - would designate as among the vital few; i.e. the ones which will produce the greatest beneficial results. If you don’t set such priorities, then your time may be squandered by the successful completion of work which produces relatively little progress or which merely restores the status-quo.

That one is going in my DailyMuse collection.

Self-Destruct Tweets

A very interesting idea.

Lazin-Ryder is one of a number of Twitter users who are using homegrown methods to make their tweets self-destruct. He says that having his tweets disappear automatically makes Twitter feel more conversational and casual, and less like a professional pressure-cooker.

Cold in Ohio

I love Ohio but it is cold. It is Ivan-Denisovich cold. It’s Jack-Nicholson-at-the-end-of-The-Shining cold; indoor-cat-who-became-outdoor-cat-glaring-at-me-from-his-blanket-in-the-garage cold. Never-warm cold. Feet-cold cold. Permanently-hunched-sholders cold. Kurt-Russell-in-The-Thing cold. It is colder than Robert Frost stopping by the woods on a snowy evening - he would not have stopped in this cold.

Thankfully Paisley in Scotland doesn’t even come close to being this cold. I don’t envy my fellow North American bloggers in times like this. The cold weather can get very wearing.

Are Trolls Attracted To Videos?

No spot comes close to YouTube when it comes to the number of dumb and vicious remarks in its comments section. Even bland videos, ones without an ounce of controversy, are ripped.

I’m just wondering if video is easier to consume than actually spending the time to read something and let it sink in. I suspect many of the comments on YouTube are simple knee-jerk reactions to each video.

Saddleback Leather iPad Sleve

These iPad sleeves make me want to buy an iPad, just to warrant the purchase of the sleeve. Ridiculous idea but these are great looking sleeves.

Photographs of two sleeves

via Tools & Toys

Programming Advice

Search for deeper understanding of approaches to programming that seem strange or incorrect to you. Don’t look for wrongness in what someone else is doing or what you’re thinking.

One of my biggest problems in my career has definitely been a lack of confidence in the code that I wrote.

Fixie Friday -1993 Cannondale Track

Second Track bike of the year for Fixie Friday but I can’t deny they are great looking bikes.

Photograph of 1993 Cannondale Track

via PEDAL Consumption

Essential Client Management

40 rules for managing clients including this one:

22. Working weekends for clients: I’ll do it once if there’s a genuine emergency but, unless you pay me obscenely well for your inefficiency, I won’t do it twice. Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.

I’ll be pinning this list up somewhere I can see it every day.

Deciding on a Pricing Strategy

I’ve been working on a new idea for a service for the last few weeks and I’m just about ready to take the wraps off it. While the core functionality of the service is happily working, I’ve been thinking a lot about the pricing strategy for it.

Freemium

I considered giving a basic level of functionality away for free, but the problem I have with this is that it is difficult to work out just what to include when you give a service away for free. Too much and you end up with more customers sitting pretty on the free service, too little and it’s hard to get customers just to sign up. There’s also a little bit more work involved in separating the free functionality from the premium functionality in a service. You have to ensure that the free tier of customers can use the application at the same time as paid customers who will have added features available to them.

Paid

Given that I prefer this pricing strategy for the services that I use, I found it strange that I didn’t sway towards this from the start. When you make a product or a service, you want people to use it and the easiest way to do that is to provide part of it for free. It’s certainly not the best strategy for getting lots of sign ups, but it is the easiest.

I hesitated on using a paid strategy to begin with because I wanted people to experience the service first in it’s entirety before deciding to pay for it. The only way to do this then is to give people a free trial period of the application in it’s entirety. No locked or restricted features, just a window of time to try the whole application before they decide whether it’s for them or not.

I’m Going Paid

And that’s what I am sticking with. A paid strategy with just a 30 day window to try out the application for free before the customer has to decide whether to subscribe to the service or not. I think it’s definitely the best strategy. Committing to a paid service or product means that you are more accountable for the success of it and therefore you are more likely to want to make it succeed.

I’ve had positive feedback on this already, but the only way to truly see if the service will be a success is by releasing it to the world and that will hopefully happen in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned!

Write For Yourself

A fantastic piece on the drawbacks of using publishing platforms such as Medium.

In truth, Medium’s main prod­uct is not a pub­lish­ing plat­form, but the pro­mo­tion of a pub­lish­ing plat­form. This pro­mo­tion brings read­ers and writ­ers onto the site. This, in turn, gen­er­ates the us­age data that’s valu­able to ad­ver­tis­ers. Boiled down, Medium is sim­ply mar­ket­ing in the ser­vice of more mar­ket­ing. It is not a “place for ideas.” It is a place for ad­ver­tis­ers. It is, there­fore, ut­terly superfluous.