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A week later

A week ago, I was writing a post about getting back into the habit of things with building Helthe. I was leveraging my increased motivation since I got sick in October to participate in the Week of Hustle that was organized by Justin Jackson for our group JFDI. The goal was for us to get a small product built-in a week or finish something concrete on a product you had been working on. I chose the later.

How did I do on the roadmap

On that same day, I also posted a roadmap with what I was planning to do during the week. I thought it might be useful to review it and share my thoughts on it.

1. You sign up for an account.

I completed the sign up page and login page on the first day and that was great, but my fears ended up justified. I did not end up spending time on the design aspect of things and because of that I cannot show the work I did.

2. You can create a project with its own API key.

I had code ready for this already, but I made sure thing worked so this part was easy, but very necessary.

3. You get a PHP library (on GitHub) that you can add to your project for tracking application errors.

This probably should have been split in two since there was also the API code to fix, but I got it all done in the same day. Helthe now has a basic library up on Github which can be used by early adopters as I get all the integrations up and running.

4. Errors get sent back to Helthe and it determines if it is a new error or an existing error.

This was also an important feature to get to work. You don’t want users to get spammed with every error otherwise you are not better than a hacked solution. So I have all the errors grouped up by message currently. I plan on having something more elaborate in the future.

5. You receive an email whenever a new error is created.

I ended up spending two days on this when I expected to spend maybe a couple of hours. As I explained, I ran into problems left and right. From setting up Mandrill to getting emails to display properly, I never got a real break to get this done reasonably quickly. I did end up getting it done though and it looked  great!

6. Update my marketing site to reflect that we entered a stage where you can test.

There is a new small update in the FAQ about being passed my november 4th launch date, but that’s all I could get up without a design pass on the actual front end.

7. Refine my marketing message following a campfire talk with Andy Parkinson.

I am very happy with the changes to the marketing site in respect to this. I did a big blog post about it last night with the resulting text change.

Design should have been on the roadmap

This is a big one I think. I wish there was more to show on the Helthe website if I had planned for it. I didn’t really think of it at the time though. I figured I could do both, but, as I discovered doing the email design, it can be very time-consuming to do simple things even with frameworks.

Blogging has been a big winner

I managed to blog for 6 out of the 8 days and I have to say that felt great. Writing was easier because I was writing about what I was doing, but in the larger scheme of things it didn’t really affect viewership at all. That was expected because I wasn’t really writing to help readers, but for myself about myself (me! me! me!). It should be about them and not be.

That said, I do find that it was useful for rebuilding the habit, but it is still very time-consuming for me. I wonder if I will be able to be as prolific as I move towards writing useful content for readers or able to maintain the habit.

Overall this was a success

I feel very good about how the week turned out. I work very well when I feel accountable to someone, but it’s hard feeling accountable to anyone when you work alone with no clients. This helped tremendously.

With this, I am closer to having something to sell, but, while I worked and got stuff done, I am definitely not closer to getting the marketing piece working (like getting people to my site,etc). This can be discouraging, but there are so many pieces to this that I am glad I got some sorted out. Marketing is always a challenge when you have nothing much to leverage.

What’s next?

I have to figure out how I can turn this into a framework I can work with continuously. I hope to come back in a day or two with some ideas. Till then, you can keep checking up here or you can subscribe to my mailing list.

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