I have been meaning to write an update for a long long time… I am not ceding to the cult-of-busy but that has been the case. Lots has happened and I am writing this post with a 15 minute time box.
Since the last time you heard form me I have been to SXSW, WWDC, done some Google Adwords training in San Diego, launched the Black Heart Super Friends and am about to have a baby! On top of that Kashoo engaged in a strategic partnership with PayChex (3rd largest payroll provider in the US) and we just moved into a brand new office – exciting times indeed!
The Black Heart Super Friends is the umbrella under which I have decided to produce a bunch of projects focused at children. The idea initially started with Me and You, ACHOO! which is an interactive iPad application that was originally a physical book I made for my wife. Since those humble beginning I have also created a little app call the Monster Spotter for the iPhone that lets kids scan their room for monsters before they go to bed. And as if I did not have enough things to do I also started publishing a curated collection of public domain books that I think have value. Go check out the website, or follow BHSF on Twitter or like us on Facebook. Everything is free (without advertising) and the goal is to create original and challenging content that empowers young human beings.
What else… my company sent me to SXSW which was an amazing experience. I got to meet Ben Huh, Sir Tim Berners-Lee and generally got into a bunch of places to which I was not invited. I am not sure how much value, if any, the conference had in attaining the business goals of the company I work for; however, my LinkedIn profile gained some heavy hitters.
I also met this Kaiser Solzie and he sung me a song about Bill Murray…
WWDC was a completely different experience in so many ways. At SXSW I got caught up in the spirit and engaged in some guerrilla marketing and basically just let serendipity work its magic …. WWDC was a marketing black hole where people would not even take the free schwag I was trying to give away. The most valuable experience I had at WWDC was a sit-down UI/UX audit I was able to do with an Apple engineer. I received some really great advice and ideas about how we could improve our iPad application. A great little pearl that the Apple engineer dropped on me was: The user should always know where they are and how to get back to where they came from. I know that seems super obvious but go walk through the navigation of a few apps and see how often this left on the side of the road.
The Google Adwords/Analytics training I did with Cardinal Path in San Diego, immediately after WWDC, marked my evolution within the company to become our resident ‘growth hacker.’ I did not ask for this position directly but think it came out of a proclivity I have shown over the years to be involved in the business and marketing aspects of the company. I do hate that my job title is essentially a catch phrase and like to think of what I am currently doing as ‘technical marketing’ or something along those lines. Since starting in earnest in September I have managed to get our numbers moving in the right direction (for the most part) and have written a lot of Python in order to do data reporting and analysis. I am still looking for the magic bullet and will be sure to post about it here if I find it.
And the best for last! I am going to be a father… my wife is currently full-term and we are expecting to welcome a little human being into the world in the next couple of weeks (the official date is December 22 but I question their science). The idea of becoming a father was quite abstract for the longest time but sure feels real now. I have spent the last couple of weekends pre-cooking and freezing meals and started making an LED mobile… I will be sure to post about the latter once it is completed. I have no doubt that this is going to be the most challenging and rewarding thing I have ever done and believe that it will be a trigger for more creativity and higher quality production on my part, even though everybody tells me it is going to be so all consuming that I will not have time for any peripheral projects: challenge accepted.