Reveille: From Start to Finish in 85 Days

A few weeks back we introduced Reveille as a slick new way to tie your Backpack Calendar to Backpack Reminders.  Today we’re proud to say that Reveille is now available for anyone to check out. Only 85 Days…Part time mind you We built this fairly simplistic, but extremely useful application in 85 days while maintaining our current full time jobs, keeping our wives happy, spending time with our kids and helping with homework, serving at church, etc.  So, basically while we were living our normalish lives, we whipped this product out in our spare time. How we 4HWW’d and Got Real with Reveille As a “side” project, we had to make the most of our time and efforts.  We’re avid followers of 37signals and Tim Ferris so we applied many liberal doses of Getting Real and 4HWW to Reveille.  The end result of all the minimalist effort is that Reveille does basically one thing, it could do more, we’d like it to do much, much more, but for the time being it simply does this one thing:  Reveille automatically creates reminders for you based on your calendar items. We’re bootstrapping the project so we are very picky about what we actually spend money on. We actually developed Reveille on a PC turned server in DL’s basement. We purchased a slice from Slicehost to run our production site on.  We used Basecamp to help us manage the project so we could easily see what was left to do and make judgment calls as to the importance of those tasks.  We took advice from Guy Kawasaki and Dharmesh Shah and we...

Why Startups Fail

Joel Splosky quoting Jessica Livingston of Y Combinator in How Hard Could It Be?: Start-up Static when talking about why startups fail. “That would be boring,” she told me. “They all fail for the same reason: People just stop working on their business.” Um, yeah, well, sure, and most people die because their heart stops beating. But somehow dying in different ways is still interesting enough to support 40 hours a week of prime-time programming. I couldn’t agree with this statement more. I believe that most startups don’t realize that they’ve “made it” untill they’ve been making it for a while and it’s obvious to everyone except the person hard at work worried sick that tomorrow he’ll run out of money and have to fire someone. If success happens that slowly why would anyone think that failure happens any...

What’s Your Point?

When I was younger my dad was constantly interrupting, although I’m sure that he’d say he was interjecting into, our conversations and asking me “What’s your point?” I have to admit that at the time it didn’t sit well with me since it was usually asked just as I was intently describing something that I thought was as relevant to the topic as toilet paper is to a bathroom. I wouldn’t recognize the lesson that was taught by this seemingly innocuous question until years later, last year to be specific. The lesson was to not spend time or energy on those things, even if they are words, that did not have a valid point to the topic at hand. All too often we spend time on tasks that do nothing to get us where we are trying to go, or to the point of our actions. We get distracted and spend time focusing on the wrong things. This usually happens because the point is not well defined, not good enough or it’s just flat out wrong. The right point will not only keep you focused, it will drive you. It’ll get you up early and keep you up late. It won’t leave you alone and best of all, it will be simple. You’ll find that the clarity of a good point brings a sense of purpose to your actions. A sense of purpose brings drive and determination both of which bear success. Do you want to be successful in your endeavors? Have a good, clean and simple point. What’s your point? Is it the right one for you, your...

Jason Fried Rocks it 37Signals Style

In this interview that Tim O’Brien did with Jason Fried of 37Signals, Jason discusses his take on various aspects of the business that he and David have built. I would attempt to outline my favorite parts of the interview but I quickly discovered that they’re all my favorite. At only 36 minutes in length this interview is a must watch for all...