10: Product Manager Think

In this episode, Mario and Alan discuss the difficulties of choosing which product features to prioritize, problems with overheating MacBooks and options for Product Adoption platforms.

Alan: Anyway,

Mario: Yeah, now we are, so,

Alan: Yeah.

Mario: Yeah.

Yeah, I've been doing a little
bit more marketing lately.

You might have noticed.

Yeah, not as much as I would
like to, but I have been putting

a little more focus on that.

I haven't been back to
the code base in a while.


I've been you know,
working on the website and.

Alan: I mean, I, you know, so we
talked about before I think this.

That you need to add right now.

Is there everything that you've got it's,
it's workable as a product it's usable.

It's billable.

So, you know, I know that's always
a difficult, it's easier for

somebody else to say that than
yourself I'm at the same situation.


It's like I could build these beta users,
but I still don't feel like I should,

but even though I probably could right?

Mario: Yeah.


Well, especially when these
kinds of issues pop up, it

makes me feel uneasy about that.

You know, I feel like
it's not quite solid.

It's not really there because all
these little things can pop up.

But I I'm getting ready to
go back to the code base and

start working on the product.

And I think I mentioned last
time that I'm trying to.

Get into a routine where I spend
one week doing product development

and one week doing marketing.

And so for the past few weeks,
this, you know, I just thought of

this recently, but for the past few
weeks I've been focusing on other

things other than the product itself.

So, you know, marketing stuff mainly

Last week, my goal was to wrap that
up and this week start with, you

know, getting back to the code base.

But it didn't turn out that way
because I still had some lingering

things tying up some loose ends.

I was writing a blog post that I
just wanted to finish it and post it.

And so I did that yesterday and today is.

Alan: So, so the, I read
the, I read it in the.

MegaMaker right.

So you post it for comments.

So that's really cool.

I think that's that's a really
good start for the type of content

you're going to want to '[publish.


It's almost like.

I mean that that's, that's a good summary
post of like, here's some great tips

for, you know, basically getting going.

In fact, some of them, it might be nice
to all actually incorporate into your like

session startup process rate, almost like,
you know, w whenever, when someone starts

a session, it might be worth, you know,
just reminding, making sure that you've

done these things, you know, turn on, do
not disturb, or, you know, maybe we're.

You know, closing other browser
windows, if you got too many open,

that kind of thing, just to like
give them a gentle nudge because I

mean, I forget to, you know, hit the,
do not disturb thing all the time.

Mario: Yeah, I do that too sometimes.

Alan: So yeah, that potentially,
especially for guests, because I

mean, if you're the one recording the
podcast yet, you know, all about it.


You know, you in theory, if someone's
not as used to doing it, then yeah.

Just kind of giving them a gentle
nudge to let you know, maybe it's worth

rebooting before you start recording,
just to make things go smoother or,

you know, close, close your other
browser, windows, something like that.

Mario: Yeah.

And even for experienced podcasters
sometimes you're just in a hurry, I've

gotten, I've had conversations with
podcasters where they say, you know, yeah.

Sometimes I'm just in a hurry you know,
running from one thing to another to

the next and I, you know, finally get
to getting ready to record and I forget

to, you know, do something I forget
to hit record or something like that.

Alan: I mean, this is one of the, the
really nice things about Fusioncast

though using browser recording.

Anyway, is it minimizes the amount
of stuff you have to remember to do?


I mean, having, you know, done recordings,
even just a simple recordings is

just, there's a lot to remember
unless you're doing it everyday.


It's so knowing that.

You've got a load of those things taken
care of, just making sure that it's

recording there's backups there's you
know, double ended recordings, it's

split it's that that's all taken care of.

So you can focus on your
actual conversation.


So that, that's where I think was
like, nudges, just as you start the

call, like, ah, just make sure, you
know, remember these things even.

You know, just making sure that
the microphone is in a good

position and that kind of thing.

It might be just a nice little reminder
as part of the the call stop for.

Mario: Yeah.

Yeah, that's a good suggestion.

I'll look into that for sure.

Alan: I mean, I've been I think I
mentioned last time, you know, I've

been looking at this effectively,
the onboarding I know people

really don't like that word.

I'm kind of impartial to.

And there's always someone and she's
like, I hate this word so much.

It's I can feel that a little bit.

But just that the process of winning
someone overall convincing them,

you know, what to do or why they
should be doing this is really hard.

So I've been experimenting with a
few different ways that, that seem

okay to me and not too intrusive.

You know, like I've been playing with
these, you know, the guided tour.

little pop-up windows.

And I'm, I'm not convinced.

I mean, I always that they are knowing me,
but I know they helpful to some people.

So I'm like, eh, it's kinda just solve it
with just, you know, a modal that kind of

welcomes you and gives you an explanation
what to do and hope that you can figure

out the rest or do I, you know, put
little pointy arrows to everything on the

screen and guide them through the process.

So I might end up trying a few
different things, but I guess the.

Shock for this was that, that
software to do this as in that

there's a million and one guided tour.

I forgot what they call it,
a digital adoption platform,

something there there's a term that
I discovered that I didn't know.

It's really expensive or at least
bootstrapper's point of view Like the,

the, the average normal price for them.

It's like, you know, $250 $300 a month.

And I'm like, wait, wait, what?

Mario: Wow.

Alan: Yeah.

I mean, I found one help here.

That is like 60 or 50 or 60.

And that it's it's obviously not as
feature rich is obviously a smaller

company, but even that that's by far the
cheapest one I can find Intercom has a

And new as it start up kind of thing.

And it's like, oh, it's only
$75 a month for the first year.

And of course, then it goes
up to $350 $400, $500 a month.

And so even though it's like, do
I want to get dependent on that?

And then realize I've
got to pay $500 a month.

I'm like, oh really?

So the going with just a simple, put a
few modals up and tell you what to do

is it's nice from a cost perspective.

And not, I realize starting to
rely on another external service

that Yeah, it's one, expensive.

And two, just another thing to,
to rely on is probably what I'm

going to do at least at first

Mario: And another layer of complexity,
because now it's some integration that

you have to, you know, take care of.

Alan: it's another JavaScript file to
throw in the ever growing list of things.

Well, I've actually removed the
feedback button thing I had.

So I was using a service
called feedback fish.

Mario: Yeah, remember that

Alan: Yeah, and it's nice.

I like it.

There's no, I've got no issues with
it, but people just aren't using it.

So, and I needed the space.

I saw I'd probably put it
back as something else in

another dropdown or something.

But it, I th the only people
who used it were people.

Could've just emailed me anyway that
people I know, and there will people

I hoped would use it as in customers.

I don't know.

And, you know, have a it don't
have a relationship with me anyway.

Just actually didn't use it.

They're the people who emailed me
about it rather than the friends that

are using it, use the button, which
is the opposite of what I expected.

So I'm like, oh, okay.

I'll probably put it back, but I
removed it for the moment anyway.

Mario: Yeah.



Alan: What other marketing efforts.

Have you been up to?

Mario: Well actually these past two weeks,
haven't been, like I was saying haven't

been as productive as I wanted them to.


Just because of other things going
on, you know, with work and just

haven't been able to find enough time
to work on Fusioncast related items.

So just managed to get those, you
know to write that blog post and,

you know, post on Twitter here
and there and interact with people

more, get out there a little more.

Also part of these past two weeks besides
that in the back of my mind, I've been

thinking about this main issue that I
need to resolve that recording issue

that, I've been having with Fusioncast.

So I've been, thinking about it
and, you know, doing some research

here and there trying to brainstorm.

How I can go about it
to, to fix that problem.

Alan: I mean, I guess that's, that's
your, probably your biggest engineering

challenge right now is making sure
that this is resolved for good.


So it might be worth just yes.

Spending the next engineering chunk
of time, rather than the marketing

chunk of time of just like that.

That's the thing to fix.


I mean, everything else is pretty
much, you know, there's this endless,

like everything can be improved.


But everything else is fine.

But if that isn't a hundred percent
reliable, then that's a problem.


Mario: That's an issue.


And that's why it's been in the
back of my mind, but it kind of

slowed me down in in trying to focus
on the market and the marketing stuff.

During that time that I
was supposed to be focused.

Oh, that was supposed to
be dedicated to marketing.

You know, I've been thinking
about this and then kind of like

gravitating towards that and how am
I going to fix it and brainstorming.

And so it wasn't like the best
situation, you know, that mental

model wasn't really the best.


Alan: get this thing fixed and
then you can focus all of your

attention next time on that.


Mario: Exactly.


Alan: I do like the idea, like the
video you put on your homepage.

So I like, like the redesign,
the, the video that's cool.

Mario: oh, cool.


Alan: I, I do like video explainers
and walkthroughs and much more

so than just, you know, an
animation and advertising marketing

animation is like, no, it's again.

Puts that, the name, that person there
just an obvious, this is what the

product is and this is how it works.

I like that.

And I'm, I'm going to record another
one for my onboarding kind of thing.

So that's just because the product.

Changed enough that it's not
entirely like that anymore.

It's not a hundred percent
the same screen anymore.

And I just think I can do a
better version of that now.

So I'm going to try and record that
this well, I will record that this week.

There's no try.

Mario: There you go.


And it's, it takes, It takes
a long, a long time to get, to

Alan: a surprisingly
amount of time, right?

Just to do something simple, like,
you know, a 30 second or a one minute

video is like, it's a lot of work.

Mario: Yeah.


We had to do it over and over and
over and tried different things.

And when we thought it was done and it was
working, then we thought it was something

else wasn't working and did it again.

And then editing took forever too.

So, but It turned out good.

I'm I'm my worst critic.

I'm never satisfied with anything I do.

So, so,

Alan: know.

Mario: you know.

so to me it's like it's, it's good enough.

just put it out there and but I I've
gotten pretty good feedback about it.

Alan: Cool.


No, I mean, it's a, I say it's whole
aisle feels like it's coming together.

It's I think at some point you're
going to have to almost do.

I don't want to say a launch because
it's, it's hard launch is not easy

or feasible to do on your own.

Not, not very manageable anyway, but yeah,
you're, you almost need a kind of like a

deadline or some some moment in time when
you can say, okay, it's, it's actually

live and you know, there's nothing.

There's no hesitation in
giving people a signup URL.


I guess that's the thing, which for me
is like, it feels like, it feels like

it's forever getting further away, even
though in theory, it's getting closer.

It just feels like that the amount
of stuff I need to do to, to

be comfortable doing that feels
like it's it's ever increasing.


Even though realistically is not.

I think there's the, it's the
confidence thing again, isn't it.



It's knowing that, okay, it's not mine
anymore in terms of, you know, there's not

a wall that I let you in one at a time,
it's like, no, just climb over the wall.

If you feel like

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: a, it's a scary moment.

And it does feel that I've got
to hit that soon or else I'm

going to go a little bit crazy.


Mario: yeah,

Alan: feel the same.

Mario: Yeah.

And we risk hitting a burnout.

You know if, if we don't make
significant progress and, and new

things are happening, it feels like
you're just in the same spot and

you're spinning wheels and wasting all
this energy and not getting anywhere.

So Yeah, I totally get it, but Yeah.

I don't really have much
much of an update on my end.

I'm getting back to the code
base, starting tomorrow.

My goal is to completely
eliminate the need for this

recovery feature that I created.

You know, right.

Because if that's my target, then
that means you know, Fusioncast

will handle every situation more
reliably, you know, even if the page

is refreshed or whatever happens.

Alan: So right now, if I, obviously,
if I go into, try to leave, it'll

say no, wait until it's finished.

Do you catch the tab or
window close as well?

Will it stop me from closing the window?

Mario: It won't, do anything.

It'll, you'll be able to close the
window or the tab or the browser,

you know, any time it won't stop you
because I tried doing that and what

ends up happening for some reason.

And I may revisit this, but
what ends up happening is the


Signal is interrupted for some

It's not, it's not a
clean, way of handling it.

At least the way I tried it, I
tried all different ways and I

couldn't get it to pop the message
that you normally get without that.

Interrupting the communication or
what's going on, the camera would

disappear or some weird thing would
happen and I just couldn't get it.

So I might, revisit that, but

Alan: you might, you might,

Mario: the challenges.

Alan: You might.

So you might require the The
recovery mode just for that case.


And if somebody does close the
browser and there is a hanging a

bit of upload left, then you know
that you might need it for that.

But hopefully that's the only case.


Or do you just kind of say, well,
you lost that, that's it finish

the file and that's the problem.

Mario: Yeah.


See, the thing is if only a few
seconds are lost at the end,

I don't think it's a big deal.

I think.

Well, you know, it's, it could be handled
that way and not be a major issue.

But Yeah.

it's it's, it's a, it's a tough problem
to solve, at least with what I have

what I know the way, the way you know,
engineering, this thing it's a tough

problem to solve and I don't know
how other services have handled it.

Some claim that it's not an issue
for them, but I don't really

know because I don't use them.


I just need to figure it
out my own way to do it.

Alan: Yeah.


Yeah, that's a it, cause as you say,
if it's only a case of oh, you lost

the last 10 seconds because everything
else up until then was uploaded.

Cause you're constantly uploading.


Then, Hey, you know,
well, that's your fault.

You closed the browser too too quick.

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: but yeah, if it's, if it's
significantly more like it's, if it's a

few minutes, then that's, that's not good.


Mario: Yeah,

Alan: And again, because you won't,
as the recorder, you won't have

control over what the guest does.


But at the same time, removing that
whole entire leg of the, of the process

and saying, well, there, that's just it.

Once they've closed the browser, the
session ends and it's, you know, well,

you've got what you've got it removes
complexity on your end and it removes

instructions and a whole, well, you
know, you need to go and do this.

It's just like, it's all gone.



Mario: Exactly.

Alan: There's a big yeah,
that's a nice thing to do.

And just say, well, don't close
the browser, really press leave

and let the session finish
before you close your browser.

That's that's your problem.

So, Hmm that's I think this is one of
the I, I think this also is something

I feel is It's more difficult as
a solo small team is you, you want

to almost like, please everybody,
you want to catch all of the cases

you want to make everybody happy.


Whereas I know if I was
making that decision.

You know, we were a company and there was,
you know, lots of us building a product.

And somebody came to me with that feature.

I'd be like, that's low that's.

We know that's not going to stop shipping.


That's not going to stop a shift when
we put up a thing to say, that's it.

But when it's your own, you really do feel
like a a much more responsibility then.

And I it's eats.

That's a really hard
thing to to get through.

The thinking process is you really
do feel like, I mean, I hit this all

the time with, with DotPlan, right?

There's features that I'm building that
I'm like, if I was building this for a

company, I just would deprioritize and
say, it's not a priority for this release.

I would literally put a line
through it and say, you know what?

We're not tackling that yet.

Whereas I do feel right now, it's
very difficult to say to in your mind,

I'm not going to think about that.

I'm just not a problem you want to.

You feel much more I'm not sure
if the word responsibility,

but you feel like this I'm

Mario: Compelled to,

Alan: yeah.


There you got that's it, yes.

Mario: to make it a perfect or to
make it you know, really solid.

Alan: yes.

And I think that's also difficult
because I've never done.

Product management.

You know, I've done, you know,
technical, leading, that's fine.

I can prioritize and organize a
technical team to make sure we build

the things which need building.

But making those product calls is
not something I've I've advised

from a technical point of view,
but I've, that's never been my job.


It's a really hard thing to learn.

I think so I actually joined a there's
a product tank, Tokyo slack group that

and it's for product managers which
I, I know it's that there, and I know

the role exists and I know a little
bit about it, but I've never really.

Thought about it as like a community that
discusses the challenges of their role.


So I'm like, okay.

So I joined this, introduce myself, they
have meetups and all the rest, and they

were excited to, you know, welcome a,
an engineer into their, into that group.

They say, well, you know, we'd love to
hear your take on it as a, you know, as

a founder, as an engineer, trying to Come
to terms with these, these challenges.

So, you know, they, they actually
said, you know, would you be willing

to, you know, talk did we talk
about this when things are back

in that talking kind of sense?

I'm like, well, okay.

I was just saying, oh, so it was
interesting to see that, you know,

they obviously have a different set
of challenges in getting engineering

to do, almost do what they want,

Mario: Yeah,

Alan: it does feel like there's a,
you know, in the same way that, you

know, design and engineering has a.

Push pull relationship.

I think product engineer or product
management and product engineering has

a a different set of dynamics, right?

That they both have different
priorities and goals, and you need

somewhere to meet in the middle.


Mario: Yeah.

Yeah, totally.

Yeah, it is.

It is.

So I'm hoping to, you know,
figure it out at some point.

I just need to spend more time and
try different things and I have

some ideas of how to go about it.

I have to try it out and see how it goes.

Alan: That's all get that work
in that's that's the challenge.

That's your task

Mario: yup.

Alan: No ifs or buts,
just got to get it done

Mario: yeah.


Alan: I mean, it must be frustrating.

I mean, it's obviously frustrating
for you because there's, as I said,

that's the, from my perspective, that's
the barrier now for you to launch

everything else is a is a technicality.

It's, you know, this there's nothing else,
but at the same time, I can understand

you, you know, your hesitancy to, to
want to bring on anyone else until

you know, this is solid and reliable.

Mario: Yeah.


The way I see it, it's the
core part of the product

Alan: This is what it


Mario: it's, it's what it does.

So it needs to be more solid
than it than it is now.

It is pretty good right now.

It works.

It, you know if it's used.

Properly right.

Quote, unquote properly.

If it's, if it's used within the you
know, the, the normal use cases, it

works really well, but once, you know,
if we get it out into those outliers,

Alan: That'd be me then I'm the outlier.


There's only ever happens with me, right?

Mario: yeah,

Alan: Yeah.

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: I'm not saying it's your fault
Alan, but it's your fault, right?

Mario: no.

Alan: I take full responsibility.

Mario: Well, we'll see.

I think it'll, be fine.

I'll figure it out.

I have to tell myself that I'll figure it

Alan: Oh you will well, I, I mean, you
you've solved so many of the challenges to

get this working as smoothly as it does.

This is a, it is an edge case.

And yeah, it's probably just something
to do with the way we're faffing around

with setting up calls and, you know,

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: My browser issues and although I
say, so I switched out of this machine, so

I I had a 16 inch I nine MacBook
pro thing with you know, lots

of ramen and all the rest.

So I've switched it to an M1 MacBook air.

So our last recording that we did like
two weeks ago because I was having

so much issues with it, overheating,
I It was just like going crazy.

I couldn't run the, in the laptop monitor
and the, an external mantra at the same

time, it would just like threatful to 800
megahertz and just like become unusable.

So I had to choose one or the other.

So I did our last call on battery
because I didn't have a charger around.

I think I remember I had to end the call
at the end because I'd run out of battery.


So that used an entire charge of that
16 inch MacBook pro from hundred percent

to zero in one hour and 10 minutes.

So now I'm on this M1 with like basically
no fan and everything, and it's just

smooth as can be it's.

Mario: and it's 99%.

Alan: Pretty much.


It's nothing.

No, no issues whatsoever.

So yeah,

Mario: yeah,

I've heard great things about the M1

Alan: I mean, the crazy thing
is it's, you know, it was half

the price literally as well, so

Mario: Nice.

Alan: so yeah, I, I, I'm still
trying to get used to the small

screen, but you know, I can do that.

Mario: But you, you can connect it

Alan: Yeah.


I've got it

Mario: right?


Alan: screen.

as well as

Mario: Yeah.


Alan: every time I look at it,
I'm like, Ooh, this screen is

That's literally the only thing.


everything else has.

Mario: Yeah.

it's just you're you you're
used to the other one

Alan: Yeah, exactly.


So that, that actually slowed me
down development wise a little bit

as well, because just switching
to a new machine takes time.


Mario: I hate doing that.

It takes forever to get it back
to where you want it to be.

Alan: Better than it
used to be with iCloud.

And, you know, obviously
everything is in GitHub now.

You know, it's, it's either an iCloud
or it's in get hub and, but, you

know, obviously things don't always
go quite as smoothly as you hope.

Mario: yeah.


Alan: So that, that actually slow me down
a little bit, but at the same time, say.

I've been trying to solve this not
solve, but improve this onboarding thing.

And so the, the solution I've
come up with, I, I played around

with a bunch of these tools.

I tried Intercom.

I tried Helppier.

I tried I think three or four of them.

They all Appcues was the
one, Appcues is nice.

But again, it goes from zero to $250.

Literally overnight, you
know, you go from What is it?

I can't remember.

They they have a limited number
of displays of the help the modals

or the guided tour you can do?

Depending on how many of those you've
view per month, and it's not a high

number it goes from free plan to 250 plan.

Literally if you go one over and I'm
like, I I don't want to commit to that.

right now.

Especially when I'm not sure that, you
know, it's, it's a lot of work to get

that set up as well, you know, just
because I'd have to go through and,

you know, all of these tools pretty
much work the same in terms of the like

usually a Chrome extension that you, you
browse to your site to you enable it.

And then you, you know, you set up a flow.

So you say this element.

It brings up this box and you
write the text for the box.

And then when you click
this, it goes to another one.

So you basically set up this whole
flow of of onboarding somebody

through your product and then
they take them to this page.

And so there's, it's a lot of work
to to actually get this set up.

And it's a non-zero cost to change
either because each one you'd have

to, you know, if you decided to change
from, you know, Appcues to Intercom,

it'd have to go through the whole
process again, it's not just an import

you know, you input your app cues.

Onboarding to Intercom.

You'd have to go through the whole
process and there's subtle differences

in terms of, you know, some of them
can't do this type of button layout.

So I spent a few hours trying those out
and came to the conclusion that this

isn't what I should be doing right now.

So I've just gone for what
I'm doing is putting up.

So when you create an account, you get
a that there's two different paths.

If you create an account and create
a workspace, you get one modal, which

is basically explaining what to do.

With the, the demonstration
video embedded in that modal.

You can just close that and it's gone.

Have it, I'm going to put like a help
button somewhere, which will re show that.

And then when you go to the.

Like the, the, the new check-in paste of
traits and new check-in, I've got, I'm

coming up with a different model for that.

So I'm writing that at the moment,
which is the previous one is telling

you what the service does for
you and how you should use this.

And then the check-in page modal basically
tells you what to do on that page.

So this is where a guided tour with
the buttons would go if I committed

to that, but I'm like, okay.

In the meantime, in the short
term, I'm just going to put up a

modal and tell you what to do and
hope that you can figure that out.

It's not rocket science, right?

So that's my free solution

Mario: Right

Alan: rather than committing to $250.

And I'm hoping that just gets
past the barrier of people, you

know, hitting that page and going
well, I don't know what to do.

If it's a reasonably concise,
clear explanation then that that

will hopefully let them at least
have the confidence to try it out.

and then the other one, which I haven't
done yet is if you've been invited to

the service from someone on your team
the person who created it or somebody

else Pulling up a different introduction
modal I'll keep the same one for the

check-in page, how to use the check-in.

But for the welcome, I'm writing
a different modal, which is, you

know, you've been invited to this
team and this is what you should do.

So similar content,
but different contexts.

Just because again at the moment
that th this is actually the.

Path through the application
right now is if you're invited

by somebody, because it literally
drops you in, go as there you go.

And that's, it's, it's I wouldn't say
it's keeping me up at night, but it's

really annoying me that this is so bad.

So this is the, the one thing that
those three modals effectively I've

got one and a half of them done.

I need to write the third one
and improve the, the second one.

And then that's my.

That's my big push for this week.


I'm hoping to, my plan is I want to send
out some more invitations this weekend.

And I feel that this is the thing
that I, I don't want to send out the

invitations without this in there,
just because I'll hit the same.

I don't think I'll learn anything new by
people going through the same process.

I think I will learn something new by
having a better onboarding and then

finding out how people respond to that.

So that's my push for this week.

That's my, I will get it done.

Mario: Nice.


You will

Alan: how well I have I have a
clear, well, I mean the same as

this, I have a million, my things
on my list that I really desperately

a high number one priority.

But again, I'm trying to
apply a little bit of.

Product manager think and I'm
like, okay, what are these

stopping me, Nana, none of that.

None of these are this one.

It's purely that the learning process.

Again, I could send out the invitations.

There's nothing.

There's not nothing stopping me, but
I don't think I'd learn anything new.


Something just fell into my desk.

Eh, so yeah, the so I could send
these out, but by getting this

onboarding done, I definitely feel
I would learn something new from it.

So that's my goal for this weekend,
well this week, this weekend.

Mario: Nice.


Sounds good.

Wanting to ask back to those
modals that you're creating.

Have you thought about
using video instead of text.

Alan: Yes.


Mario: do like little screencasts there

Alan: So actually that's what I'm doing
for the for the main welcome page.

I was, so I was going to put like
the demo welcome video on that page.

I'm thinking I'm going to not
do that and just say welcome to

the service to give a little bit
more space for explanation there.

And then when you go to the
create a check-in page which I'm

renaming , it's currently called.

My plans or Your plans.

I'm changing that to create a check-in

Mario: Okay.

Alan: the word plan is it's just,
it's not working out in terms

of people get confused by it.

So I'm actually changing that
to just create a new check-in.

I use, you know, check-in is the.

The core thing that the whole
product is based around.

So that should be the button, right.

That's what you're creating.

So when you go to the, create
a new check-in page, then I'm

going to put a video explaining
how to use that page on there.

That's that's my plan for that.

So I have a little bit of text
and then a video doing that, the.

One, actually, I guess
this isn't a problem.

Because obviously I've got the Japanese
English pages to do, but all the

people I intend to invite will be
in English for this, the next batch.

So, and the I'm not going to pop this up.

If you're already in an already
a member, this is only for new

signups, so that won't actually
affect any of the existing users.


So, so,

yeah, cause I think the, the, that
that creates a new check-in pages.

It's not complicated, but again,
it's, it seems to be the one that I've

had the most response that I don't
know what I should do on this page.

And so I actually got a redesign
in the works, but again,

I don't want to rush that.

It's good enough.

It's it's usable right now.

The one I'm working on is much better,
but I also don't want to rush that

out before I feel it's it's ready.

And also that would
confuse existing users.

If I suddenly throw in a redesign
of a page without at least

letting them know what's going

Mario: Yeah, exactly.


That's always a challenge keeping
in mind those existing users and

Alan: this is

Mario: you know, not undermine what, what,
what they're used to and what they yeah.

What they like.

Alan: I mean, this is it's also one of
the reasons I'm not, I mean, I think

you're similarly and I don't want to
throw in too many uses right now or

open the flood gates flood gates, right?


That's going to happen.

The theoretical flood gates all, okay.

It's anybody going to sign up please?

Mario: Never know.

Alan: you never know, right?

Once, yeah, people do start
signing up, then it becomes ever

harder to make radical changes.


So I would like to get this
new check-in page design done

before I, before too long.

That's kind of like my next big priority.

I've got, there's some, you know, a
bunch of other smaller features that I

need to finish off or add or improve.

But the, the next big thing
is the redesign check-in page.


After that again, I'm, I'm
reaching that point where I'm

like, I've got no excuse anymore.

I could come up with a million excuses,
but I'm desperate to try to, not to.

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: I try.

I try and apply a little bit of this
to say this product manager thinking

just because it's otherwise it could
go on forever and we don't want that.

Mario: As you should, you should.

Alan: It's hard though.

It really is.

It really is hard to make that
like, like cutoff in your mind.


It's I mean, the, in the same way that
it's difficult to go from marketing to

engineering and, you know, I think it's
again, it's a similar kind of going

from front-end to backend is no longer.

Doesn't bug me anymore.

I mean, that used to be like
more difficult to switch between.


I don't really feel that anymore.


That's the same thing.

That's kind of.

Engineering the product.


Whereas now the, I guess, as the
scope of what you're doing, your,

your job role grows, there's only
so many divisions you can make.


So I guess those are just
merged into just engineering.

That's just writing code now.

And yeah, it's definitely
a challenging step.

Mario: Yeah, yeah.

The fun of building software.

Alan: It's yeah, it's, it's
exhausting at times, but

Mario: Yeah, but

it's super rewarding too.

I love it.

Alan: oh, wait.

Mario: could complain, but I love it.


Alan: I mean, this

Mario: end of the day,

Alan: this is, the, I was kind of you
know, doing the well, you know, what if

Kind of extrapolation in your mind or,
you know, what, what did you do if you

did suddenly have an influx of users and
or money, what would, what would you do?

Or even if you had some kind of an exit,
you know, that was potentially possible.

And what would you do?

And I'm like, I'd probably do
the same thing again, right.

Probably just to keep on
doing this are very boring.

And it's like, I, I can't actually
think of anything that I'd rather, okay.

I'd rather just be, you know, playing
video games or something in, in theory.

But I know I wouldn't want to, I know
that I'd get incredibly bored very

quickly and building products that solve
and make things better and make people

Mario: people's lives easier.

Alan: easier.


I really enjoy doing that.

And and I think this is why also
I'm not a there was a Twitter

thing this week, last week.

Somebody saying, you know, that
the definition or the, the Division

between like front-end and back-end
is kind of the wrong division.


You know, it's, it's more division
between a more realistic division

separation is between product engineering
and infrastructure engineering.

And I kind of feel that
it I'm a hundred percent.

Product engineer, right?

That what I, the, how I use my
tools, the tools I use, the,

the, the deployment services.

I use that how everything is built.

Like the CIU is all this.

I really don't care so much
about that, as long as it works

well, and I know how to use it.

But making those product decisions
and trying to think through the whole.

Works and how it can work in
someone's life is, is really

the enjoyable bit for me.

Writing the code is
the making that happen.

And it's really nice
to be able to do both.

But I don't feel so, so really
that excited about the, the

infrastructure side of things.

Mario: Yeah, I think I feel the same way.


It's yeah, I couldn't have said it better.

Alan: I just enjoy building products.

And again, this is probably why I
would find it very difficult to fit

within a, you know, one of the FANG
companies is you almost can't do this.

Extended roll.


Or at least not easily.

You know, you, you would be an
engineer and, and your, the scope

of your role would be very tight.

And I could just get really fidgety
and antsy when that happens.

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: I mean, this is why, you know,
it's, I guess I've tended towards

startups for the last, I don't know
what 12, 14 years probably longer.

It's just because it is feasible
and it's possible to do, to be

involved in, in all, on all things.


You're not just a an engineer that happens
to be in this very niche kind of area.

And it's I dunno, I don't
think I'd do very well.

You know, you see the, the, well, you see
the salaries and you see the, you know,

the nice offices and the, you know, and,
and it would be super interesting to work

on some of these massive scale projects.

But I know I probably
wouldn't fit me very well.

Mario: Yeah.

same here.

I mean, it would be interesting.

But I don't know.

I just think it's way more I don't
know if it's way more interesting.

How to put this.

I, I think those, that would be
pretty interesting to work in some,

you know, a huge project that affects
you know millions of people and,

and, and your work is, is you know,
it, your work touches so many lives,

Alan: mean, yeah.

Can you imagine working on like, you
know, Facebook or Instagram or something,

knowing that there's, you know, a
billion people using these things,

it's kind of crazy to think, right?

Mario: Yeah.

Yeah, but at the same, it is cool,
But at the same time, if you're in

that environment, in that context,
then your work is there's more going

on you know, behind the scenes and
there's there's some, there are

other agendas happening, right.


That these huge companies are.


And so your work is engulfed in
that, and, and, and it, it has

another, a secondary effect that you
probably don't even intend to have.

So, you know, I had a,
wouldn't want to be.

in that situation that I'd rather, you
know, work in a small, you know, calm,

a slow growth company of my own, Right.

That that has ma you know, for sure
a lot less of an impact, but Hey, as

long as you can make a positive impact
in someone's life it does, it doesn't

have to be millions around the world.

Alan: Right.

I mean yeah, I mean, it it's, it's th
the, the scale and the scope is less

important to me than the quality.


Mario: Yup.

Alan: for me and for my customers,

Mario: Yup.


Alan: is important.

Mario: That's it.

That's it right there.

Alan: it's but it's sometimes it's
I think also the, I mean, this, the

whole startup culture is I sometimes
feel that even though I've been with

it since the beginning, you know, at
the end, even before, before it, right.

You know, my first web product I
sold in what, 2002 and I guess,

no, it's not value web two dot.

Oh, right.

You know, And it, but it feels so
alien to me to kind of read about

what startups are considered.

And it's like, are these, even
though you talking about the

same thing is kind of weird.

Mario: Yeah.


Alan: But so just, you know, forge your
own path, work out what works for you.

And it's it, as I said, I'd probably
just be doing the same thing, even

if you know, that plan was bringing
in lots and lots of money, which is

it's, it's kind of I don't wanna say
refreshing it's it's like a release to

know that, oh, well the whole, and this
is what I should be doing anything.


Mario: Yeah.

Yeah, totally.

Alan: in some ways.

Mario: Yeah.


Alan: Cool.

Mario: right.


Alan: the, how's your editing
going by the way, next episode.

Mario: Oh, yes.

When it's talk about that I,
I edit I'm editing the next

episode and I had a weird.

issue with garage band where one day
I was editing and everything was fine.

And then I stopped for the day and
the following day I came back to it.

I left it open, so, you know, it was in
the background and I came back to it.

And now there's no audio.

Everything is.

And every, Yeah, And the waves are there
of all the audio from all the tracks.

But when I try to play it and
preview it, I can't hear anything.

There's nothing.

And I don't know what it's doing,
so I need to figure that out.

I don't know if it's my computer or yeah.

I've played with all.


I played with settings and you know,
all the settings within garage, banner.

I mean, I didn't to change

Alan: Yeah, just like it's gone.

There's no audio.


Mario: Yeah.

I just, you know, I left my
computer, came back the next day

and weird, you know, no, no audio.

So I don't know.

I'll have to figure that out.

But other than that, yeah,
just hopefully I'll get it to,

Alan: Like expo, you can download like
a trial of logic pro which imports

GarageBand may be worth late doing that.

The, I think it's a 14
or 30 day trial of logic.

Just seeing if that yeah.

Cause that's, Apple's
basically pro GarageBand.


So it might be worth seeing if
it loads in that all send it to

me and see if it loads on mine.

It may just be some weird thing crank.

Mario: yeah.

Alan: I've never heard of that,

Mario: yeah, yeah,

Alan: especially if you can see
the wave forms, there's like the

there, but I can't hear them.

Mario: Yeah.


I got to try it again after
I restarted my computer.

I didn't, I mean, I've restarted
my computer since then and

I haven't tried it again.

So maybe, maybe it'll clear up on its own.



Alan: How was the editing going for?

That was, it was getting there.

It was going

Mario: yeah, it, yeah, it's going okay.

It's still.

Alan: than you expected.

Mario: No, I still quite a, quite a
bit of editing that needs to be done,

but I think as we progress and keep
recording, it's getting a little better.

So hopefully it'll take less
time as we move forward,

Alan: So

his, so here's

something I was kind of thinking about.

So I attended a, a online webinar of
A few days ago for it was organized

by the Sheba startup center, which is
Tokyo, same way that Fukuoka the city

has like a startup advisory thing.

Sheba has only Tokyo.

So they had a this
thing about accelerator.

Systems that are in active in Japan
for English speaking founders.

Mario: Oh, cool.

Alan: and so one of them is
actually organized by 500 startups.

And the other two are more locally
based smaller, well, one of them,

small diesel ones, not small at
all, but it's, it's local to Asia.

It's I think it's started
around here somewhere.

Mario: Okay.

Alan: So they're all, you know, free
to apply that the, the program is free.

But obviously their goal and the
like the third phase of all of their

program, so that they all have like
a three or four month program, you

know, Th that are all virtual at
the moment, which is kind of nice.

But they all have you know, there's a
few hours a week that are basically,

you know, lessons, courses, ment, and
then there's mentors and all the rest.

And so they're all like super
interesting just because the topics

they cover are super relevant to this.


You know what we're doing?

And they're all like, you know,
early stage, you know, just, you

know, around this half an MVP or
have a product and all the rest.

And I'm like, okay, I don't.

All of them have this goal, which
at the end of it is, and then you

can, we'll help you get funding.

And I'm like, well, I don't want
to do, but I'm very interested

in all the previous stuff.

So I'm like, is it unethical to actually
apply and do these things, but then be

like, I don't really so interested in
it because I mean, that's their goal.

That's how they make money.


As an accelerator is that
their goal is to get you to.

Participate in a funding round
and they can, you know, obviously

that that's their, their goal
and probably how they operate.

But I'm like, it sounds super
useful, but that's not my goal.

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: I'm like, Hmm.

Mario: you're interested in
the in, in the interaction,

the networking, the connections

Alan: the community, the
connections, the mentorship, the,

the whole network is invaluable.


But obviously the, the third phase
or the last phase is always like,

and then we help you hone your
pitch which is, that's not bad.

That's helpful.

And then, you know, we'll set up a demo
day and I'm like, yeah, For investors.

And I'm like, man, that really

is just supposed to, by that.

Mario: Yeah, for sure.

All right, Alan.

Again, as always.

I'll see you in a couple of weeks.

Alan: Nice.


I'll catch you in two weeks.

10: Product Manager Think
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