12: Why we do this

Why we do what we do. Plus some updates on mentorship events, new features, fixing issues, onboarding, and overall work being done on DotPlan and Fusioncast.

Mario: Hey, Allen.

Alan: Hello?

Mario: good How's it going?

Alan: It's warm.

Mario: It is, isn't it?

Alan: You have the same kind of problem.

Mario: Yup.

It's pretty

warm here too.

Alan: Yeah.

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: not a fan.

I'll be honest.

Mario: Is it?

is it humid.

over there?

Alan: Yeah.

we get it super humid.

it's yeah, it's generally in
the 50 sixties, sixties or

seventies, humidity percent.

And it's just sticky all the time.

Mario: muggy

Alan: yeah,


Mario: Yeah.


That's that?

That's different here.

Hear it.

We have dry


Alan: Right.

Mario: pretty nice and


Alan: I've heard that.

That's a bit more manageable.


Mario: Yeah.

it is.

Although some days it gets a little
bit humid, but not a big, you

know, not, not anything compared
to, you know, what you probably

experienced over there or the east

coast here of the US

Alan: Right show.




Unfortunately the times I've
lived in places that have been

warm, have all been humid, places.

So I'm I associate hot with very
sticky muggy kind of weather and yet

to be somewhere where it's a dry heat.

So I need to, give it
a, give it a fair shot.

I think at some point

Mario: Yeah.


Well, you got to come live in

the west coast of the


Alan: you're offering?

Mario: Yeah.

Come live here and you'll experience

that dry heat.

Alan: Sounds good.

So what one day

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: have you been?

Feeling good?

Mario: Good.



I have a sort of a big
news, big announcement.

So yeah,

I recently accepted a, a new role
as a software engineer or software

developer joining a remote team.


I'll be working remotely a, hundred


Alan: Excellent.


Mario: Thank you.

Alan: That'll get rid of that
nasty, long commute that you are

increasingly having to do, right?

Mario: Yes.


I'm So looking

forward to not having to do that,

Alan: Yeah.

I mean, I guess this is it does the
company, is it entirely remote or is it

like partially.

Mario: I think partially.

Yeah, but a I'm pretty sure a pretty big

part of the company

is remote.

Alan: Okay, cool.


I mean, it's it's, I think it's just going
to keep getting more and more like people

are going to be looking for this as a

you know, not even a nice to have.

It's like essential.

You gotta be remote.

or else it's not something
that gets considered.


Mario: Yeah.


Especially in our line of work.

I mean, it's so it's so ubiquitous and,
you know, it's, it's, it's possible

because of the nature of the work it's
just lends itself to being able to do it


You know, it's just,

Alan: Exactly.

Mario: you know writing code and and
technology has come a long way in

terms of, you know, communication,

as we can experience


Alan: Absolutely.

Well, I mean, I'm kind of, You
know, I have a, you know, a little

bit of an interest in this myself,
as you think, if you noticed,

but yeah, I think it's,

It, what was kind of ex not extreme,
but it was on the edge of what

people were willing to accept
few years ago with work styles.

Now it's, it's just normal.


And I think companies are going to find
it harder and harder if they're entirely

office-based, unless they've got something
seriously going for them in terms of

like, you know, everybody wants to work
for this company and thinking, you know,

apple, Google, and co which will always
have people which will be happy to pay

crazy rents and travel to, to work there.

Other companies are really going to
struggle, I think, in the next few

years, just because, well, you know,
why should I have to put up with that?

I mean, if you're that way inclined, I
mean, there's always going to be people

who prefer an office and that's cool also.

But it shouldn't be the
only way of working.

Mario: Yeah.

And there are certain

types of jobs that require
that you be in person.


So it depends on the the type of jobs.

So some of those

are always going to be around and

people need to be present, but,

Alan: Staring at JavaScript
is not one of them.

Mario: Yeah.

Yeah, for sure.




Alan: And plus they don't have to hate
your screen when you having to deal with


Mario: Yup, Yup,

Alan: Cool.

Mario: So

Alan: Oh, that's great news.


So is that cause you have pretty,
short notice periods in the U S


Mario: yeah.

the standard is two weeks.

So yeah, I gave my standard
two weeks notice last week.

So my last

day is a Wednesday next


Alan: so

the UK has a generally
one month notice period,

which is

kind of weird because you
spend a month kind of going,

I'm here, but

like, don't ask me to do anything
difficult because you know, it's

literally just handing over your
stuff and then you get that done.

And then you're like, well,
what am I supposed to do now?

And nobody wants to give
you, put you on any work.

You don't get invited to meetings anyway.

So because everybody knows you're leaving.

It's a really

weird month.

Mario: it is.

Alan: I think when I was
in the U S I think one of

the companies was a one week.

And that felt like it was brutal,
but it was also like, let's just

get this over with you're leaving.

Tell me what you know,
that I need to know.

And then just go, it's all good


Mario: yeah, yeah.

Alan: a month is.



Mario: Yeah,

it is.

It's also a weird, the time leading
up to, to that when you are, you

know, searching or mostly after you've
accepted an offer somewhere else.


And, and, or you're in the
process and it's almost official,

but it's not for a few days.

Cause you know, you're waiting

to make it official and then you're

at work and they're talking about projects

coming up and things are going to be
doing, and then you're in, in your mind,

it's like, well, you know, I might not be

here, but I can't tell you yet.

Alan: exactly.

and you're trying not show that to say,
you're trying to be like positive, but

you're thinking, yeah, I don't care.

Mario: Yeah, exactly.

Alan: It's very

Mario: Yeah, So it's yeah,

Alan: You're halfway out the door anyway.


you got your one foot out
the door, so that's good.



really good.

Mario: Thank you.

Thank you.

Alan: Yeah, I've also, we also
have school holidays here as well.

So we have my son running around or
just is, it's not exactly disruptive

or noisy, but it's definitely adds
to the slight distraction of not

being able to concentrate fully.

I mean, it's also, it's, it's nice.


know, it's really cool to
have him hanging around too.

But it's sometimes a little
trickier than it is when it's quiet.

Mario: Yeah.

How old is your son


Alan: 10.

So Yeah.

I mean, half the day, he's like,
so my friends are on fortnight.

Is that cool on the, I say no?

So it, I mean, I think I've
mentioned before, it's, it's amazing

to see how Fortnite has become this like
social space for them over the past 18

months, you know, during the pandemic.

And it's now we have, you know,
30, 35, 37 degrees temperature

and blazing sun outside.

It's like, well, it's probably not
the best thing to go and run around

in a playground at mid date rates.

So, and I've always spent a, you
know, really around your Fortnite is

probably a little better for his health,

as you've seen from the, probably
the Olympic pain of like trying

to play tennis and like, you know,
38 degrees temperatures that fun.

Mario: Brutal.

Alan: It is

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: cool.

Mario: Yeah.

So I wanted to share with you
also, I couldn't get garage band to


I was working on editing some of
our past episodes that have been

queued up and waiting for a while.


I mentioned the

other day.

I had a, had some trouble with garage band

Alan: Yeah, it just stopped playing.


Mario: Yup.


Just stopped playing.

And it, I don't know,
there's no sound at all.

Nothing, everything looks
there and I can see the fi you

know, the tracks and the waves.

And I played with all kinds
of buttons everywhere and, you

know, trying to figure
it out, nothing, nothing.

I even closed the project
completely and started a brand new

one and brought, you know, audio
files over into the project and

nothing it's just doesn't


Alan: Does it work if you come start a
completely different audio file or is it

just nothing?

Mario: no, it's just nothing,
even if it's, I mean, if it's

a completely different file,



I don't know what it is.

I decided to just bail out on garage band.

I don't have time to be dealing with that.

So I gave Descript to try again.

I did try it before, one time.

And I, it's a great service
and it's a great tool.

I was very impressed, but it
also, in some ways kind of

clunky and it to kind of
gets, it takes a little bit of

getting used to,

Alan: it does.


Mario: and I, I guess it didn't help
the first time I tried it, I was

editing a video and not just audio,

so it was kind of weird.

Alan: Yeah.

it is a bit weird it's
better when it's just audio.


When I've tried it with

video as well, because
obviously it's cutting and

chopping and slicing.

So the video ends up just
like that I can't deal with


Mario: Yeah.

yeah, So it, it chops off parts
of the video in awkward ways

that you don't really want them.

So this time I try to with
audio editing a couple

of episodes of from our recordings
and it worked really great.

I really, really liked it.

It was a much better



editing audio.


Alan: Yeah, it's just
such, such a time-saver.

I mean, you know, the, the
magic remove ums and uhs is like

Mario: Yeah,

Alan: knowing I am an

um and uhrer is.


It's just like, yeah.

Get rid of that.

Make me sound a little
bit more intelligent.

Mario: Yeah.


It's a, it's a, it's a great tool.

And I like the the graphical
interface as well, where you can just

drag parts of the audio and
just remove long pauses or

overwrite, you know, certain

parts from, by just dragging to the


Alan: and just re yeah, like I did
some stuff where I rearranged stuff.

It was just, I want to
say this before that.

And it's like, that's crazy
easy to be able to do.

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: Like it's I think, you know, it's,

it's got some way to go in some
ways, you know, you can imagine,

you know, where it might be in one
or two years, but right now it's,

it's really powerful for, for audio.

Just, just as a massive
time-saving device, more

than anything.

Mario: Yeah.


I think some of the work, mostly it
needs to be on, on the user interface

and the, you know, the usability of It

where sometimes It gets
a little clunky, but.

Alan: It feels a little Yeah.


It's, it's

that weird, not in
proper native app things.

So some things yeah you end up
selecting the page as opposed

to some text and it's like,

Mario: Yeah, Yeah, yeah.

I'd run into that.

And it's like, oh no, you know,
I didn't want me to do that.

So it took some getting used to as
well, but overall, the, the technology

behind it is so powerful and so cool.

I love it.

So I'm thinking about paying for
the you know, paid service to be

able to do more editing with it.

Cause right now it's just the

free, you know, tier

Alan: right

Yeah, yeah.


I managed to scrape under the free tier

but Yeah.

if we need to split any costs
for this, obviously just

Mario: because, well, I was thinking,
you know, what, if we hire someone

to edit the episodes, but that can be
really pricey, you know, per episode.

And so, well, I was thinking,
what are other ways.

we could spend money on,
but not as expensive.


maybe Descript is, one way to do it where
we could pay, but it's not, it's not that

expensive compared to having an


Alan: Right.


Mario: at least for


you know,

it's just, it's like a middle ground.

Alan: until, you know,
the sponsorships are

rolling in and

Mario: Oh yeah,


Alan: well, I I'm expecting
Fusioncast to be the primary



Mario: yeah.


Of course,

Alan: I think it already is.

I think that


Mario: And what about dot plan

Alan: Oh, obviously

Mario: DotPlan.io.

Alan: it's funny.

My son keeps like doing he's like, I
think, I don't know if it says a as

big a thing there, but for Japanese TV
commercials are, and for any brand they

have like a, a signature like sound or
jingle it's, it's almost like a, you

know, like Intel has that ding, ding,
ding, ding at the end, every brand has

something at the end of a commercial here.

So whether it's for toilet paper
or whether it's for, you know,

face cream or whatever, they all
have their brands sound logo.

I don't know what they're called.

Mario: Ringtone or


Alan: yeah.

And they're incredibly powerful.

I mean like that Intel one is probably
the best example I can think of in the

in, in the English advertising world.

So everything has on here.

It was like going up with ones for,
for dot plan and I'm like, yeah, I'm

going to, one of these is going to stay.


Mario: Nice.


Yeah, you got to have.

You got to have it

Alan: Absolutely.

Mario: you're in Japan.


Alan: I was like, what is weird here?

I don't know if I've mentioned
before, but it's almost like a

Rite of passage for startups for,
they advertise on TV big time.

And it's, I think there's a point
when you get like funding you do a TV,

commercial, or a cm as they call it here.

And it's.

It's weird because some of the
strangest things which are like, why

the hell are they advertised on TV?

It doesn't seem to fit that profile.

But when You consider like the buying
patterns, especially if like any kind of

business apps, that's the person who has
to decide on it might be a TV watcher.

As in it might be an older guy
that's running the company.

When someone says, you know,
we want to pay for this.

He's like, oh, I've seen the TV advert.

So Yeah.


So I think it's that some recognition
that they need to show that they're

a real company and not just some
fly by night internet thing.

But it's, it's weird.

Some of the startups that advertise, Hey,
you're like really, you need a TV ad.

It's it's quite bizarre.

Hmm, because in the UK, at least
when I left the UK, the internet

companies didn't advertise on TV.

Why would they, they have like this
massive market of people spending

all of their times on their phone.

Why would you have, you know,
why would you advertise on the

old media,

Mario: yeah.


It doesn't, it doesn't make much sense.

It's kind of weird.

Alan: Hmm.


Mario: Yeah, I don't, I don't watch
that much TV, so I don't know what the

landscape looks like nowadays on TV,
like regular TV, you know, I'm usually,

if I, if we watch something it's

Netflix or, you know, one
of those paid subscriptions

Alan: Well, that's my point.

Yeah, exactly.

Who, who watches broadcast TV now it's it

is weird.

So my, my,

this is my interpretation of it.

It must be people, the people
who are watching broadcast TV are

probably the people who are going
to have to sign off on something.

So getting their recognition of like,
oh yeah, I've heard of this thing.

It's yeah, it has that famous
actor telling me it's good.

So therefore it must be okay.

Mario: yeah,


Alan: Advertising is weird to me.

I don't, know.

I don't understand it at all

Mario: yeah.


Alan: we need to

Mario: Well, what else is new with you?

Alan: It's.

I had an interest in a
couple of meetings this week.

This week has been a strange one.

I had you know, I go to the startup

hub, stuck caffeine in town.

So they contacted me a few weeks ago
and asked if I would like some mentoring

sessions and I'm like, well, I'm always
interested in anything get any extra

brain that can give me some feedback.

I'm happy to hear.

So there's actually, there were
two separate events, but they

ended up being one day after each
other when they actually occurred.

So the first one was it's
a guy who, who lives here.

I'm not sure if it's nationalities,
you're repeating some kind.

And so he ran a company here.

Grew massively doing
backup software, I think.

And so he seems to have quite a
lot of experience with growing

and taking investment and exiting
and things with con startup.

So I spent half an hour, 45
minutes talking to him just about.

And what we were doing.

so it, I didn't know, going in
what exactly his experience was.

So it's difficult to know what to
ask for feedback on, but it ended up

kind of being almost like a bit of
a therapy session in terms of it's

like, well, why are you doing this?

What's the what's your goal?

What do you hope to achieve for this?

You know, like and so it ended up
me almost reiterating or clarifying

what my, my hope is for the product.

And it's like well, you know,
are you looking for investment?

Well, not really.

Well, why not?

And what if you did, what
would you do with it?

And if you don't, why do
you think you can get to?

So it ended up becoming a bit of
a, a therapy session rather than

a and product feedback session
which was, which was interesting.

I mean, just having that.

Experienced somebody
else who you don't know.

I mean, it's different when you
talk to people that you already

have a relationship with you,
they already know what you're

like and what you're going for.

But when it's somebody who you have
no previous interaction with it was,

it was interesting hearing myself
justify why I'm doing what I'm doing.

And also the things like you do
realize this is kind of a big

thing to try to do on your own.

I, mean, if if I was doing a you know,
obviously a micro SaaS something that

is, it's a product that you can sell
for $10 a month, and then you can, you

know, sell a product or live, you know,
hit some MMR that you're happy with.

But what you're trying to do is
something that leads itself to

expansion, just because, you know,
you're effectively, your, your ultimate

aim would be selling it to enterprises.

And you're not going to
do that as a solo founder.


And so it's, it was kind of
interesting to hear it spelled out

and, and I kind of knew these things,
but having someone get me to talk

through it was, was, was interesting.

And it kind of raised some of the thoughts
in my mind as to, you know, what okay.

If those things are, where it would
kind of ultimately end up, where

do I want to see myself in that?

And what's my six month goal with
trying to do I want to head for that

or do I scale back some of the, the
goals and try to be a little bit

more focused on a particular segment.

So, you know, say for instance, you know,
smaller on the smaller SME side so that,

that was kind of a, it was worthwhile,
it was definitely worthwhile doing.

And obviously his biggest feedback
product-wise was, you know, focus on

this in terms of product growth and
marketing wise was, you know, just focus

on trying to do it like a London expand
kind of idea, you know, get a team of

three people in the company using it.

And hopefully it will grow from there.

You know, don't try to sell from the top,
just try to sell from what my network

is, which is smaller, not smaller, but
developers and engineering teams that

might be within a larger organization
that they might not be able to influence

the company as a whole initially.

But if they can use it internally for
that small team, then it might grow.

And so that was his, and they
had similar success with their

products and he said, it's you
know, I, you, you can think of any.

Bigger engineering based SAS,
that they probably all start

in a similar kind of way.


You know, it'll be three people in
a bigger team using it because it's

convenient and it's low cost and someone
can stick it on their expenses and it's

no big deal versus trying to get, you?

know, top down buy in, which is, you
know, requires sales teams and whatnot.

So just at least making me concentrate
on that from a a growth strategy

or at least a sales strategies
is definitely makes sense.

And it should be probably what I'm trying
to focus rather than trying to sell big.

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: Um, and the other one was a

This two people, they, the
Japanese founders, they sold

their startup a few years ago.

It was a beautician job network, I
think like a freelancing beautician.


So they founded that I think
like eight or nine years ago, and

they extended a few years ago.

And so now they're investing and mentoring
Japanese startups, and they've got

like 20 startups on their portfolio.

And so I met with one of them.

And so she was which was
interesting because she doesn't

speak English at least a little
tiny bit of understanding English.

And obviously my Japanese is,
is up and coming, shall we say?

So one of the people from FDN he was
there to help me with the translation,

but it was also interesting for me
because I, I, I got to it probably

the most Japanese I've used in a.

in context with somebody, I don't know.

I mean, you know, I have Japanese lessons.

I will, you know, I can get by
in daily life, but in a business

context, it's always been, I've
never been the, the main speaker.

It's just, I can understand, but
I never really speak that much.

So it was probably the first time when
I was sat in a room with somebody that

doesn't speak English in a business sense.

And I had to try as hard as I could
in Japanese and then fill in the

blanks with the the translator.

So that was an interesting experience.


Mario: Wow.

Alan: it's interesting.

Mario: How did it go?

Alan: It went well.

So, Yeah.


She gave some interesting feedback with
regards to how Japanese enterprise.

Would see it and take it and what their,

What their concerns might be, which
is kind of valid because obviously,

you know, Japanese selling.

So Japanese business versus a Western
one is, is definitely a different tactic.

So she gave some interesting feedback on
what, you know, what, what some of the

language we're using and what not to focus
on and what to downplay a little bit.

And also some competitors that
maybe worth looking at for how they

present their, what they're doing.

I mean, that competitors, in the sense
that they're in the HR space and we're

in the people project space, so similar
but different, but just again, they're

all, it's interesting because they
are all going for the top down sales

strategy, you know, they're selling to
the management and, you know, kind of

how decisions get made here, obviously.

I I'm still, you know, I th I think
going in and trying to sell to the, the,

the people on the ground is still makes
sense as a sales tactic, but it obviously

might be more difficult to pull off here
just because people don't have a expense

credit card on for their business.

Whereas I think we've always had
in every other Western engineering

company I've worked for, everyone's
got an expense card, whereas it's

just doesn't really happen here.

Mario: Interesting.

Alan: so I mean, a manager might, but
it, it would have to still wouldn't

be on the ground that they can do it.

So there's a slight difference.

But I still think that that approach of

no, I don't want to try and be a Japanese
company from a marketing perspective.

I want to try to show that we're not
a a typical company at which, you

know, I can't pretend to be a Japanese
company it's never going to work.


So I might as well play to my
strengths, which is it's different,

Mario: right, that's

Alan: but it was, it was, yeah, I hope so.

Time will tell you know, I'm not, I can't,
I'm not going to pretend to be something

I'm not, so just be who I am and what
I want the company to be and hope that

that resonates with some people that are
looking for something slightly different.

So, but it was useful.


So they also wanted me to arrange
another session next week.

With the the other
founder of this company.

So he apparently is more marketing
focused and he's like more creative

kind of side of the business.

So they want to arrange a,
another session with him.

And the interesting question
came up was like, oh, you know,

what's your what's your team?

Like, you know, having problems, hiring
people or kind of managing your team.

And I'm like, nah, that'd be me.

I know.

She's like, but I'm like, Yeah.

I had designed and built the thing and
marketing and yeah, That's all me and I,

it's kind of, it's a little bit awkward.

You're like,

yeah, sorry.

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: But and the question was, you
know, are you looking for investment?

And, and I'm like, I don't know.

Maybe if it, if things
work out then possibly,

Mario: Okay.

Alan: it's a stranger.

Mario: Yeah.

That was going to be my next question.

Circling back to what you mentioned
earlier, you know the question

being, why are you doing this?

And, and are you
interested in, in funding?

And so why are you doing


are you interested in funding?

Alan: It's.

I mean, it was interesting hearing
myself, you know, cause this?

has all been internalized.

And, I think, you know, when
I wrote the business plan, I

think we've talked about this


Just kind of writing in black and, white,


know, what, what am I trying to
achieve here was very helpful.

And then there, that was a year ago.

so coming back and somebody saying,
well, why are you doing this?


And it's the, especially we know with
what we were just saying with regards to

remote work And things is, you know, I
really think that there's a better way.

We're integrating work into your life
than traveling an hour and a car and

sitting in an office for eight hours.

You know, having done it for so long
as in remote work and hybrid work, it

it's, you know, it always shocks me
when, when I did go back to an office for

eight hours is more like 10 hours a day.

Just how exhausting, how little
time you've got for the rest of

your life and just how much it
impacts your family life and things.

And I'm like this, this is
just unnecessary and okay.

You know, it's it always felt natural
to me to not have to be on a nine to

six schedule, but then seeing how the
world responded after the pandemic

that was, you know, well A it's
possible, but B it doesn't just work.

You know, you can't just suddenly
become remote overnight and that's it.

We're all remote and everybody's
happy and everything's fine.

It doesn't just come naturally.

I really want to, I, I guess my, my bigger
goal you know, th th the more immediate

is I want to sell software to teams to
help them manage their day-to-day, you

know, working the bigger, the goal in,
you know, if I was to have you know, the

belief sign on the wall it would be, you
know, to, to improve people's, you know,

work life not just the balance, but the
way that they work is part of their lives.

You know, if it's realistically, you
know, I'm not going to change that

overnight, but what I can do is make
remote, working more palatable to a more

accessible to teams that are that have
tried it and had problems with it because

it's difficult and people overcompensate
by working too much, they're answering

slack, you know, 11 o'clock at night.

I think there's, there's some easy
wins by structuring your day and

structuring how you communicate better.

And so I'm trying to nibble away at
those and just improve the way people

can, can deal with work and, you
know, hopefully that make it bigger

over time.

So it's a big dream, but I don't know how
you know, realistic it is in a short term.

So, you know, I'm just
trying to achieve what I can.

With me and then see where it goes.

You know, obviously if things start
to stick, then I can start to be a

little bit more bigger with my plans.

Mario: right,

Alan: So do I want investment?

I it's, I never say never.


You know, I, I want to kind of what I
don't want to do is take investment too

early at, which is what I've seen at
least take big investment, you know,

like smaller pre-seed family, friends,
rounds is, is no, not our concern.

Not that doesn't worry me.

That sounds like, you know
not, not something that I

would worry too much about.

But you know, taking big VC money would I
wouldn't want to take it too early before

I know that we're on the right, track.

I know that, you know, part
of the reason for taking.

Bigger investment is so you can learn
quicker and iterate quicker, but

I've also, I've just had too many bad
experiences, bad experiences of that.

Not going well.

From seeing other people, I'm not
saying it has to go badly, but

I I'm just very cautious of it.

So, you know, if it was
obviously the right.

match and there was an, an a clear
you know, clearly a good relationship

and something that made sense to me
and, and I felt really good about

then it's definitely possible.

But I'm just super cautious of it.

Just having seen how people respond
and how people don't deal very well

with a million dollars appearing
in their business bank account.

Mario: Yeah.



That makes sense.

I feel the same way.

I think.

Like you said, never say never.

And you know I don't think

I I would want to get into a
situation where I have to take

investment from big VCs and not
the, you know, I don't even know if,

if my product is,

Alan: I think you would have no

Mario: for that, but

Alan: Yeah.

Right, right.

I mean, I think you possibly could.

There's definitely ways
you could, you know phrase

it that that, could make it



Mario: yeah.

Yeah, probably, but I dunno, I don't,
I don't think, I don't think that's a.

What I need, at least at the moment.

And like you were saying I wouldn't
want to do that prematurely, you know?

And I think what I need more is time or,
you know connections, you know, marketing,

which yes, that's achievable by having
some influx of money, you know, and

then injecting money into the business.

But I don't know.

I think the idea of getting either
angel investment or you know, one of

those tiny seed or one of


Alan: Tiny seed.

This is one of the


ones, right?


Mario: Yeah.


I think I would be open to that.


it's still something that
I I'm still thinking about.

And I don't know that I would
want to get into that right now.

Maybe at some point in the
future, I've been thinking about

that lately actually.

Alan: I mean, it's bootstrapping in the,
in the sense that we're doing it, which is

literally like, you know, you're
working a full-time job and then

doing this on the side, he's



Mario: it is hard

Alan: not to put it to But it's
just time is a killer, right?

You just don't have enough time to

focus on it.

Mario: yeah,


And I think it's just setting up your
life in a way that you can improve your

time management and be more efficient
with that and, and carve some time out

of your day to work on it is what I.


I think is key more than
anything else, at least for me at

this point, you know, it, that's the
key to moving forward, not so much



Alan: Right.


Mario: Yeah,

Alan: Is that it's just
enabling and allowing that.

And if investment did enable or
allow that little bit, I mean,

you you've taken the step of

changing, changing your job
to make that more feasible.


Because you know?

if you're driving two hours spending
two hours in a car each day, then

that's literally two hours that
you could be working on a fusion

cast, right?

Mario: exactly.

And that's one of the goals, if, you
know, if you think about it two hours

a day, 10 hours a week, at least

Alan: Th that's a business, right?

Mario: Yeah.

That I, that I've, that I'm gaining that
I can put into working on, on my project.

So yeah.

So that's, I think that's what I.

On my end.

I that's, that's what I need, you know?

And and, and you're probably
in a similar situation as well,

In terms of, cause We're
at very similar levels,

Alan: Yeah.

Mario: In, in the stage we
are at with our projects.

Alan: So my question to you is

you asked me, you know, what's my

like big picture.

What's my goal.

I think,

you know, I kind of know, but to state
it for the record, what's your, what's

your goal to achieve with fusion cast
for the next, you know, in, in one year,

what would be the perfect situation?

Mario: In one year, I guess the
perfect situation would be that

fusion cast is one of the major
goals is to help people, right.

And, help specifically for podcasters to
have a a better experience recording And

as a business, one of the goals is to
obviously make it profitable so we can

be around for a long time and continue
to provide that, those benefits and

that service and on a personal level,

it to a point where it's viable enough To
support me full-time, so maybe not in a

year, I don't know how long it's going to

take, but get it

to a point where it's generating
enough revenue that I can

go full time with it and,

be able to

support myself with it.

Alan: Do you would you like to
hire anybody else to work on it or

are you how you want to keep it.

a personal thing?

Mario: I leaning towards
keeping it a personal thing.

I wouldn't, I wouldn't mind hiring help
because I, know I need help in certain

areas that I'm not good at, or I'm not
the best at, you know, one of them being

marketing or design, you know designing
the marketing website or designing

the user interface for the product.


would like at some point to
hire help with that, but I

think I would hire, do it in a more
targeted way Hiring contractors,

Alan: Right.



Just kind of freelance based thing.



That makes sense.

Makes sense.

I mean

it's that, that is


Well, if you think, if you, if you
hire somebody suddenly you've doubled

your, at the amount of money you
need to be bringing in every month.


You know, whereas, you know, if you spend,
you know, X, thousands of dollars to, you

know, for somebody to do a job, it's, it's
a known quantity that you can budget for.


So I mean, it makes a hell of a
difference as to, you know, what kind

of money that company has to make.


You know, I mean, this is one
of the weird things about like

looking at pricing for it as well.

It's, you know, I I'm pricing
original pricing plan is in, okay.

Given, you know, a hundred company,
a hundred customers with these

price plans and all the rest and.

You, you realize that, you know, you, your
pricing doesn't have to be high at all.

Obviously, you know, you can scale
the number of customers you get, but

if, if it effectively takes off, then
you don't have to be expensive at all.

Whereas obviously, you know, the
other competition they have to either

go massive in terms of amount of
customers or they have to charge a, lot.

And it's, I, I kind of miss the,

Th th the old, old web days of people
making things, because they could not

just so they can become a unicorn.


And so part of me is like, you know,
I don't need massive amounts of money.

I just want to make something
that's helpful to people.

So there's this constant, like balancing
like tight wire in my head of like, well,

I don't want to do it too cheap, but at
the same time, You know, I, I don't need

that much money, obviously right now, it's
not making anything, but you know, you

kind of have to, I think, you know, if
you start working on any kind of product,

you almost have to have this, this
future image vision in your head, right.

You have to be able to visualize
where you want it to be.

And I think if you're not building
something, if you're not used to building

products, it always feels a little like
fanciful and far-fetched and, you know,

we'll have a hundred people paying for
it, but I don't think you'll progress

very far, unless you do have some kind
of if you are, if you're not able to,

visualize what it could be, right.

You almost have to, be able to, see
that in order to work towards it.


Mario: Yeah.



I agree.

I don't, that's one of the things that
I think about a lot is you know, how

much do I really want this to grow?

You know, and how fast
do I want it to grow?

I rather grow slowly, steady, but
slowly and keep it under control.

And especially if I want to keep it small,

I want wanna, I want to
follow that company of one


Alan: I

Mario: pull Jarvis's company of one.

I read that book and it's, it's amazing.

And I love that philosophy

and that's kinda what I'm aiming for,

you know?

Alan: I mean, this is the
weird thing about my dream,

I guess, is that me too, but

I'm kind of tackling quite a
big problem that It seems on the

outside impossible to do for a solo
founder, but I'm like, why not?

What, what what's okay.

This there's some technical things,
but again, those in terms of you

know, just support things that, that
will become overwhelming at some

point, but those are things which can
easily be outsourced to an extent.

But yeah, why, why not?

Why can't I build a product that it can
be used by, you know, logical companies

and things, you know, th there are okay.

There's, there are limits on my
time, but at the same time, it's,

it's not technically not feasible.

It's it's definitely possible.

So yeah, why not?

So, yeah, I mean, I'm kind of going
for the similar steady approach and

just learn and figure out step by step.

Just also it's, it's just very fulfilling
And very rewarding to do that Right.

Because it feels like you're constantly
improving and and learning and

Yeah, like

Mario: Yeah, I was going to say
that to your point earlier that it

is hard to be working on it on the
side, working a full-time job and

just doing this on the spare time.

But at the same time, yeah, it is
really hard, but it's also rewarding.

And especially, you know once you
have, when you start having people

on board and, having users using

your, product, it's pretty rewarding
to see someone else actually benefiting

from it and, see it being useful
to someone else it's really cool.

Alan: it really


Mario: it fuels your, desire to
continue and it gives you more


Alan: I mean, having, yeah.

Having been through, you know,
I, I built a number of products

back in the early two thousands.

And, then I kinda went through a phase

in the.

Mid early, you know, 2000 tens where I
wasn't working on any actual products,

you know, I was, I wasn't even tinkering.

I was just too busy And, obviously
I had a son which kind of took

a, a major chunk of my time.

You know, I was working on a book, which I
guess counts, but I wasn't working on any

products and having now started getting
back into that again, it's amazing what

it does for your for your, mood and,
for your, like, I'm not sure if it's

optimism, but it feels like progress.

It feels I'm much better progress
than when I was just working.

It feels like I'm constantly improving
rather than just fighting fires.

It's it definitely has
had a big impact on me.

My personal mood.

And for that reason alone,
you know, I'd recommend it.

If anybody who has that inkling, you
know, even if it's an open source

project and you're the only user, it
doesn't matter that that, that, that

isn't the, the, the, the main point, the
point is that you're building something

you're, you're constantly adding.

And to your knowledge, you're
constantly learning how to.

tackle different technical problems
and use that you, you know, UX problems

and it's, it's just this constant,
constant personal improvement that,

that has a big effect on your your,
your mood and your feeling of wellbeing,

Mario: totally.


Alan: even if it's sometimes exhausting.

Mario: Yeah.


But yeah, I totally



What else do you have?

Alan: So I've been I got a bunch

of feature stuff wrapped up.

I think I mentioned that I had to this
timecard feature to dot plan for a client.

So I basically

added like editing and
things to that, which was.

I can't, I, as I just was saying it
was doing stuff, which I technically, I

wasn't sure how I would do it in Elixir,
just because I've never had to do that.

Which is, is basically
keeping an audit of like

record changes.

So if somebody goes and edits a
timecard, you want the manager to

know that they edited the time cut.


So it keeps like a, an audit
log of changes to these records.

Whereas, you know, other cases,
it doesn't matter so much.

You know, if somebody edits their
check-in, what's probably cause they made

a typing typo or they missed something,
you don't care about the history, but in

this case it is a necessary thing to have.

So I, I know how to do it in rails.

No big deal.

I was like, I've never dealt
with it in Ecto and Elixir.

So now I know how to do that, so

Mario: Nice.

Alan: that's good.

And I've had a first, a first go at.

During the like onboard, welcoming
screens, I've rewritten those and got

those now as like a, a modal, when
you first come into the product, there

is actually now a separate, like a
welcome modal that gives, that comes up.

And there's a second one for when you go
onto the, the new check-in page, I've done

a load of rewording of things that just
to tighten things up, tighten up some of

the word in a reorganized, some of the
check-in page to make it just look better.

I've just resized things
just at the spacing.

So there's a lot of tweaking going
on, which it it's amazing when you go.

back to the, just before I deployed it,
you know, I've been working on this.

Full-time like you know, in
terms of what I was doing, I was

working on development version.

And then I went back to the production
version before I deployed it.

And I'm like, whoa, this looks awful.

So it it's amazing what difference
just changing spacing and.

So one of the focus, one of the form
fields wasn't focusing properly.

So I fixed that lots of little
tiny improvements, but I, for

me it feels a lot better now.

So hopefully hopefully people notice,
but then, so the next thing now is

I, just want to now, as these are
all kind of ready to roll I just want

to send out a bunch more invites and
I've got no reason to not do it now.


Mario: right,

Alan: that's my plan for this.

This weekend is basically just
send out another, like, you know,

five or six invites and learn what
they think about, you know, it'll

be a different set of feedback,
which I think you mentioned before.

That's what I really want from the
next batch is feedback on the changes.

Not from stuff I already know.


Mario: Yeah.

are these invites for

demos or just to, for them to sign up.

Alan: yeah.

I, I kind of, I

I've, I've quit doing the demos now.

I find it much more useful to,
I mean, especially since the

feedback I want is from people.

Going through the process of
inviting people on onboarding.

I almost know the problems
with that already.

So therefore I working on trying to
improve those things and let them

just figure it out from themselves,
you know, it's I, people don't seem

to be shy about giving feedback
what the depends on the person.


But I'm getting enough feedback
from them to make it useful.

So let's say I want to send out a bunch
more and see what they make of it, so.

Mario: Yeah.

That makes sense.

I guess, during the early stages of the
product, when it's not quite there yet,

you kind of need to handle whole people
and onboard them and explain to them

how it works and then you get feedback.

But then at some point you get,
you get the product to the level

where now you want to test.

If people can do it themselves and
see what kind of feedback comes back

and wipe what points are confusing

and what are the pain points in the
onboarding process and all that.

So at some point you have to
let go and just, and just,

you know, have them do it themselves.

Alan: Yes, exactly.

And, and I think, you know, to be
honest, even fusion costs, I think,

you know, you, don't kind of at that.

point now, whereas, you know,
especially with your demo video on

your homepage, you could watch that
and that's all you need really.

There's nothing more than that.

So Yeah, you have no excuse

even though.

Mario: yeah,


Interesting you mentioned that.

Cause I was exactly thinking about that.

Cause I was like, I have that demo
on the website now and it's pretty

much, it's a really quick version
of what you can do and what the

back, management area looks like.

And I'm like, yeah, I don't, need to be
doing these demos anymore, not so much.

And I have gotten enough
feedback that I can

iterate and yeah, I just, I need
to catch up and because my list

has been growing as I get feedback
and I need to catch up with those.

So yeah, I

think you're right


Alan: out your technical


Is the

Mario: yeah, And that's part of what
I wanted to share with you today

is I'm working on that fixed for
the recording issue that I've had.

And obviously recording is working
really well, but the problem that

comes up every now and then, which is
kind of like an outlier, but at the

same time, it touches on the core.

Functionality of the product and
I'm not happy about it, you know?

And actually the one this
past week, I onboarded

one more person And I wonder if she minds,
if I give, give her a shout out here on,

on the podcast.

Alan: Had the podcast and you
probably is very happy for

Mario: right.


Alan: absolutely.

Mario: sure.


Shout out to Vanessa Colina.

She she's a, a designer and a
graphic designer and podcaster.

She hosts a a podcast called
UX backstage and she agreed

to have me do a demo for her.

And so it was

really interesting and really cool.

She had a lot of feedback and pretty, neat
insights from a designer perspective and,

User experience perspective

Alan: And she already
has experienced doing



So she

Mario: yes.

Yeah, totally.

so it was really neat.

thank you, Vanessa, for making time for
that time is our most valuable asset.

So anytime someone agrees to,
spend time for something related

to what I'm working on is just a
gold, I'm so grateful about that.

Alan: So she has a so

she has a podcast already, so she's
already used to using tools and stuff.


So is she going to try using
this for future interviews and



Mario: Yes.

So she was gonna try it with what she's
going to try recording real life, you

know, one of his, one of her episodes
and and provide me with more feedback

in a more structured way during the
demo she did provide valuable feedback.

But also

she's going to try it on her own
and then, reports on feedback

in a more structured way later.

Yeah, so that was great.

Alan: So you, have you done
any work on your, the marketing

side, your side of things?

Has this been an engineering session.

Mario: it has been, but
that's part of the problem.

So I shared with you that I was
changing the way I do things and

spending one week doing, product
development and one week doing marketing.

And I'm sort of getting used to that and

transitioning still into that, kind of

work cycle kind of thing.

So I haven't been very productive this

week or these, past two weeks actually.

Alan: we've been kind of
getting another job as well.

So that takes up a lot of
brain energy, to be honest.

Mario: True.


That, has had something to do with it.

Just, yeah, my mind has been in
multiple places and one of the

things though is that I guess these
at first I, my idea was to do one

week cycles, but I don't
think that's going to work.

I think it would also be really nice
to make those cycles coincide with

our meetings, because then I have,
these full two weeks, to sort of

report on and set goals for, and.

Also because one week seems
way too short because I'm doing

this during my spare time.

one week goes by real quick
and I can only dedicate a

little bit of time every day to the



Alan: on a week by week basis.

I mean, I've had weeks where I like,
like, literally haven't checked

and I haven't touched the code

at all just because stuff's been

happening, right.

Mario: Yeah.

so that's been part of, the not
making progress in the way I want

it, part of the issue that I've been
trying to fix on the product itself.

I haven't been very clear
on how I'm going to fix it.

part of my mind has been distracted
by just thinking about, okay, what

are the ways that I can tackle
this and how can I leverage this,

technology here or there
and do it this way.

So a lot of

my time has been consumed by
just thinking and strategizing

and trying to figure it

Alan: Yeah.

And I mean, it, it counts and

this is, I think for somebody
who isn't used to development or

engineering, they kind of kind of
dismiss this time Whereas, you know,

like, well, you haven't, you know, I

haven't touched this for three weeks
and it's like, well, I might've

written code, but when I do touch
it, I know how to write it as opposed

to before, when I have no idea.

and that, that, you know, sitting in your
brain for a couple of weeks, sometimes

it's just necessary because otherwise
you'll be spinning in circles and just

wasting time coding when you don't
actually understand either the problem

properly or how you're going to solve it.

Or, or the consequences of it.

So, yeah, it's, it's, it's valid.

Mario: Okay.

All right.

All right.

That makes me feel better.

I haven't

Alan: I mean, how many times have, yeah.

How many times have you, you
know, spending hours trying to fix

something one evening and getting
nowhere and literally the next day

you get up and fix it straight away.

you know?

it, it happens to me far too often
That you think I've learned by now.

I just go for a walk and, you know,
like listen to some music and then

you come back at it and you're
like, oh, I know how to do this now.

But whereas before, so it's,
it's completely valid and don't

underestimate the value of it.

Mario: Totally.

Thank you.

Thank you for that.

Cause yeah, it's, I guess work has been
happening, but it's just, it's been in

my head, and not necessarily writing code
and at the same time I've been editing

episodes and, and making progress in
different ways, but a lot of it is not.

Tangible yet, you

know, but we'll get there.

Alan: sometimes all of that is, you
know, it just happens below the surface

and it might not be outwardly visible, but
yeah, I mean, it's things are happening.

I don't, don't beat yourself
up too much about it.

It's a,

it's, it's a journey, not a, you know,
you can't just suddenly pop it out.

Mario: Thank you.

Thank you for


Yeah, so that's been my past two weeks

Alan: Nice.

Mario: my goal is in the next two
weeks, I actually want to get into

full swing of things, coding and
creating the solution for this problem.

And I think, I, I've narrowed it down
to how I'm going to go about it fix it.

It's going to require quite a bit of work.

Just major changes in the way
the recording is engineered.

what I've done so far, and what I have
now is a pretty solid foundation for it.

But it will need to be modified quite a
bit to, get around the issue of recording

being so dependent on the browser.

Alan: Gotcha.

Mario: Yeah.


I think it's going to make the product
more solid and that's the goal.

Oh, now I remember when I was talking to
Vanessa and doing the demo, I mentioned

the problem of recording being interrupted
and, having recovery mode as a feature

to kind of mitigate some of that.

And she asked, well, how often has it
happened or how often does it happen?

Well, it doesn't happen that often.

So she challenged me to think about it.

And offered the possibility that this may

not even be a problem
to begin with, you know,


Alan: mentioned this before, right?

Mario: Yeah, Yeah, because if
it's not happening very often,

maybe it's not really a problem
that I want to spend time on.

And and I can save myself
a lot of time, but yeah.

But at the same time the more I
think about it and, and just the,

the issue is that when it happens,
it has a major impact on the

podcaster, and, also the guests,

Because the recovery part, it's not ideal.

It's not a hundred percent either.

So then it, it really presents
a big problem, you know, when it

happens, even if it
doesn't happen that often.

Alan: I think you've
told me before, but yeah.


big are the chunks?

Is it seems to happen more about
the video, obviously, because

there's more data, right?

So the audio is

pretty consistently uploading.

Mario: Yeah.


I think it seems like a, usually
audio is okay, but video is

a little bit of a problem.


I think I have a pretty good idea of
how to fix it and I don't want this to

be part of the it's a problem with a
core functionality of the product, so I

don't want it to be a big issue.

And so.

And, and the only reason why it may
not be happening a lot right now is

only because I only have a few users

using product.

So if, I, go at a larger scale, then
it may come back to bite me if I,

just keep going with it, you know,

so I need to nail it down.


Alan: Yeah.


I can understand that concern.


Mario: yeah,

Alan: with the fact that it is
occasionally showing up with

a small number of users means

yeah that it could well be grow with
the number of users that you have.


so I can even, I can
understand your hesitancy.

Mario: yeah.

Which would translate into a lot more

support requests and it would
translate into a, bigger headache.

So I think I need to really
spend the time on that now and

eliminate that problem.

Alan: Least have a good go at it.


You know, you can, especially
since, you know, you spend a

bunch of time now thinking about

ways to make it better.

You've got some ideas and understanding
of how to improve it so improve it.

And then if it occurs after
that, then consider okay.

How often let's try and measure how often
it happens and then try to figure out if

there's a, if there's a, way to fall back.

I mean, you're when you consider
that the audio generally is

okay, and that isn't a problem.

You're not going to lose any audio
or if you do, it's going to be

like, you know, a few seconds.

You've already got the
backup via Twilio anyway.


So you've always got that fallback.

So the worst case scenario is
that someone would lose what?

30 seconds of video at the end.

If this happened and it was that very
unfortunate case that that might happen.

So Yeah.

it's be worth, you know, if you're
so far along in having to go at

solving, get anyway, try and solve
it and then see what happens and,

and think about just measuring it and
understanding the plus if you've got

more data points from the real world,
you can understand, you know, why it's

happening or what the cases are better.


Mario: Sure.

Alan: a sensible thing to


Mario: Yeah.

I think for the next couple of
weeks, I'm going to be focusing

on that primarily and squeezing

some podcast editing at the same time
and and possibly onboard one more, one

more person that probably would be.

Last one or one of the Last

ones to


Alan: And then

Mario: on one-on-one.

Alan: got enough data, right?

So then

it's just like, you can just.

People answer.


That's good

Mario: yeah.


All right.

What about you?

What are your

goals for, for the


Alan: Well, so, so my plan is
now is I've got this improvements

to onboarding working.

I'll let.

Just to

finish up a few things on that.

This is a technical technicality
rather than a problem.

And now as I have the, my improvements
to the UI and stuff, and I plan to send

out a bunch of invites this weekend.

So that's hopefully fingers crossed
nothing goes wrong between now and

then, and then see what happens and
see what the feedback is from that.

And the other, I guess the, the
bit of development which I've been

putting off, but I'm realizing that I.

Should do it just because I need
to do it sooner rather than later.

And so I had some interest in
feedback from somebody this week

that was they were like, well,
I'd be, I'd be paying for this.

And I'm like, oh yeah, I
probably should wire up payments.


Mario: Yeah.

Alan: So and I'm going to have
a goal why we're in a puddle.

Cause I've got permission.

I'm on the system.

I can create subscriptions
and stuff on it now.

So I'm going to have a first
go at just wearing that up and

then seeing what's involved.

Cause I haven't really
looked into it too deeply.


that's, that's a technical thing.

Big, I guess also the, all of the other
features that I've got to work on.

Bigger features.

So I'm kind of like feel it's a good
time to take a breather and just,

that's what I've been kind of doing
some of the UI tweaking and fiddling

just cause the, the next steps are
all much bigger things to take on.

So it's like, okay, let's
get the onboarding working.

Let's get subscriptions working.

Let's get you know, the UI
tidy it up a little bit.

Just kind of iron out all of this,
the, where I am right now and get that

looking good and working to its best
before I then take on a big new feature.


So that's, that's the next step.

Mario: Nice.



I'm curious

to see how it works out with Paddle also.

Alan: me too.

Mario: yeah,

Alan: So, Yeah.

it's, it, it, it all looks very
straightforward and they've got a Nice.

simple web hooks interface.


you know, it looks very straightforward.

They've got a sandbox so I can try it all
out in and yeah, that doesn't look to be

any reason why it's going to be difficult,
but obviously Well, done it yet, so

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: will learn.

Mario: All right.

Well, good luck with that.

Alan: Cool.

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: Excellent.

Mario: If you don't have anything
else, I think we can wrap it up


Alan: Sounds good.



Mario: been



see you in two


Alan: luck in your


Mario: All right.


Alan: Hope the hope, the new,
are you starting a new job

for next week

Did you say oh, a week

Mario: No, no.

I'm starting at the end of


Alan: cool.

So you got a bit of time off as well.


So full steam ahead on
Fusioncast then for August.


Mario: Yeah, and some downtime as well.

Alan: Yeah




You've earned it

Mario: Thank you.

Thank you.

Alan: Nice one

Mario: Alright Alan, take care.

See ya.

12: Why we do this
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