16: DotPlan has launched! Plus other updates

Alan: Hey,

Mario: Hey, how's it going?

Alan: it's been a little while,

Mario: It's been a minute.

Alan: Yeah.

A few things kind of got in the
way life and all that stuff,

but it's good to see you.

Mario: Good.

See you too.

Have you been

Alan: Great.


It's it's just been


But I, I'm going to say good?

and bad, but no, most, mostly Good.

or neutral.


Mario: good

Alan: lots of things.

So first of all, I like the before
there's anything else, I love the

little, a blue audio meter before you
when you're in the waiting room, that's

Mario: Yeah.


Nice, cool.

Alan: Nice.

So yeah, you got some new features

Mario: Yup.




Alan: by that.

Mario: it also shows if I, turn
off my camera, You'll see my

Alan: Ah, nice.

Oh, cool.

That's really cool.

Mario: so that way, cause some
people prefer to not use video, so

they want to just hear each other.

So this allows them to turn
off the camera, but still kind

of, have some kind of visual,

Alan: there.

The they're not completely offline.

It's that?

They're the conscious and, and also
it helps, who speaking as well.

If, if there's more than one
other person in the room.


Mario: Exactly.

so that's the idea behind it.

So you know,

Alan: Nice.

Mario: it seems to be working fine

Alan: Very

Mario: Yeah, Got a pretty good
reaction and comments about it.


Alan: Cool.

Mario: it's looking good, before
we keep going happy new year.

Alan: Happy new year.



Happy, everything.

All the stuff that's
happened since last fall.

Mario: Christmas and

Alan: Merry Christmas.

happy new year,

I still can't get into
the whole 20, 22 thing.

It just seems I never, I didn't
get used to 2020, nevermind.

20, 21, 20 22.

Just seems like, no, that can't be right?

when I've written it.

It's like not, there's no way that can be

Mario: It feels strange.


Alan: super stranger.


Very weird.

I've only written it like by hand
maybe twice and both times I'm like,

no, that really can't be right.


Mario: I know.

I I've stopped myself.

I I've questioned myself
a couple of times.

Where, wait, is it 20, 22?

Is it 21 or 22?

Alan: Yep.

It's like, no, but I mean, I
question myself most of the time,

but that, especially in a strong way,

Mario: Yeah.

So how were your holidays?

Alan: a good, yeah, it, it,
it's kind of weird over here.


So Christmas is, I don't want to say it's
a non-event, but it's not really a thing.

Christmas Eve couples go out for a meal.

Maybe if you do presents maybe
Christmas day, but it, the big thing

here is KFC on Christmas lunch.

That's the event.

Yeah, seriously.

So for whatever reason, I guess
X number of years ago, I think

it's about 15, 20 years ago or so.

I, before my time.


So an opportunity to do the same
thing that like Halloween and very,

an Easter have done and spread a,
an American event what, what has

become an American commercial event
to a place that doesn't have it.

And so they introduced this concept
of having KFC Christmas lunch.

And now you basically have to reserve
your box about a month or so in advance.

You get a time slot on Christmas morning
when you go and pick up your KFC.

And there's, you know, for the,
for almost two months leading up to

Christmas, KFC are like, are really
strong advertising here like you on a

general day, you'll see on TV, there'll
be like three or four KFC adverts.

And they, they just bombarding
with this whole Christmas

thing special Christmas box.

And yeah, it's, it's funny, like Christmas
is basically couples going out for a fancy

meal on Christmas Eve and KFC for lunch.

That's it

Mario: wow interesting.

So the Colonel is alive and well in Japan.

Alan: really is.


It's, it's kind of weird at first.

You're like what?

I didn't really think that was a
big deal, but yeah, they've done

really, really well at marketing here.


Mario: Cool.


So did you have, did you have your KFC?

Alan: We didn't, I think we did it
maybe the second, first or second

year here because both me and my
son were like, we want to do this.

And my wife's like, oh
gosh, you know, whatever.

But we were like, yeah, we
want to be able to do that.

And then we're like, okay, we did it.

That's fine.

Mario: And done with that

Alan: So what we did do was
between Christmas and new.

We went to a hot spring re resort, I guess
is the word, but it's basically it's an

old, traditional Japanese like inn, in
the mountains down south a bit from this

island and we just stayed overnight there.

So it's, you, you basically rent a they
have six or seven of these private baths,

which are hot spring fed bats and they're
outside or equivalent of outside as in

there's a roof, but there's no walls.

So yeah.

you basically rent that for an hour.


you can fancy meal, which is, I think
it was like a expect 10 courses or so

if you look at my Twitter, you'll see,
I posted every, each of the courses.

I mean, they're very traditional
Japanese, local seasonal food.

So there'll be sashimi, there'll
be various other bits and things

that you're like, don't know
what this is, but it's tasty.

So, Yeah.

that was Nice.

That was, it was good to just go.

And the driving the mountains
and, you know, say that there

was snow and it was cute.

No, you sat in a hot spring and it's
literally freezing outside, but you're in

like the bath and you're like, I'm good.

And then you're like, you overheat
in the bath and you're like, okay.

Step outside for a moment.


Back in.

So you spent

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: minutes going there now
just trying to regulate your

temperature, but it's very pleasant.


Mario: Nice.


No, that's awesome.

That's that's the best when it's, when
it's cold and you're in a hot spring.

Alan: I mean, you put your foot in like
too hot and then you're like trying to

you know, like kind of coach yourself
into it, stay in there, but it's lovely.

It was very nice that that was the
highlight of our Christmas and new year.


Mario: Nice, nice.

Alan: What about yourself?

Mario: Yeah, it was, it was nice.

We, we didn't do much.

We kept a very low key.

We just you know, I mean with
COVID and all, you know, it's just

Alan: Yeah.

What do you do?

Mario: better just, you know, stay
home and just keep it low key.

So we, for Christmas, we were we
were home and for new years two

friends came over a couple of trends.

And it was just the four of us and
we just, you know, received the new

year here and had some champagne and,
you know, but I, we kept at a really

mellow had had dinner, play some
board games and, you know, and yeah.

Alan: I got board games right with my
I I've got my son, like a couple of

board games for Christmas and yeah.

so we spent pretty much new
year him beating me and those

he's quite good at them.

So that was good.


Well, I mean, that was the nice
thing about this hotspring, right.

There's few other people you didn't
actually see any other people.

There were the people staying in
the, inn, but you didn't see them.

Mario: Yeah.


And I, I'm assuming a lot of
it is, you know, pretty much

outdoors most of the time.


You're like spending a lot of time
outdoors and yeah, that's really cool.

My wife and myself too, we,
we love that kind of stuff.

And we've gone to a couple of places
around here that have a hot Springs

and yeah, it's very enjoyable.

Alan: Yeah.

Def definitely check out my, my tweets
around new year ish and you'll see.

It's Very pretty.

Mario: I'll go back.

I'll go back to that time.

Alan: If, if I remember I'll
put a link in the show notes.

Mario: Okay, right on.


Alan: Cool.


So, well, I, I guess my other
big worky news is I guess I

launched at some point in the past

Mario: Oh,

Alan: it's official, you can go
and you can pay and you can sign

up and all that kind of good stuff.

So, yeah, that was yeah, that, that was,
I think it's worth worth stating it's

Mario: Oh yeah, of course.

Of course.


That's huge news.

Alan: it was like I can't remember.

Oh, I remember I remember
what the event was.

So the other thing was I did a a
pitch pitch, like a pitch competition,

actual people, five minute you
know, pitch in-person event.

And so I kind of, I think before that
had stated, let's say as I may be in

internal law, I think I definitely
told other people which made meant

I had to do it was I was officially
launching at the beginning of November.

And so it was, I, well, actually I guess
I am officially launched, then I turned

on subscriptions and oh, you can pay.

And so I set all of my trial users.

To like extend the trial
till around about now.

I think it's the beginning of
February or something like that.

Cause I'm like, you, you, you
have been good, you get some time.

But then all new accounts are like, I
think it's two weeks at trial of which

has been the, been a few sign-ups the
con, well, the other big news is I have

a paying customer which is very exciting.

So Yeah.

that's, it's I, again, I
think we're celebrating a

little bit, but and the Nice.

thing was that also they they
asked, they asked me if, if it was

okay, if they wrote a testimonial
for me, I'm like, Yeah, please do.

So they seem really happy
with the in talking to them.


The communication, because there,
they're not officially a remote

company, but it's not an IT company.

But they tend to work, not necessarily
all in the office, they go out and

do things for clients and things.

And he said, they're just generally
not very good at talking to

each other generally, as I said.

So I actually I guess there's this
we talked about this now while it

it's, it's in line with the topic.

So one change, which.

I kind of made to the product.

And this was, I think I mentioned it
before that I added time-tracking as

in a start and stop timer it partially
I was partially against it at first

because I'm like, no, I don't want
to turn it into a time tracker.

But it kind of kept coming back that,
well, actually we need this and we're

now using two products and it would
be just easier if we used one, so

we could do time tracking, but with
a social interoffice aspect to it.

So it's like, Okay.

I get that.

I mean, again, it wasn't
necessarily my intention.

I'm not a very time tracky kind of person.


Mario: I remember you.

I remember you were struggling
with that idea kind of like,

you know, should I do this?

Should I not?


Alan: I think it's partially
because of how I work.

And I think that's just, I guess
I'm coming to terms my brain isn't

necessarily the same as everybody
else's with regarding tracking time.

But it, it.

It's especially with when they're
working for clients and when I've worked

for clients in the past, it's like,
well, no, you have to be on and off.

And so this, I kind of, I
chewed it around quite a lot.

I added just basic start and stop
times, and you could export the

time into CSV and Excel and things.

But then they were like, oh, that's nice.

But then we start the timer and
then we go and we do a check-in

like, can we just merge that?

And so I, again, rattled
around my head for a while.

And I'm like, all right, Okay.

If I'm going to do this, let's
kind of, I'll buy into this.

It's either, you know, half hearted
or it's, it's all in, right.

I want to do it properly.

So after chewing around quite
a lot, I came with this.

All right.

So you can see that the normal check-in
stuff works fine if you want to.

So you can actually turn off
as a, as a, an organization.

You can turn off time tracking.

It's it's just a flag.

But if you have a.

When you start the timer it does a modal
pop-up with a mini version of, and you

can do everything that you can when you
can't, you don't have the future thing,

but you can do everything on the, the
normal check-in page within the model.

You can just close it if you don't,
if you don't want to, or you can

actually just do a check-in from
that that links it to the timer.

So I can display effectively like a
package of your start and stop for

the day linked to your check-in.

And it's just completely in line
with you anywhere on the app.

You can just say start styling timer.

I'll stop timer pops up the
check-in now I don't want to.

Yeah, just, oh, did these things , save.

And it's great.

Even for me just having that,
oh, I'm going to work on this.

It's kind of like a, I guess like
a Pomodoro, but without the timer

Mario: Yeah, I was going to say, yeah.

Alan: You say, I'm going to work on this.

I'm going to do these things,
check in go away, do your things.


At the end of the day, I
should stop the timer stop.

Oh yeah.

Take those off.

Check in.

And it's like, this is great.

Mario: It sounds like a
perfect workflow right there.

Alan: Right?

It's actually a much better workflow for
planning than the normal DotPlan workflow.


So, yeah.

So I'm, I'm going to, I've done
a few enhancements to it now.

It's actually, it's actually becoming
a slightly better version of the

normal check-in page anyway, but
kind of backporting the, those

improvements to the other one.

It also does it, so you can start
a time a general time, or you

can start it for a given project.

So you can say I'm going to work on
this project and it automatically tags.

The check-in with the project
that you're working on as well.

So then that's filterable
on all these things.

So again, it's kind of actually makes
it a nicer flow than just going and

doing a check-in it's a bit more manual.


So yeah, I'm like, okay,
this, this worked out.

I mean, again, I put it off for months
and I it's, it's easy in hindsight to say,

oh, I should have just realized this, but
it took a lot of sketching, doodling like

going back and forth, like internally,
like, no, I don't want to do this.

And actually, maybe
there's something in it.

And, and it took that time to
realize how it should work.

And then the result, I, it
actually works out really well.

And this, the client that's
paying now my, my customer they're

like, this is how they use it.

They there's, no, they don't
do any other check-ins.

They they use it primarily for this.

Because they were doing
Time-based check-ins anyway,

now they have time check-ins

with social interaction.

People are responding to them.

People are leaving comments on it,
and it's like, they've achieved

this, this flow, which was my
goal for DotPlan, but they've done

it because they're doing a time

Mario: Time-based check-ins

Alan: So I'm like, all right,
this is kind of a mini revelation.


So I'm, I'm just rolling with
that and seeing where that goes.

But what I am doing is now trying
to do a complete redesign of the

landing page just to to incorporate
everything that I know the product

is now versus what I thought it was
going to be when I started building it.

So that's where I am with that.

Mario: all right.


Yeah, so much has happened
since we met last time

Alan: And the, the pitch
was that was great.

I really enjoyed that.

It's the first, I, that in, I did
like the 99 second online pitch,

you know, I've talked to loads of
people about it, but to do a five

minute timed was it five minutes?

Yeah, I think it was
timed like stand up, go.

These are my slides.

Talk to people that, that was,
that was really, really fun.

And it's, it's just
gives you that good buzz.


Seeing some people respond,
it was to a Japanese audience.

So my, I pitched in English, but
I had Japanese Like my slides had

Japanese takes on them as well.

So I had English and Japanese.

So even if they couldn't understand
me, they could follow along.

What I'm saying is pretty obvious.

And I could see.

as soon as I started speaking, I
was kind of all right, those are

following me, those people aren't.

So I knew who to direct my
attention to what I was pitching.

And yeah, I got some
interesting questions and stuff.

So and again, some trial sign-ups a few
people wanting to speak in the new year,

which we're going to try and arrange.

So yeah, it was that, that, that was fun.

I enjoyed that.

That was quite yeah, it was just,
it was a good buzz during that,

Mario: Very cool.

Very cool.

So happy for you

Alan: Thank you!.

Mario: that you got to that, point and
it's going well and yeah, that's awesome!

Alan: It, it definitely feels like
there's a, I'm on a different phase now.

That everything up until the end
of last year, December was kind

of, if not figuring it out, then
kind of working out which, exactly

what exactly the product should be.

What really works for people.

And again, it's, you know, what,
what people say they want versus

what they're actually using and
how they use it are very different.


So, you know, saying, yeah, that's great.

We want to use that and then not using it.

And you're like, but I thought you
said use it versus saying it would

be good if it did this to doing that.

And then seeing it just like,
you know, the graphic goes right.

In terms of people using it.

And you're like, okay, that's not
what you said, but fine roll with it.

So it's fun.

It's been, been a, an interesting
few months that's for sure.

Mario: no, that's great.

That's not, it sounds like you've
man, you've made a lot of progress.

You've gotten to this point and yeah.

From, yeah.

And I totally get it.

Now that you're, gotten to this stage
is it's a different ball game now.

So now the, focus must be growth.

I'm assuming, right.

It's, growing your customer
base basically, and then

try to, move the needle up

Alan: Right.

I mean, I it's, It's very clear
now that the bit which is entirely

lacking is explaining to people
what, this is the product.

Now I know I can see again, you know,
it's a small sample size, but it's the

fact that most, all of these people within
this company, Said they didn't want this.


They didn't want to use this.

They wouldn't use it and they're
using it and they're happy with it.

And they've actually said,
oh, actually, this is great.

So I'm like, okay, this is, this is good.

But the, so the, the, the problem I have
now or at least the thing I want to try

to solve or improve is just explaining
to people what a, what it is B, why

it's good for you and see what the
end, the, the reward is for doing this.

And just, you know,
right now it's terrible.

And I know that the
landing pages is hopeless.

The onboarding is it's not non-existent,
but it's not what it needs to be.

So the emphasis now for me
is just really on on that.

Less so on fiddling around with
the product, because I know it

does the things it needs to do.

And of course there'll be features, you
know, there's, there's always features.

Mario: yeah, yeah, exactly.

So maybe now's a good time
to spend a little more time.

Well, like you said, spending
more time on, those areas.


perhaps more marketing and
more education kind of content.

And yeah.

Have you considered establishing
some kind of cycle where you work,

you work on the product for a
certain period of time, and then

you work only on marketing, because
I've been thinking about that.

this is actually the first week
that I'm trying that for reals.

Cause I've been talking about
doing that for months and I haven't

really gotten into that cadence
and, found that rhythm, I guess.

But this week is my first week that after
I did that big update to Fusioncast,

then I'm like, okay, well, this is.

And an opportunity for me to
now that I've, pushed that it's

working, it's good this week.

I'm just going to focus on marketing
and just, communicating with people,

answering emails and you know, tweeting
and, just focus on those things, the

marketing website So that kind of stuff.

you know, have you, thought
about doing anything like that?

Alan: It would make sense.

If my time was a little
bit more Predictable.

So I think the, the thing which, you
know, I've got, you know, I'm working

on too many things, especially with
like, you know, client work, which,

you know, always takes priority.

It's, it's just not quite as predictable,
as predictable as I'd like it to be

in terms of allocating, you know, I
can definitely do this and then next

week I don't get time to do that.

So it's like, well, do
I just push that back?

But at the same time, there's definitely
a I think a phased cadence that I want to

get into, which is okay, the next thing
is, you know, improving the, just how

it's presented, how I speak about it.

So it's landing page, you know,
the priorities are landing

page, you know, welcome emails.

I don't even have a PR you get like a,
an email that says, here's your account.

Thanks for signing up.

And there's, you know, I want to get into.

It can education thing of like
actually, you know, talking them

through the product, just the
onboarding experience as a whole.

So I've got a list of like 10 areas
which desperately need looking at, and

just the landing page is number one,
just because it's the most visible

and it's the one which will either
convince people to try it or not.


So Yeah.

it's, there's definitely
a phased approach.

I'm not sure if saying like for
the next two weeks I do this just

works because I might not even get
a chance to touch it for two weeks

Mario: Yeah, yeah,

that makes sense.

Alan: But the definitely a, you
know, in and out of, of what

actually I'm doing, that's for

Mario: Yeah.


It also sounds like you could use
this this customer that 's adopting

the product and didn't want to do
it before now they're doing it and

they're being successful with it.

What are those called where
you present kind of like what

you did and how it impacted

Alan: Oh, like a case study kind of thing.

Mario: case study.



Alan: yes.




I think that's, that's a,
that's a good idea as well.

Just because, okay.


They're not a necessarily a typical life.

Is there such a thing as
a typical customer, right.

But they're definitely the, the resistance
and the realization and the reward

is definitely something that could
be present it as a, As a case study.

yeah, definitely.

I think that's, that's worth considering,

Mario: yeah, you should think about that
and see if that that would work for you.

Alan: Definitely worth thinking about,
but yeah, I'd say it's been it's been fun.

It's, it's, it's, it's all going in
a slightly different direction now.

Just, you know, what I need to do,
but yeah, it's all good progress.

Mario: nice, nice.

That's awesome.

Congrats again,

Alan: Thank you

Mario: happy for you.

And looking forward to seeing the
product I haven't logged on in a

while, so I need to log in and kind of

Alan: with the other thing, that's
come up as a and again, I think it's

I did mention it maybe in the past,
but it's, it's starting to think about

it a little bit more, which is at the
moment, you know, there's I've always

focused on it being a team-based thing.


It's, it works best with, you
know, 10 people are, you know, th

there's companies, like, I think
there's seven or eight of them.

But even for myself so even for
myself it's useful as a solo thing.


And I know the, the interface is
really not in any way designed

for that, but there is a, there's
definitely a a benefit from.

Again, this, this kind of like the, a
productivity app angle, which is, you

know, very much almost like Pomodoro
based or very like prescriptive task

management that is like, this is my
to-do list and you check them off and

in other things, but it can having just
a things I did or how I was feeling.


kind of like this quantative self of
not just how I was feeling, but what I

got done, I guess, like journaling or
lifelogging or anything like that, but

in a work context and there's definitely
a benefit from an individuals doing it.

I don't know how that fits into the
product right now, but I also don't want

to ignore it because it's a completely,
maybe not focused on it right now,

but I think there's an opportunity
that just to make it work well as

for an individual to in the future.

Just because again, I'm using it as an
individual and it's beneficial to me.

So I'm sure others would benefit just
in a slightly less formalized process.

Because again, I even
Pomodoro doesn't work for me.

It's kind of I'll start it.

And then there's like, it'll
just like, I just can't

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: I'm not very good with that.

Mario: Yeah.



I don't, I don't think I've ever
tried to really use that a system,

you know, like Pomodoro or, or
anything like that, but yeah, I

Alan: I've

Mario: to log on and

Alan: and, and things.


I just, I work really well with
lists which is, I guess this is

reflective on what DotPlan is, right.

It's a reflection of how I organize
my work which is just, yeah,

like, let me, let me list things and let
me get them done, but not necessarily

yeah, strict a much more flexible way.


Mario: yeah, yeah.


Alan: I guess your product is always going
to be reflection of yourself right there

when it, when it's a solo based project.


You know I guess with teams that, that
gets watered down somewhat, I'll still

be, you know, somebody is a reflection
of an amalgamation of a few, but yeah,

Mario: yeah, yeah.

Alan: So what about fusioncast?

I see big changes here as well.

So lots of improvements.

Mario: yeah, yeah.

Lots of improvements
in the latest version.

been busy working on trying to make it
better, you know, and trying to get to

the point where I feel really comfortable
with letting it go and, opening it up.

I know we talked about that before
and I shared with you before I wanted

to freeze all feature development and
then move on and, and do this and that.

Alan: I seem to remember that

Mario: Yeah.


you're wondering, well, what happened?


So just things kept
coming up, you know, and

Alan: you mentioned on your change
log that you like by the way that,

that that's great, that changelog.

Like I really need to do the same thing.

The, I say I was also, I got a
subscription to what's the app as the

thing, which makes it, lets me do like
like notification based like widget in

the thing just for like change log stuff.

Mario: Oh yeah.

Alan: I can do that, but Yeah.

you mentioned you like improve
the, just the stability of the

recording system and stuff like that.

So again, I think, I guess that's
the key now is that you want

it to be Bulletproof, right?

Mario: Yeah.

Well, you know, of course nothing is
a hundred percent Bulletproof, but

as close as I can get to, that is
my goal because of the nature of the

product, you know, recording, I see it
as a mission critical kind of thing,

even though, you know, lives are not
depending on it, but just the nature

of, of recording and want it to be as
Bulletproof as I can possibly make it

Alan: Yeah.

I mean, th the last thing you
want is someone to like, hold on.

I just did this interview and
it didn't give me anything.

You lost it all, right.

Mario: yeah, exactly.

That wouldn't be good at all.

So that's the, the one thing that kept me
from moving forward and feeling confident,

you know, Releasing it to more people
and making it available to more people.

So I really spent a lot of time
trying to think about how I could

engineer this thing in a way
that, could be more reliable.

And I finally came up with something
and it seems to be working, but it,

required me to rewrite pretty large
portions of the recording engine.

That's so much changing what was
already there, but it was more

about expanding what I already
had and kind of fitting what I

already had with this, new approach.

And so I was able to get it to work
and seems to be working really well.

I still need to see how it's gonna
perform if it's going to scale

properly, you know, right now,
it seems to be working just fine.

and it achieved the goal of
making recordings more reliable.

So now even if the user closes the
browser in the middle of recording or

refreshes the page, it'll still finish,
properly end and nothing will be lost.

Alan: mean, I think that's,
that's the bit, which.

I think, you know, from everything,
the product, everything else

about it is just like fantastic.

You know, and I, again, I think
you've got a fantastic prototype.

That was the, the bit,
which is like, ah, hold on.

I can't use this browser now because,
because it crashed last time.

It's like, well, just might as
well throw away the browser.



making sure that, that, that is just,
as you say, it's just super solid.

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: it's is, is everything.

And if you've got that solved, then,
you know, I think you're in a very

good position, just cause again,
it's I mean something, that's, again,

have a, a major advantage to me in
terms of what your product is, is

that people get it so quickly, right?

It's like in repo record podcasts,
you get double ended audio, you good?

And I was like, okay, I know what that is.

You know, I've got to effectively
go through this like education

process, like explaining what on
earth this thing is which I, I.



I released this little
digital business card app

Mario: Oh yeah.

I was going to ask about that

Alan: How about, we'll
talk about that later, but

Mario: speed, right?


Alan: Yeah.

So link, Speed.


And I can, I I've wrote it ages
ago and I spent literally a week

just like in the evenings going,
I should just release this.


Because it's there and it's done
and I'm using it and people that

I've shown it to actually liked it.

So I should just release it.

So I spent a bit, it was like five days,
just tidying it up and launching it.

And the fact that that
requires literally zero.

I mean, you can show them a picture and
everybody goes, oh, I know what that is.

And it's like, it's
such a different thing.


Because you literally don't
have to explain anything at all.


Mario: They totally get it right away.

Alan: Yeah and that's kind of
like, yeah what was I thinking?

Mario: How's that going?

By the way?

How have you gotten subscribers?

Alan: Well, yeah, there's
like 50, 60 people using it.

And I literally tweeted about it once.

And I see hits coming in quite
regularly of new signups and things.

I'm like, all right, well,
I didn't do anything yet.

So I, I want to revisit it.


I it's, especially since you know,
I can, it is bare bones, completely

bare bones right now, in terms of you,
you can add links and social links.

I just, you know, pre pre added
what 10 defaults or something

like Facebook and stuff.

And so if I definitely there's,
there's something there, just

the fact that it was so Yeah.

People seem to like it and I've got
some really good responses from it.

And also it's it's an interesting
experiment for me in terms of LiveView

because it's it again, it's it's another
Phoenix LiveView app and it's, So it's

been interesting seeing its performance
and its characteristics when it's the

most heavily, I don't say heavily, but
the most trafficked app LiveView app,

I've got running at the moment, you
know, like DotPlan has a very right

now predictable usage pattern just
because of the people that are using it.

Whereas this is, you know, both the
visits coming in from wherever and the

people that are randomly signing up.

It's, it's like give me an insight into
just, you know, what kind of things to

expect from it and what slows it down and
what doesn't, because you know, life view

is a, it's a very different way of making
an app work from something like rails.

So just seeing how to improve or how
to optimize that is, is a good lesson

for oh DotPlan and everything else.

So I'm kind of, I'm tempted to
experiment with it a bit more and

plus because it's not my intent or at
least it hasn't been my intention to

make it into a a product for money.

I love how you, if, if it can get traffic,
then maybe there's an opportunity there.

Mario: So you're not charging
for that service right now.

Alan: Yeah.

Well, that's the other thing as well.

It's running on a a free, or it's
running on live as I flight out iOS

minimum viable server platform as an
it's, it's using the Postgres service

which means I have to pay for storage.

Because normally the, the,
you, you lose it on reboot.


Whereas their Postgres service has
a, I want to allocate 10 gig to this.

So it's, you actually have to pay
something for, for the storage.

So I've got the literally minimum of that.

And then everything else is just on
the minimum free things, which is a

256 megabyte memory shared instance and
free everything else and so it's costing

me $2, 15 cents a month or something.

So, and, but seeing that people
like, oh my God, it's really fast.

And I'm like, like literally on the dime.

So again, it's just really interesting
getting some just some performance

data and getting some experience of
how LiveView performes in the field,

Mario: Yeah.

Well, no, it's, perfect though.

It's a, great match because it doesn't
require a lot of what the app is about.

Doesn't require a whole lot of stuff.


It's just mainly some fields some
text fields and maybe an image here

and there and links and that's it.

And so it's so that's perfect.

Alan: Exactly.

It's it's minimum a minimum
maintenance and a minimum.

It doesn't require external services, you
know, it's not, the API is to rely on it.

Doesn't store a lot of data as, as
you said, it stores some images that

are recompressed and re-skilled.

So you're talking about a
few k here and there on S3.

So it's yeah, it's, it's very
low maintenance and no fuss.

So it's, it's an interesting thing
that I can use as an experiment,

which is, was my primary.

Thought process for making it public.


You know, it, I did toy with the idea
of just open source in the whole thing,

which is still a potential just because
there isn't one of the great things

about, you know, one rails really started
to take off, you know, I started using

Rails before there was anything on Rails.

So I kind of went through the
pain of trying to figure out

everything was always at the edge.


Because no one had done this before
and there's no shared code anywhere.

And That's how I ended
up writing the book.


Because, you know, I was one of the first
to go for the first few hundred thousands,

whatever to go down these paths.

So actually just going through the
process of making the book and I found

that really I just really enjoyed it
and just, it's just really interesting.

So I've been toying with the
idea of, okay, do I do something

similar with Phoenix and LiveView?

Not necessarily that I have more knowledge
of it than anybody else, but there isn't

enough shed, you know, everybody gains
the more public code there is right.

So I'm tempted to just either release it.

I'll do do mini snippets
of like, how did I do this?

You know, how did I do this in LiveView
you know, how, and the thing is, you

know, that there are things which have
not found in any life you up and it's

surprising just how many things you go.

Well, no, one's, I can't find
any references to how to do

this, so I better figure it out.

I mean, even just simple stuff like
this you know, linked to QR code to

share you think, or to download and
stick on a card or something, and

it's like, okay, can find QR code.

And I've got a web, how
do I, how do I do that?

How do I get that to appear in the app
generated and included in the page?

So it's something simple, but you
know, it could be a simple blog

post or a video or something.

So I've been toying with, you know,
what, what's the best way I can

give people value from the stuff
I've, I've figured out for this.

So I'm still

Mario: Totally.

If you're not going to turn it into
a paid product, that would be a great

way to repurpose that, project and turn
it into a book or, how I built this

just like you said, walk through the

Alan: I've been trying to talk myself into
making some videos on it, just because it,

it's probably the quickest way to do it.

As in, if I talk through
you know, how did I do this?

It's probably a 10 minute video.

And it could potentially be not too much.

Work famous last words for me to
talk through it for 10 minutes.

But I, I know a lot of people don't
like video based development content,

but I know a lot of people do so it
could be a good starting point anyway.

Mario: Yeah.

Yeah, for sure.

Alan: would you say that about if you're
not going to monetize it, but one of the

most interesting Resources for figuring
out how people have done stuff in Phoenix.

They're not using LiveView,
but just in Phoenix.

And Elixir anyway is a plausible.io
which is a Google analytics

alternative, which is a privacy
focused, Google analytics alternative.

That is a paid product.

They're doing really well from is
like two founders based in the UK.

And that is completely open source.

And they're doing very well financially.

And the reason for that is people found
out about it because they open-sourced it.

So I think there's a potential path there
that is like his, you know, by talking

about the code and sharing the code,
most people really don't want to set up

a server to run that analytics server.

Really you want to do that

Mario: Yeah,

Alan: a, you don't want to do that.

So, but at the same time, knowing
how they're doing it and referencing

that is, is interesting, right?


So, and it's useful to
people learning Phoenix.

So I think there's something
similar there isn't like, Yeah.


I mean, again, what the app does,
isn't rocket science, it's just

putting from some fault fields
on a page it's just convenient.


So there's, there's a similar
argument to be made where, so if it,

if someone wanted to make link speed
it's it's on the weekend at most.


For what it does right now and the
analytics are interesting in as well.

Cause it records like the page views
and page clicks and stuff as well.

But it's do you really want to, most
people don't want to host it, so

Mario: Yeah,

Alan: is a potential
path there, so I dunno.

Mario: yeah.


So I have a, an idea for a little
product that came about as I've been

working on Fusioncast, but I'm not
ready to share it publicly saw I'll

talk to you about it after we hang up

Alan: So what, what's your next,
what's the next plan with Fusioncast?

Mario: So my goal is to go to
market as soon as I can , now

I feel more confident about it.

There's one more.

Thing that I need to do
though, before that, and it

has to do with infrastructure.

So I need to strengthen part of
the infrastructure right now.

I only have one server running I'm sitting

Alan: not quite the free
256 megabyte instance.

So is it right?

Mario: Yeah, no, it's, it's a
little, it's a little better than

Alan: I should beef that up, I guess.

Mario: but, it it's only one
server, so I need to have at least

another one behind a load balancer
to have some kind of redundancy.

I mean, I, I, yeah, I know.

I, I don't really, but again, given
the nature of the product with the

recording, I don't want that to be,
that's a point of failure right there.

There was no redundancy.

So I want to add another server just
to have some redundancy there and

I'll be working on that pretty soon.


Alan: so what, what are you using
for data by season two solutions

hosted database stuff or, okay,

Mario: Hosted and managed database.

Alan: seriously manage databases, never

Mario: way to, yeah,

Alan: Oh, I, it does war stories.

I could tell you about Postgres.

I love Postgres, but there was
a thing near trauma traumatized.

Mario: we, can we enter that into
another episode at some point

Alan: yeah.

I pay other people to
look after my database.

Mario: Right.



That's, that's the way to do it.

And and they, they do a replication too.

So, you know,

Alan: Yeah.

Mario: backups and stuff, so it's
yeah, it's taken care of, and I

don't have to worry about that,

Alan: Cool.

So basically the server would literally,
and plus you're, you're saving the

chunks of the recording to S3 right.

So the servers in theory can just
be identical and who, but, whoever's

processing the data just takes over that.

And the other one doesn't right.


Mario: right, right.


So yeah, so I need to do that, but I
mean that, I don't expect that to be a,

a major hurdle famous last words again.


Alan: myself every time
I say I don't think.

Mario: Yeah.


So that's the goal to get that going.

But like I mentioned before, I'm
doing, I'm trying to do cycles.

So this week I'm not even
doing anything about that.

I'm just focusing on, things
that have to do with marketing

and promoting the product.

So I got a few more people
signed up for private beta.

I'm not doing onboarding anymore

Alan: Okay.

Oh, cool.

All right.

Mario: know, one-on-one onboarding, but,
I have brought on a few more people and

now there is a very simple, but I think
useful onboarding thing that I added

to fusion because for the very first.

Login users see kind of like a
guided thing where, you know, each

screen tells them what they can do

Alan: you using any library service for
that or are you just doing it yourself?

Mario: Nope.


it's just, it's very
bare bones, very simple.

Just a little alert at the top of
the page of each screen and based on

what screen it is, it kind of guides
them and tells them, what's going on.

So hopefully that'll help to get
people up and running quickly.

So yeah, that's, the goal really
just do a little bit of marketing and

do a little bit of infrastructure.

And then in between that I'm going
to be working on the billing system.

Alan: Yeah.

I mean, I'm, I'm glad that I went with
Paddle, which I kind of overcomplicated

it a little bit just by having

having multiple plans is, is fine,
but it's also just things get more

complicated, especially when you have
like annual price and then a monthly

price, which means you have two different
subscriptions, then you got, I've got

three subscription levels and each
one's got monthly or annual billings,

I've got six subscription levels.

And, and it's just like, Ugh,
I gotta keep track of this.

Mario: yeah,

Alan: And then you've got trials which
are done internal to the product and it's

surprising just how much piddly it is.


It's it's like, oh, I'll just bill for it.

And then it's like, oh, can I just note

Mario: yeah, yeah.

Alan: a pain.

Mario: Yeah.

So that's, part of the plan for now figure
out pricing, the billing integration and

Alan: I mean you're close.


You're, you're so close to it.

Just because again, it's if you've got
the stability aspects sorted, then.

It's ready to go, right.

Just to say, apart from
these little things.

Cause it is really good product.

I mean, it's, it's so clean.

It's so intuitive and it looks great And.


And it just works really well.


Mario: Yeah.


Thank you.

Thank you.

I got some good feedback from one of the
recent people that I brought on board and

they you know, they said it was really
nice looking app, and also got some

feedback of some little things that I need
to change here and there, nothing major.


Alan: You said about price plans.

What's your, what's your current
thinking regarding pricing strategy?

Mario: So I'm thinking, and this is
what I've been thinking all along.

based on the nature of the product
something like usage based pricing

would be good, but I don't want to get
into the business of nickel and diming

people and, having to, count everything.

So what I, I, it makes It makes the
problem more complicated, right.

Cause I mean to keep track
of all this stuff, cause I

don't want to get into that.

So basically what I'm thinking is coming
up with like three different tiers

that, give users the ability to use the
product at the level that they need.

So kind of like X number of minutes per
month of recording time per month with

all features, you get all the features.

It's just really the price difference
is based on the amount of time

Alan: like, you know, an hour of storage
per month or like, you know, five

hours or 10 hours kind of thing, right?

Mario: yeah.


So something like that.

I don't really have the numbers
yet, but that's what I'm thinking.

Three tiers, you know, low, medium, and,

Alan: I mean, I did this and so I had a, I
do something similar exactly with DotPlan.


I took the eight again, having
been in teams where you say,

can we just add so-and-so?

and, they're like, ah,
it's another $7 a month.

And you're like, So, but
people get re well, is, are

they, is that person using it?

Can we take them off it?

And at that person, and it really
surprised me just how fussy people

get over, you know, $9 a month,
extra for a team member, which

again, as, as an employer, as a team
member, you're like, oh, come on.

You know, for, for the, all of
the other costs, there's nothing.

and it, but people do get really fussy
about it, especially if it's suddenly

takes them over, like something they
can put on a, you know, an expense

credit card versus getting HR involved
and getting something signed off.

So I took the stance of like, okay, I'll
just do three tiers, effectively, 10 up

to 10 people up to 20 people or unlimited.

Thinking w most right now everyone's
just going to go for the 10 because

that's the people I'm speaking to.

And that's the customers
I expect right now.

But funnily enough, even this
I mean, it's, it's cheap 50

something dollars a month.

I can't remember.

Mario: Okay.

Alan: And so this first client is like,
but there's only seven of us are using

it, but we're paying for 10 and I'm
like, no, that's not how it works...

So even when you go for the,
like, I'll just charge one, so

you don't have to worry about it.

It's like, Yeah.

we don't need 10.

We're only getting old.

It needs seven.


But, Okay.


So you can't win is

Mario: Yeah.


Alan: Yeah.

Mario: Interesting.

the other thing that I want to that be
thinking about introducing or making

part of the, pricing structure is this
idea of file retention, which I wanted

to see what your thoughts are on that.

So because storage, If it just everything
stays there and continues to pile up.

Cost continues to go up.

So I'm trying to think ways of
managing that in a better way.

And this, file retention period.

That would be part of each tier.

you know, the lowest tier, maybe like 90
day file retention or something like that.

And, a year and then two years,
or, you know, something like that,

where there's some kind of limit
that the files need to come down

Alan: Yeah.

Just because I, I mean, th
the, the, the storage is okay.

It's, it's not massive,
but it's not zero either.

And as you said, it will
add up, especially when most

people aren't going to need it.


You know, you, they're
going to be recording it.

They're going to download
it pretty much immediately

afterwards, a few weeks at most.


Mario: Exactly.

So they're gonna

Alan: fair.


Mario: Right?

They, cause they're
gonna publish the audio.

They're gonna you know, do whatever they
need to do with it after it's recorded.

So it doesn't really need to be sitting
there on Fusioncast systems forever.



Alan: get in Dropbox if you want
to, you know, keep it shared with

other people or things like that.

So, Yeah.

I mean, it's, I wouldn't, I
wouldn't think twice about that.

And I, I think if 90 days is
for, for most people is going

to be more than plenty, right.

Just because as you said, it's,
if you've just recorded it, then

you're going to want to download it.

If not immediately then very soon.

I can see the, you know, sharing, you
know, a few, if you have an editor, they

need to go in and download it and edit it.

And that might take, you know, even a few
weeks, but I think 90 days is, is plenty.

I wouldn't

Mario: Right.

So I'm thinking maybe it would
be 90 days and then six months

and then a year, you know?

Alan: That sounds very fair.

Mario: So hopefully I don't get
pushback about that or, you know,

Alan: And I mean, people know
it's storage, isn't free, right.

Mario: right,

Alan: You're charging for the recording.

You're not becoming in
our file storage system.

That's your feature, that's
your, what it's about?

Yeah, I mean, you, you, I
don't know if you have a, I

can't remember the interface.

Do you have recordings
effectively get archived?

I mean, you could just
show it in the history.

It's like you know, this is
effectively been archived, right?

It's the recording is grayed out
and it's like, just as long as

there's notifications, you know,
send them an email in a week before

it's going to go or two weeks
before it's going to get removed and

Mario: Yeah, exactly.

They would need to be notified ahead
of time and you know, that way they

can do whatever they need to do.

And in case they need to download them.


So yeah, that's what I'm thinking.

Alan: Yeah, Because again, you
don't want to, it just because

it's an incremental cost, right.

Every recording they do just
adds to that baseline cost.

And you don't need that.

Mario: yeah, exactly.

all right, cool.

that makes me feel good about you know,

Alan: Let's put it this way.

I wouldn't expect you to re if I was
using it, I wouldn't expect you to

make, you know, keep it indefinitely.

Just, it's just like, why, why would you

Mario: Yeah.

We're not a file storage service.

We're recording service,

Alan: Exactly.

Mario: yeah,

Alan: I think as long as the limits are
sensible and not, you know, like, do you

have like four days to re-download it,

Mario: yeah,

Alan: it's absolutely fine.

And I wouldn't expect any
pushback from that at all.

Mario: yeah.


Alan: Famous last words as well.

Mario: I know, right.

Alan: I'm not great at
predicting what people will say.

I can't see an issue in that case.

Mario: So yeah, I think that's it
on my end, we'll see how it goes.

Alan: So are we going to get
back into publishing these?


Mario: oh yes.

Alan: We need to release them.

Well, actually in one
way, this is interesting.

Cause we, how many have we
got, like in the buffer queue?

Because we can

Mario: there was one more,

Alan: oh, really?


Is there any more.

to edit?

I can't remember.

Mario: Yes, there's more to edit
which I need to get back on.

Alan: I mean, I think the it's
interesting also because we, I, I think

the potential for what we're discussing
is I think changing as well, because

we're both in a position where I may
not effectively a post-launch and what

the hell do I do now position you're
hopefully about to do the same thing.

So definitely I think there's a chance
to kind of target what were discussing

slightly different on a weekly basis too.


Because the, the thing isn't like, oh,
what should I do with this feature?

Or where should this button go?

It's a bit more like, okay.

What kind of challenges am I having Right.


And it's less about what I got done.

And what about, more about, you know,
like I guess strategizing or something

Mario: Right.



The, the challenges will, slowly
morph into something else.

A little bit of the usual,
but a little more of new,

different kinds of, challenges.

So, yeah,

Alan: No, I I'd be all over that.


I'm happy to, would be nice to get into
both catch up with it because I also feel

a bit weird that like we're publishing
something we'd spoke about six months ago.

It'd been there.

I mean, I guess that's one way we can
kind of catch up somehow don't know.


Mario: Yeah.

I'm going to spend more time this week
editing, so we'll see how far I can get.

Alan: you're using

Mario: on the, on the weekend as well,

Alan: Or you're using,
you're using description now.


Mario: Yes.

Yes, I am

Alan: If there's anything I can do again
just let me know if you want me to have a

got one or if you just again, once you've
done it just I'll look into Transistor.

I, I think I said, I think that's on me.

That's the last one.

Didn't get published.


Mario: no no worries.

No worries

Alan: We were bad.

I think we're both by

Mario: yeah, we, yeah, we both, we
both dropped the ball on on getting

this going, but no, no worries.

We'll we'll get back to it and yeah.

Alan: yeah, because I mean, again, I
think it's it's really, it's beneficial

for me and I hope it is for you.

And I hope somebody somewhere gets
something from it, just because I think

it's it, again, this I'm just saying
these things out loud makes a difference.

And I don't know if other people find
that true too, but a lot of the time,

you know, you're going through this
stuff internally and you think you've

got it sussed out and then you explain
it and then you're like I didn't.

Mario: Yeah.

Alan: So it's definitely helpful.

And as I hope it is for you too.

Mario: For sure.


It's super helpful for me too.

I enjoy having our conversations
and it's super helpful.

Otherwise, you know, I don't really,
you know, other than the communities

that we belong to, that where we, you
know interact with and ask questions or

whatever, or learn from others as well.

But it, it's something about actually
saying things out loud and talking

and bouncing ideas or you know,
even just experiences, of what we've

been working on is super useful.

Alan: Nice one,

Mario: Cool.

All right.

So should we wrap it up here?

Alan: I I guess



Sounds good.

Mario: All right, Alan we'll
meet again in a couple of weeks.

Alan: Cheers, man.

16: DotPlan has launched! Plus other updates
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