2: It’s not about working faster, it’s about cutting scope

Darby convinces Ethan that he should work on a marketing page and Darby gives us an update on his ideas for a new version of Lead Honestly.
Lead Honestly

Ethan: [00:00:00] Good afternoon.
Darby: [00:00:00] Hello? Good afternoon. Happy Thursday. 
Ethan: [00:00:02] Did you get your, your, did it your shot on Friday or on Monday?
Darby: [00:00:06] I did. Yeah. Yeah. It was three hours of driving pulled into the parking lot of this little community center. And walked in, they do the barcodes and everything. It's it was like a military run. I guess what is it? It's not the coast guard. The national guard, I guess yeah. Is running it. They were super nice, super easy.
So literally walked in and did the thing and got the shot sat for 15 minutes, got back in the car and drove through.
Ethan: [00:00:33] Yeah. That is almost exactly what we did. Yeah.
Darby: [00:00:35] Yeah. Yep.
Ethan: [00:00:37] Drove North until we were like 20 minutes outside of Canada, like a little hospital in the middle of nowhere.
Darby: [00:00:47] Yeah. Yeah, that, it must be the thing with borders. We were right by Iowa, right by the border of Iowa there. Yeah. Had held a little more reactions than I was hoping to not quite as bad as others, but had a little fever and felt crazy for a couple of days, but,
Ethan: [00:01:01] Yeah. I had the same reaction to at a hundred degree fever for like almost exactly 24 hours. Which it's unpleasant, but
Darby: [00:01:09] Yeah.
Ethan: [00:01:10] totally worth it to put this entire thing behind,
Darby: [00:01:14] Yeah. Yeah.  What I started realizing. It was like, okay, I can do the, map it out on the timeline now. So it will be fully vaccinated by whatever, sometime in mid may. So then I started making plans with friends. It's so are you going to be vaccinated? You're like, okay.
So we're all going to be vaccinated. Let's go hang out and do something like on this day. So I started like sending calendar invites to people.
Ethan: [00:01:38] Oh, that's awesome.
Darby: [00:01:39] yeah.
Ethan: [00:01:39] I'm excited to go and like work out of a coffee house again without the low level anxiety of
Darby: [00:01:46] yeah. Yeah. It's super uncomfortable right now.
Ethan: [00:01:49] yeah. Yeah. Always like cagey about it I'm excited to drop my guard, depending Minnesota is crazy right now in case counts,
Darby: [00:01:56] Okay.
Ethan: [00:01:57] that UK Marriott is rampaging through our state.
So that'd be interesting to see how it pans out as we start vaccinating more, but we're back to December levels.
Darby: [00:02:07] Oh really? Oh,
Ethan: [00:02:09] real bad here compared to the States around us. Yeah.
Darby: [00:02:12] I think here, we're just like on the steady plateau of just like the sameness. But yeah the vaccine rollout seems to be improving. It's like everywhere else in Illinois, you can get it except for Chicago. Unless you're, unless you have like risk factors, but it seems like they're pushing to change that real soon and just let it to anyone.
And then I heard that Indiana is letting you come over and get it too.
Ethan: [00:02:32] Oh, really?
Darby: [00:02:33] yeah. So that's an option Hopefully, we won't have to drive three hours for that, the next round.
Ethan: [00:02:38] Oh did you not schedule your second one right away? Oh,
Darby: [00:02:41] yeah, they didn't do that. I was surprised, but I dunno, it seemed easy enough to do at the first time there.
So if we do want to drive, it would be easy, but,
Ethan: [00:02:50] Oh, okay. Yeah, we had to, we booked our second one right after they jabbed us with the first. So making that four hour drive to Canada.
Darby: [00:02:59] Could you cancel it?
Ethan: [00:03:01] maybe I think we're going to make a little trip out of it.
Darby: [00:03:04] Okay.
Ethan: [00:03:05] Drop the kid off with grandparents then.
Darby: [00:03:07] you go. Okay.
Ethan: [00:03:09] stay up somewhere by Canada for a day.
At least break up the driving. So it's not eight hours in one day.
Darby: [00:03:14] There's probably fun stuff to do up there, especially in the summer.
Ethan: [00:03:17] there's a couple. Yeah. Land of 10,000 lakes, I think we could probably find one
Darby: [00:03:21] it's probably a few on that drive. Yeah.
Ethan: [00:03:23] it's a couple of breweries up there, so he might do something halfway normal and get a beer in public. 
Darby: [00:03:28] Crazy. Crazy idea.
Ethan: [00:03:30] don't know. It's the little things that I miss.
Darby: [00:03:32] Oh man. Yeah, definitely.  I will admit I've been to some breweries here. But they're like super good about the distancing and everything. The one we went to  over this weekend is the head of this whole huge outdoor patio. And like the tables are ridiculously far apart.
Ethan: [00:03:48] Oh, that's fair. I have gone to some outdoor places. I don't think I've dined in anywhere yet, but that I can remember.
Darby: [00:03:55] yeah. But yeah, like now that the weather's better, except for today, for some reason outdoor sitting outdoors is not too bad. good times. All right. So how are things going this week?
Ethan: [00:04:04] Yeah, I'll go first. My updates short my, my full-time day job has taken all of my energy this week. I did manage to get some stuff done. So I think when we left off last week, I had. A half implementation of a broken chart. I fixed that. So that actually reports now it looks halfway decent.
Like it's not the best, but it looks all right. And then I got a pretty decent start on transaction support. So pulling in transactions and math and that kind of stuff. Still a bunch of work left to do there, but a decent start.
Darby: [00:04:37] Okay. So that's like your upcoming work is just to keep pushing on that.
Ethan: [00:04:42] Yup. Yup.
Darby: [00:04:43] progress there.
Ethan: [00:04:44] Yeah, it's definitely a little hard to stay motivated on that part. Cause I think it's like boring. Like it's all like the bones of the project before I can get to cool stuff. Yeah. So I might pivot a a little bit and do some of like maybe some design or marketing work.
Just just to change it up a little bit. I'm also terrible at design. So I'll have to, I'll have to ramp up there. 
Darby: [00:05:04] Do you think you might try to get some professional help?
Ethan: [00:05:08] I might I've been thinking about, so my wife is a graphic designer. Like she does stuff like this already, so I think I can get a logo. At a friends and family price out of her. But that's not the same thing as like full brand development, like picking a color palette and typography and that kind of stuff.
I did pick up the refactoring UI book which comes with a bunch of preselected color palettes that look good. And Like a font sheet with good fonts where to find them and what they're good for. So I might ramp up there and see what I can do. Which like has a, like a side business decision is a terrible idea.
And I recognize that as a self leveling up, I kinda like it. So that's why I turned out to be me with me wasting a bunch of time again, which is a theme of my updates for sure.
Darby: [00:05:56] I don't know there's a trade off in all of this stuff, right? Like you could definitely hire, a company to do brand development for you if you really wanted to, but it's probably not a good use of money. 
Ethan: [00:06:04] Yeah, probably not.
Darby: [00:06:06] Don't let my designer friends know I said this, but there's a lot of tools out there, like these color palette, pickers and stuff where it's it's not going to be a revolutionary color palette or whatever, but it'll look good. And I like for a lot of products, like the quality of that stuff, it needs to be good enough,
Ethan: [00:06:27] Yeah. Yeah. That's where I struggle a little bit. There's so many competitors in this space that I think if I ever want this to get actual traction and usage, it has to look good and be like usable, have good UX. So I can't totally punt on it, but I definitely want on it a bit.
Darby: [00:06:45] Yeah. That's interesting. I think that Yeah, it's probably like it's iterative. Like everything else, you can start with something and grow it from there. I think it is like, it is tough to figure out the right level because design and UX are so important. At what time is it the most important thing, 
Ethan: [00:07:01] and that's that time is not now for sure. Like I, which maybe this is just, Oh, a different, like a long way to say I should time box this work on it for a week.
Darby: [00:07:11] yeah,
Ethan: [00:07:12] I come up with in that week is what I'm going to run with until it doesn't work anymore. 
Darby: [00:07:15] Yeah.
Ethan: [00:07:16] and then revisit it.
Darby: [00:07:17] Do you think then if you feel like designing UX is really important for this product, do you think that you should, find a partner
Ethan: [00:07:24] I thought about that too. 
Darby: [00:07:25] Yeah.
Ethan: [00:07:25] I don't know why I've had it in my head for awhile that I want it to be like a solo founder,
Darby: [00:07:30] Yeah.
Ethan: [00:07:30] but with my skillset, maybe that's not actually like a truly viable option.
Darby: [00:07:34] I think the trade-off is you just have to pay someone then, so you need a friend that's willing to do it. She, or, like the other thing, and this is again don't tell my designer friends, but if you were tasked with this and you, you couldn't have a partner, you would find the cheapest way to, to get the best quality work that you could get.
And so people do this all the time with engineering. If you go to other countries where things are a little bit
Ethan: [00:08:00] Oh, okay.
Darby: [00:08:01] Like that's an option and you do that with engineering too.
Ethan: [00:08:04] Interesting. I didn't think about it like that.
Darby: [00:08:08] Yeah. That's the business that comes on and you're like let's see if all the widgets are equal.
These widgets are $10 and these widgets are a hundred dollars.
Ethan: [00:08:16] How many different Fiver listings do I have to post to get? Yeah, maybe a little bit more.
Darby: [00:08:23] Yeah.
Ethan: [00:08:24] How did, so Shay brings the designer or your
Darby: [00:08:31] Yeah. Yeah.
Ethan: [00:08:33] how did you meet you decide,
Darby: [00:08:34] super lucky there.
Ethan: [00:08:35] How did you two decide to partner up on lead? Honestly, first one of you going it alone.
Darby: [00:08:43] so you know, this, we had worked at companies together for a long time. Let's see. I think. I think we worked at four different companies together. So we'd been friends and coworkers for a long time. And when we left one of those companies we had a bit of a break and over the months leading up to that, we had just always been saying like, we should really try to do something ourselves.
Like we, we had this idea of, we should start something together. Because we had, we'd always felt like there was a good relationship there between like his skill set and my skill set and like the overlap was just right in that we weren't really stepping on each other's toes too much.
And then we re we just like working with each other too. We felt like we could have like as far as a founder partnership goes, I think we have pretty good like ability to communicate and that kind of thing. So yeah, then at that time, You said the let's, we've got a little bit of a break.
Let's try to do something. And he presented the idea of lead, honestly. And and we just started working on it and we moved to something that we could start selling immediately, like almost immediately, two weeks. And and then we started to get some traction that way. And that's what kind of kept it going, was like that immediate usage,
Ethan: [00:09:49] I didn't realize you went from nothing to like a sellable product in two weeks.
Darby: [00:09:56] Yeah. Yeah, it was two weeks. It was cause it was I'm trying to remember. Yeah, think, yeah, it was like two weeks over Christmas that year. And that'd be like product hunt launched on either the Monday after Christmas or the Monday after new year's. I can't remember which one it was, but our product was super minimal and it was literally just a landing page and a Stripe form.
That fed into a database
Ethan: [00:10:21] nice. Okay.
Darby: [00:10:22] and what the product was at the time was sign up and we'll send you an email with your one-on-one questions every week. And so we launched it on a Monday. So then we would have a full seven days to get that first email out to anyone that had signed up. So yeah, we gave ourselves a maximum amount of time and then my emails just went out on Monday.
So it was like, all right, we have some customers, we should build a MailChimp integration now. And so we did
Ethan: [00:10:47] is awesome. It obviously worked too. The product is grown, it's still
Darby: [00:10:50] Yeah. It's grown a ton. But yeah, it was really like that first like momentum because had we tried to build out like what we thought the whole product should be, it would have taken months. And then, we would have never, we probably would have never gotten there cause we would, we, would've lost lost steam pretty quickly.
Ethan: [00:11:06] Man. So I'm just, I'm really messing up then I need to, I gotta work faster.
Darby: [00:11:13] see, it's not about working faster. It's about cutting scope, I think. Yeah. I think what is to me anyway is like the most encouraging thing and what helps to like fight through the challenging weeks of the day job is to have some sort of signal that. People are excited about this thing.
If you couldn't sell the whole product right away, could you sell a part of it or could you get like a new, a sign up form, like the classic kind of sign up for an invite or we're going to launch soon, get on the list a thing. That's a signal that can, when you start to see, Oh, look, we had 10 people sign up for that list today.
That's encouraging. I should really, you should really keep working when I'm tired.
Ethan: [00:11:50] no, that's a good point. I think you're right. I'm going to totally pivot to just working on a marketing page.
Darby: [00:11:56] Yeah,
Ethan: [00:11:56] Yep. All right. That'd be my week. This week. Yeah.
Darby: [00:11:59] Yeah.
Ethan: [00:11:59] Something where I can show it off. I can point people to it.
Darby: [00:12:03] That's a good idea. Like it makes it more real. You can use that domain name that you definitely bought.
Ethan: [00:12:08] yup.
Darby: [00:12:09] Yeah. And then the, it starts to actually frame your thinking too, about what the design should look like, because you should probably have some sort of screenshot in there.
Ethan: [00:12:16] Oh, it should. Yeah.
Darby: [00:12:18] You can maybe fix that broken chart and put a screenshot of it in
Ethan: [00:12:21] right. Ooh. Ooh. All right. I like this. All right. That's what I'm doing.
Darby: [00:12:25] there it is. All right. We've changed your plan.
Ethan: [00:12:27] Yep.
Darby: [00:12:28] Nice. All right.
Ethan: [00:12:29] Cool. So what's up with weed honestly, this week.
Darby: [00:12:32] so where we left off last week is I was going to rewrite everything.
Ethan: [00:12:36] Yup. Blow it up.
Darby: [00:12:38] Yeah. And so it's started on that path. Built like a new application rails, new and started building out this whole Google doc integration feature. And then Shay and I  talked to last week and he liked the idea, we talked through like trade-offs of building something new, building it into the current application, what are the pros and cons of doing that?
And I ended that call continuing on the path that I was going on. And then couldn't sleep Friday night because I was thinking about it. And then Saturday morning I changed my mind.
Ethan: [00:13:09] In what way?
Darby: [00:13:10] So what I did was I said like, all right, I think this would actually be easier if we just baked it into the existing application. There's a few things that just become easier from that accounts and like the whole playbook and questions system. We could just, use that as a, as it exists.
But what I wanted, what I really wanted was a way to isolate the code of this new application. So that like the, it wasn't all intertwined with everything else. And if we wanted to pull it out and like to play it as a separate application could. So I started like reading about rails engines and I was like, Oh, this is actually like exactly what I want.
So just spin up a rails engine, put all of the application in there and there's it's three points where the code like crosses over like the routes Where we pull in like a link to the user on the old application to the new application. And then when we pull in the playbook questions, cause that's all just pulled from the old application.
But there's only two or three lines of code in the old application that actually needed to exist for this to work and everything else lives in the engine. And then the only other catch is that all the database migrations have to live in both. Cause you, you run migrations from the parent application.
Not a huge problem cause they're all namespace and everything. So I gave it a name that was pretty easy, easily grep-able within the code and stuff. So it's easy to find everything.
Ethan: [00:14:26] Okay.
Darby: [00:14:27] but that's, that seems to be working really well. So I took everything. I had ported it over on Saturday and then expanded the functionality a little bit on Sunday.
And then haven't worked on it since, but we've got a pretty good plan in place. And then I'm planning on taking PTO next week from the day job. And I just want to like tear into this thing and get a ton of it built out.
Ethan: [00:14:47] Oh, that's awesome. I didn't realize that you were taking PTO just for.
Darby: [00:14:50] Pretty much. I need a break too, but Yeah.
Like I'm not going anywhere. I have no plans. And I really just want to spend a few days writing code, so
Ethan: [00:14:59] I'm excited for next Thursday then,
Darby: [00:15:02] yeah.
Ethan: [00:15:03] how much you got done in the week.
Darby: [00:15:04] Yeah. I'm hopeful hopeful that we'll be able to get like the whole Google docs interface built out has got a really nicely designed doc. So we've got colors and special fonts and stuff like that. So it looks really good. So I think it'll be  a good interface.
And then and that's really just like figuring out how to hook everything into, to write it and all the complexities of Google APIs.
Ethan: [00:15:26] That sounds like a lot of fun.
Darby: [00:15:27] yeah, I hope so. I hope hopefully I can get it all working and don't get like stuck on Monday on a problem that I just can't figure out for seven days.
Ethan: [00:15:37] Oh, those are fun. Those are fun.
Darby: [00:15:40] Yeah. But yeah, so that's what's going on there. Let's see. Yeah. We'll see how it we'll see how the week goes, but I've got high hopes.
Okay. Let's wrap it up then.
Ethan: [00:15:49] rabbit show notes for this episode can be found@growing.software.
Darby: [00:15:54] Yeah.
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2: It’s not about working faster, it’s about cutting scope
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