The reason why this post has taken some time to come is there’s simply too much going at My Day To-Do right now. There are far too many disparate (different) things for me to keep my head around, hence I simply haven’t had the time to write a post about it all…at least till now. This going to be a slightly shorter post and it will have a slightly different structure to my usual blogposts.
2017 Year in review
It was a pretty good year for My Day To-Do and we experienced significant growth at My Day To-Do, let’s start with a short summary of it all.
My original goal going into year 2017 was to increase download numbers of My Day To-Do
, and end the run of abysmal download numbers of 2016. How bad? 44 downloads per month for Lite
yes that bad.
As far as the goal of download numbers is concerned, 2017 was a very successful year for My Day To-Do. Here’s a breakdown of the the total download numbers
Total downloads: 10, 500
Now a break down of the regions
China: 7170 units
USA: 865 units
Germany: 345 units
Yes 10,500 and that is a massive jump from some 1800 downloads of the previous year (2016) and while the numbers look great a majority of them are for the Lite (free)
version. Hence the revenue stream remains unchanged i. e. very insignificant, which means that I cannot hire staff or create sophisticated paid marketing campaigns among other things…
- The significance of those download numbers and the regions with downloads
- The post also contains an almost chronological list of developments at My Day To-Do in 2017
- Lastly, it also has a reference to all my blogposts for the year
USERS ARE EVERYTHING!!!
I am probably preaching to the choir
here, but yes the success of any app depends on what the users thing about it. There are two aspects of this
Focus group study (or whatever the formal term is)
My understanding of this is to get a bunch of people (potential users) in a room, get them to use the app and make/note down observations of what they do with it. Now that sounds ‘fine & dandy’ and it would be great to do such a study however at this point I am seriously limited by resources. Once again, I am a one man startup i.e. I have to code, market, think about how people use my product, handle admin work etc etc. I do have interns working with me but….more on that later
Survey existing users
This is something I can achieve, the idea is to give people using My Day To-Do
a questionnaire in the app and get their opinion on what they feel about the product and how can we make it better for them. This is an in-development feature, I have a questionnaire ready and I will be adding that in one of the future updates, which hopefully will be in the next week or two. I will write a more detailed post on it once that update is live and I have some user feedback to talk about, but before that let’s talk about interns (people management)
Software development intern
In 2017, this was intern no 5! and this was a front-end coding internship. I would say that of all internships of 2017 this was the least useful to My Day To-Do
if you factor in the amount of time spent. This was also the trickiest one to handle!
Why? I mean if the person’s a slacker or just not making any attempts at working hard you can just get rid of them but what if the person is working really hard but can’t produce anything? This just makes my job a whole lot harder. This intern was indeed someone who works extremely hard but for some reason simply failed to produce anything or even follow certain simple instructions. It got to a point where I simply couldn’t trust any work that was done! I started dialling back work progressively. Maybe My Day To-Do simply wasn’t right place to learn for this intern? I had made very clear at the beginning of how small a startup this is and I simply cannot spend 3-4 hours a day training the intern. Here are a list of tasks given to the intern.
- Learn AngularJS for a week or two
- Create a simple CRUD todo web app with AngularJ (without DB storage)
- Make it look better e.g. use Ionic or Bootstrap CSS for it
- Test My Day To-Do, learn how to use it and write a text description of the tests
- Analyse 5 pieces of text in a document
- Practice some coding, create a simple web app and try to add analytics to it
Apart from no 5, none of the above tasks had a yielded usable results. The best metaphor for the way the work was done would be…
Imagine, you are in a Saloon
in the old wild west, the Saloon has another 4 – 5 exits apart from the front door. Waiting outside the saloon are your enemies who are armed and ready to shoot you as soon as you come out. Now instead of surveying all your exits and finding the safest one with the least probability of getting shot, what if you ran out the front door guns blazing? I think that’s the best analogy to the intern’s approach to writing code, yet…
…when I read the intern’s very emotional resignation email, I called the intern in for a chat and offered to spend an hour every Friday and help with solving problems, writing code, understanding problems, testing etc. Why? well…
- as I said the intern was very hard working so it’s just a matter of directing the hard work in the right direction
- the intern will graduate soon and look if I can help improve someone’s chances of survival in this world after uni, then why not?
Now it’s really up-to the intern to make the most of this opportunity,
Overall I think 2017 was a good year for My Day To-Do and I can only hope 2018 turns out to be better. One of my goals is to improve the retention rates for My Day To-Do, I am really looking forward to getting to know my users better, giving them what they want from the product and just generally finding ways to improve the retention rates for users. Ohh and to increase revenue, I mean it’s fun and all to get your startup going but it’s been more than a year and a half of insignificant revenue.
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