Monday, November 06, 2006

Whisky thinking and Big Ten worries

Monday morning
Development spend: Same (but invoices stacking up again)
Forms filled in this morning: Six online, three paper
Grants approved: One (yippee!)

Friday was a bit of a rollercoaster day.
On the ultra-plus side I finally got confirmation through that sweeble had won an innovation award - ten grand to help me pay the costs of launching and developing sweeble (yippee!).
On the less-plus side, I have to spend £10k plus its match value within five weeks because the offer is four weeks overdue. But hey, I'm a woman - I can spend to deadline.
Also less plus is still not having a lot of stories on the test site yet, but the contacts with bloggers is helping and the feedback is positive. On the very-plus side, I got a great email from the guy who runs Cough The Lot ( and it's good to have people coming across sweeble for the first time and liking the concept, I still worry in the down times that I've got it completely wrong.


On the very-unplus side, my tenants gave notice which means one of the income sources allowing me to stay out of fulltime work while I get sweeble going is about to dry up. Fingers crossed it won't take me too long to find new tenants for the riverside apartment I can't afford to live in myself.
On the better-plus side, the gubbins for the business bank account I finally managed to get open arrived. The nice man at Lloyds stayed helpful despite my currently having two surnames, three addresses and a company that had previously been dormant for six years.
All I need now is to get the award money paid into my new account soon and then I can pay this newest pile of invoices with my company cheque book instead of out of my savings. Shiny!


Friday evening was spent with a whisky and a whiteboard rethinking what to do next with sweeble. In the two weeks since the test site launch, the handful of people I've told about it have put a handful of stories up but not enough, and there's a whole new batch of glitches that need ironing out on the site and I've only got one developer working with me. Plus I've now got new ideas for things I want sweeble to include.
Getting the award offer means I can now do some of those things but the spend timescale, coupled with the difficulty in finding people quickly with the skills I need, is a bit of a bugger.
I was getting stuck on which step next and distracted by flat letting agents and server size worries. So I did what works for me - switched the phone off, poured a large one, stacked up CD favourites and picked up a marker pen.
And now I've got ten big tasks to do this week and know where I'm going again.
The biggest challenge is still going to be finding people to help me get there. Sweeble's one developer, Neil, has done a brilliant job but he's swamped and one of my big ten tasks is to find a second person to make the code changes quickly - and that's not easy working from a shed in the middle of Staffordshire.

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