I think it is inevitable when someone spends a lot of time thinking about a problem, that problem starts to connect to other problems, and those problems start to connect to even more problems, and so on, until there is a giant spider web of interconnected issues. Flick one string here, and a node five degrees away starts to vibrate in a way that wasn't foreseen.
And so it is that I have come to think a lot about transportation, and the importance of people moving from one place to the next, how that can be improved and whether it is necessary at all.
This started when I found an event I really liked on VIVA...
... and I found myself thinking, "Geez that's far away."
What a shame that distance and inconvenience should stop someone from doing something they want!
Of course, there is the argument that if someone really wanted to do something, they will prioritise and find a way to do it... and if they happen to choose something else, then they never really wanted to do that something in the first place. I think that is a flawed argument, because two choices in the abstract, ignoring real-world factors like convenience, can only happen in a vacuum. So it is unrealistic to say that "all things being equal"... well, they are not. The only way to create a truly equal world us to lower all these hurdles that stand in the way of maximising enjoyment.
I don't have the answer though.
I don't know of anyway to equalise time and distance... yet! Maybe I will invent something after VIVA takes off globally.
Hahaha. I just realised something. While I am solving people's transportation problem, I should get myself a name badge for "Elon".
Generally, when we are inactive on this blog for a while, it is because we are hunkered down on some secret hush-hush project that is taking all of our time. That is true of the last two months of less than daily new blog posting as well.
Some of our projects will remain secret hush-hush for a while, but a few are on the verge of being released... and one of them is a little article about VIVA that will be going into the March newsletter of Museums & Galleries NSW - we will post a link when it is available.
I am super excited about MGNSW!
Museums and galleries have been one of our focus areas when we designed VIVA. When we examined things people enjoy doing and all the areas that are under-serviced, cultural events and art exhibitions were both highly enjoyed and far under-serviced, so we made it one of the priorities in our design. My personal liking for these events did have some part to play in our design decisions, but the analyses held.
This timing allows us to release one more version of the app before the end of March. Watch this space!
Just after 2pm today: -
"Hello! How are you?"
"How are you?"
"Good, I'm good. How are you?"
"OK. I'm OK. Weird day, but OK."
"I had an awkward penguin morning."
"What? Haha. What is an awkward penguin morning? What happened?"
"I was at the AWS startup day - this thing they organised to help startups and drum up more business for themselves in the longer run. I wanted to go there, learn from them and meet interesting people, but my mojo completely thrown. One weird conversation later, and I was making every other conversation awkward."
"Hahah! You should have taken me with you! I am a natural. Well, maybe not natural..."
"You are great, and you have had lots of practice at this stuff! Anyway, I could feel it escalating, I wasn't getting the mojo back, so I cut the cord and left early."
I want to get the most out of every situation - every day - every thing - every one... but I have been falling down a bit recently. I think it is because I spend so much time working by myself, only having team meetings occasionally, that I am losing my ability to converse like a normal human being.
Earlier this morning: -
This morning's AWS startup day was the latest evidence of my continuing metamorphosis into a waddling land bird.
Even that phrase, "land bird"... Gawd!
I met one of Hello.Television's VC friends this morning while oozing this awkward mood. I thought I would just go up and say hi, but I didn't think what I should say after "oh well, hello there." It would all just come organically, I thought. I think she mirrored my awkwardness, and then I amplified the awkwardness, and then she amplified it, and then it ended with a misfired handshake. Gawd!
Well, that's one less VC fund for us to contact.
Kidding. I will reach out in the new year and remind her of the misfired handshake.
Oh, and the AWS startup day was a phenomenal event - definitely worth going for anyone keen. We will almost certainly be connecting with their startup business development team to take advantage of some of the AWS prepacked technologies and tools.
After nearly two days of being locked indoors working on content and a multitude of other things for VIVA, it was a blessing to leave the house for a few secret hush-hush meetings today (and even though I call them "secret hush-hush projects", about half of them are still directly related to making VIVA better).
Kory from Academy Xi asked how my week was when I saw him this morning.
"Pretty good. Productive. It is funny though, Thursdays and Fridays are usually when I get the best ideas, and by the time I want to implement them, it is the weekend and everyone is taking a break!"
Yikes! It is Thursday afternoon already!!
Rather than writing about my coffee with Ben and Kory, or the other meetings I had today - partly because it is pretty boring to be recounting the proceedings of meetings and partly because so much of those conversations are commercial in confidence, I want to write a little bit about the things we have planned for VIVA over the next few months.
One story at a time though - today's is about the progress on our web management portal.
The web management portal is a vital piece of the VIVA puzzle.
Since our goal is to give people personalised recommendations for events they will love, it is vital we make it easy for event organisers to create and manage events on the VIVA platform.
The history of developing our web management portal is a little crazy. The only reason I am not writing about the full story is because I do not want to besmirch the name of the team involved in that build (they achieve that outcome without my help). Due to their efforts, we had to rebuild our web portal from scratch in July and August this year. The build continues to this day.
When I first told Ian the story in September, his reaction was, "You have had some really bad luck with developers!"
While Ian might be right, I am really glad we have the team that we do today. It almost feels like we had to go through the trials to appreciate the reward; like fighting dragons to appreciate the gold. That is the great news - our tech team is adding new features to our web management portal every week, and at this rate, we should have the first fully functional product in January 2018, just in time for Sydney Festival!
After weeks of deliberation and redrafting, we finally sent our first quarterly newsletter to our venues and event organisers this morning!
I spent too much of my childhood immersed in video games, and so it is appropriate for me to declare: