Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Updates...

Ouch - no posts since last Thursday! That's not good. I have been very busy on my little vacation, which ends today.

It actually takes quite a lot of effort getting a new business up and running! :-) Can you believe that? Even with partners - there are steps that just take time.

I can say that we are about 70% of the way there with one of the biz ideas. Most of my time, recently, has been spent on approving graphics and doing web development for the actual functionality behind the site. It's coming along nicely.

I have severely violated the twice a day checking email rule! To be honest, I have never commited to it except to not check my email more than once an hour. However, I have sadly failed at even that. I have to get down to at least a few times a day because this is definitely a distraction. Especially when you have a few different projects going on with eLance or Rent-a-coder AND when you are communicating with your partners about various ideas AND when you are trying to do software development. Software development takes a great amount of focus, so when I check my emails so frequently then it really ruins my ability to be a productive programmer.

Which leads me to my next point: Email is a pain to begin with. Imagine having five or six different email accounts - some of which support POP clients and some don't. So I find myself regularly checking email not in just one place, but in multiple places. This makes a time consuming task even more time consuming.

Therefore, I need to eliminate a few of these email accounts. I can't get down to one - that's just not realistic. Let's tally these up:

1. I'm employed by someone. Can't get rid of that account until I quit.
2. I still help support a company that we started over two years ago. Can't get rid of that one.
3. I just acquired ANOTHER email address as a result of this next venture that's 70% foundation complete.
4. I'm getting ready to start ANOTHER company with one of my new buddies.
5. I have a personal email account that I won't let go of no matter what.

There: 5 email accounts that I kind of HAVE to keep (4 existing, one to be soon).

6. Then, I have an email for this blog - which is to allow me to stay anonymous until I wish to no longer be anonymous.
7. I have a general purpose email account that I use for various programming forums. I only check it when I make inquiries and anticipate responses.
8. I have a total junk email account that I use when registering on sites with whom I'm not familiar. I don't want 20million spam mails coming into any of my valuable accounts.

Shoot...It doesn't look like I can get rid of too many of these, huh? What I can do, however, is get everything consolidated into accounts that support a POP client (like Thunderbird) and get away from accessing web-only mail clients.

Contract Manufacturer: I have a few updates but still trying to nail down a specific cost. We are making progress though.

VA: Very happy with ALL of the work we have had done to date. However, my opinion of LogoDesignPro's has been downgraded. 2.5 years ago - they gave a great product with great service. Now, they have given a great product, but the service aspect has been less than adequate. If I were in a huge hurry then I wouldn't be happy at all. However, we do have time still on our side.

That's it for now. I'll continue to keep you updated on progress and any obstacles that come about.

5 comments:

Brick said...

I have a whole bunch of email addresses myself, however, I have a system to deal with it that is almost painless:

1. Create a GMail account that will serve as your "main inbox". If you are managing the actual domain to which one of your email addresses belongs, consider setting up Google Apps for your Domain and having Google host that domain's email.

2. Setup GMail so you can send mail from all your other accounts. This is a simple setup where GMail will send a verification email to your other accounts. After this easy verification process you will be able to send email from that account from within GMail.

3. Forward email from all your other accounts into GMail. This can be done in several ways: (a) have your system admin setup forwarding on the actual email server, (b) most web based email will allow you to setup automatic forwarding of email to your GMail account, or (c) you can set up GMail to download email from another email account into GMail using POP3.

4. You can now send and receive email from all your accounts from GMail. Since GMail supports IMAP, you can use both the GMail web interface and a desktop email client (e.g. like Outlook or Thunderbird). You can also use POP to download GMail into a desktop client for offline viewing (selecteing the option to keep a copy on the server ensures that you maintain a copy in GMail.

There are a ton of side benefits to using GMail: Gmail uses tags instead of folders making it easier to set up an organizational or email workflow system. GMail provide way more storage than most email providers. I never throw out an email, and I am currently only using 12% of my storage quota. Using GMail's search, I can always find stuff very fast. Since Gmail is accessible from the web, I always have access to all of my email no matter where I am.

It might not be absolutely perfect, but this system works really well for me.

The Four Hour Trial said...

Brick,

Excellent suggestions! I now have the gmail managing all but one account (yahoo) - Yahoo isn't nice enough to be open w/o paying for the upgraded service. Makes sense!

-M

id_bob said...

Hey M,

I'm looking at getting a product manufactured as well. Has nothing to do with software or kitchen stuff :) Do you know if your manufacturer does general metal construction for small furniture items? Would you mind posting the name of the mfr or sending it via email?

Keep up the momentum!

The Four Hour Trial said...

id_bob,

My CM focuses on electronic components and similar - no metal construction from him!

Have you checked out or researched the links in the 4HWW book yet (i.e. thomasnet)?

As for "metal construction" - if you can be SLIGHTLY more specific then I may be able to point you to some additional resources. For example, is it something that can be made from a CNC machine (if you don't know what that is then ask...)? Or something more along the lines of welding/etc...

Let me know! Welcome to the community.

-M

nwk said...

Awesome to be reading your blog. I have a few issues that I need to address before contacting VA's and they are listed in by own blog at: http://beatcapitalism.blogspot.com/

I could use some feedback when you have a moment!

Thanks,
Noah