We’re going to share with you some of the funny things that have happened over the past few months in creating UnderstandingE, an insight of what’s being going on behind the scenes and it’s a chance for us to reflect.
This is us letting our hair-down because the past few weeks, months have been crazy, but thoroughly enjoyable. Our own mini ‘start-up’ adventure.
Hit play on the player below:
What we’re going to be covering:
- Some of the funny things that have happened
- True natures have appeared
- The one question we’ve been asked the most
- Our Plan for post January
These are the “wins” we’ve had along the way so far:
The term has been coined “A Degree in Nerd”
- Matt still laughs at it now
- The Nerd appears on a large number of the guides
- Saw that it’s been nicked on Twitter today
Speaking to fellow entrepreneurs
- Gurpreet, Shmuli, Alex, Nigel, Ian, John from Bamford Trading, John Hayes, Simon, Jim from Moogento, Dave Skirrow, Jono, Andy Flubit (Note some of these you won’t have heard yet!)
“Would you trust one bloke & his blog?”
This was an amusing email that was forwarded from a conversation slating our efforts for the 3rd Generation.
What was said didn’t bother me [Matt], but what did was their inability to spell my name correctly so Matt redirected their offices to http://bit.ly/17Ru8iT and the twitter update is here. After all it was nice to be recognised :)
Try getting that one past your wife in winter as it was chosen over new central heating which has a habit of blowing itself out.
- Matt tracking his parcel for 14 hours, his mate called Gary (the driver) & even rang the depo to make sure it was going out at 06:30
- Plus annoyed the heck out of Dave, with false alarms with double glazing and insulation people
The Magmi installation guide
What a nightmare that was. This had to have been the most frustrating guide of them all to put together as we had so many failures & re-codings during the guide. It took 5 attempts to get the guide right and it turned out to be one of our best guides yet!
- Note: Magmi is the swiss army knife of import tools for Magento. We reskinned it and also made an installer package as well that includes all the cool plugins, so you don’t need “a degree in Nerd”
- Lost the installation files & SimpleServers saved Matt’s Bacon with a backup
These are just some of the failures we had along the way.
- Sent the family away on holiday & ended up doing zero recording in the end as we had grossly underestimated the time to get the Magento admin theme ready
- When we are ready to start recording… I’m starving and matt gets food delivered…..that’s annoying. (the pizza’s were yummy x4)
- Bob the dog with his uncanny knack of barking at the wrong times, listen out for him in the guides!
- Breaking the website
- Matt breaking the site twice & losing all the theme customisations
- Also running on a broken plesk upgrade at the moment too
- Matt sending NAME in an email which then gave him a FREE T-Shirt from Mailchimp as I had to pay to get upgraded on that account
- Having 14 guides done, only to discover an unfixable audio error. Spending a full day re-recording everything to make sure the quality is as good as possible. We did what needed to be done and they were all redone that day, plus an extra one we had been working on.
The Great Table Mystery Google Drive
This has been a running joke between us since it happened. We’ll have to include this in one of the guides :)
Dave spent ages looking for a little table icon in the Google drive toolbar. Couldn’t see it so made a table in word and pasted it into Drive…it didn’t look right, so proceeded to draw a table with ‘lines’ only to discover the ‘Table’ menu after he’d finished.
Matt Sock on Microphone
Matt’s microphone has been causing a lisp sound when he talks (well it’s amplified) so to remove the lisp he had seen a big foam bubble on a YouTube guide. Took one of his socks off and amazingly it works brilliantly.
Dave’s Pink Monitor
Dave was working on the slides for guides when Laura came and asked him to try and open a nail varnish she had just bought. Seeing this as a man test I ended up prizing the lid off the nail varnish, only for it to come off with the glass lid and splatter my keyboard, both monitors and desk in Pink Glittery nail varnish.
Dave spent the next 10 minutes cleaning up.
Jim from Moogento Podcast
What was supposed to be a 30 Minute Podcast turned into a 2 hour conversation with Bar recommendations & Matt losing his shorts.
At the end of the Podcast when we release it, the bloopers will be at the end. Plus we have an open invitation to go to Saigon. Matt’s seen it on Top Gear and it looks ace!
The whole project nearly got shelved as Matt was invited to work for one of the marketplaces and then we almost lost Dave as he almost poached from the project to work at leading children’s toy manufacturer as their head of eCommerce in the UK.
True Natures have Appeared
This one has been interesting, at one point it got quite intrusive over a “not a vested interest” which was blatantly a lie. And some have started to show their true colours.
But on the flip side, the one or two people I had expected to change their tack because what we are creating didn’t, in fact those were the ones that instantly got what we were upto and saw what the ramifications were for the business owners like you.
Today we’ve been editing some of the earlier setup guides and the difference between those and the latest ones is stark
- Dave was quite timid and quietly spoken
- Matt always said “O K”, asking for acceptance after a sections in the guides
- And also Matt has learned to “let go” more, Dave can do an ace job
What We’ve Learned
There are so many things we’ve learned over the past few months, these are a summary of them:
- To slow down
- Add in a “Nerd Alert” when needed
- That it’s OK to have to a guide more than once
- That the tell them what you’re going to be covering, cover it and then tell them what we covered works really well. Just like in TV programs
- Overstretch ourselves, aim high and if we land in the middle somewhere, that was ok, but at least we aimed high
- What we are trying to achieve, cannot be done overnight
- That things that appear to be critical or urgent, rarely are
- For Matt personally, it’s been quite an experience to see what happens if he focuses on a single task, rather than being scattered brained with loads of ideas whizzing around and focusing on just one to it’s end
- Dave’s Note – Matt can make scary, incredibly things happen when he does this – Admin Theme, Magmi, listing template builder, exportmylistings.com
- To relax and be ourselves
- Dicking around is probably not the best term, but it’s when we go off topic, we feel we add the most value
The one question that we have been asked the most
This was asked by several people at eBay and most of the people both myself and Matt have spoken to over the past few months. The answer is quite simple.
Based on an affiliate model we are hoping that by recommending services and products which we think offer immense value that when you buy them, we will get a ‘kickback’ or ‘commission’ for the recommendation.
We’re not just sticking with this one model, the premium subscription side is worth exploring, so are several other areas. One of which is additional extensions, we’ve had several already built which we’ll share shortly.
- If this works then we can keep the majority of the guides Free!
- And if it all goes tits up, we’ll stick it on Udemy.com for $30 a pop
Our Plans for Post January:
How January the 1st approaching almost feels like the end…when really it is the beginning. Phase 1 … but there are many more to go.
We have ambitious plans for 2014 but we can’t give too much away. The guides will keep on growing, there will be:
- Premium membership for the site
- All the Advanced guides that we’we’ve identified and need to add
- Developer grade guides (Matt will be getting his “Nerd hat” on)
- The ‘Ultimate Guide’ Series for a number of areas e.g.
- Outsourcing the right way, working with a company in the Philippines
- The ultimate guide to selling on Amazon & eBay
- Magento on a shoestring budget of
- The one hour workshop to install, configure and list to eBay using Magento
- To carry on creating and bringing as much value as possible
Thank you for being patient over the past few months.
We aren’t going anywhere after Jan, we will continue to grow the guides and hopefully bring you as much value for as little cost to you as possible.
This is just the start and from both Matt & Dave, thank you.