2102 Year-end Review

2011 Blog AvatarIt’s a New Year – the first day of the rest of your miserable life (only kidding!) This is a good time to review the past year and measure Limulus Systems goals against accomplishments. Last year’s goals can be summarized as:

Programming

  1. go through the iTunes U iOS courses from Stanford.
  2. complete working through The Big Nerd Ranch Guide.
  3. investigate into other programming courses.
  4. create interfaces of my own app.
  5. begin programming of my own app.

Usability Testing

  1. complete reading Handbook of Usability Testing.
  2. develop mockups of interface.
  3. develop plan for testing.
  4. create Omnigraffle mockups for testing (if actual iPhone/iPad interfaces not available).
  5. find space for testing.
  6. recruit test subjects.
  7. conduct testing.
  8. evaluate testing.

Write a Business Plan

  1. go through books on business plans.
  2. evaluate the competition (on iOS and  MacOS X).
  3. calculate income and expenses.
  4. develop preliminary interface mockups to show.

Further Publicize Limulus Systems Name

  1. improve “About Me” write-ups in Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, blog.
  2. get a Google+ business account.
  3. learn to use Flirt (an app to enhance Facebook visibility).
  4. tweet more regularly.
  5. incorporate? copyright business name?

Fundraising

  1. brainstorm about premiums for Kickstarter, etc.
  2. create writeup for funding site.
  3. create video for funding site.

Regular readers of this blog will quickly figure out that a lot of these goals were not met. In fact, due to a change in plans at about mid-year, many of the goals were rendered irrelevant or premature. The decision to produce a browser-based web app rather than the more limited iOS app for iPads and iPhones was a major one which interrupted many of the years’ goals. For example, at the beginning of the year I was focusing on learning iOS programming, a task that was later abandoned as being unnecessary. Usability testing also fell by the wayside due to the change in plans, because there was no point in testing for an iOS app.

A bright point on this list is the business plan. A plan based on creating an iOS app was written, and while much of it was rendered irrelevant by the pivot to a web-based app, it was still a useful document. In fact, my financial analysis in the plan was one of the reasons that I decided to go for the bigger target of a web-based app versus an iOS app, since the numbers suggested that it would be fairly difficult to make an iOS app profitable. In addition, it forced me to look closely at the scrapbooking world and figure out what was missing or incomplete in existing digital scrapbooking solutions.

As far as publicizing the Limulus Systems name, I have made some progress but not enough in gaining visibility through Facebook, Twitter, and this blog. For much of the year, Limulus Systems was in stealth mode due to me not discussing the type of app I was going to produce. As a result, I did not attract the attention of scrapbookers who might have been interested in my project.

Finally, fundraising efforts were basically a non-starter, since I was no longer raising funds for an iOS app and did not have the necessary information to estimate costs for a web-based app.

However, the year was far from being a bust. Due to being in stealth mode, a lot of what was accomplished was not acknowledged on this blog. Accomplishments for the year include:

  • networked with several current hobbyists to talk about scrapbooking.
  • creating relationships with digital kit designers.
  • attending a Scrapbook Expo in Sacramento to learn more about the hobby.
  • making initial contact with web designers concerning what it would take to produce my web app.
  • creating a scrapbooking survey to learn more from scrapbookers.
  • created an ad for the Creating Keepsakes website to drive traffic to my survey.
  • took a paper scrapbooking class at a local store.
  • testing competing software for usability.
  • took on a partner, Tom Norton, for art direction.
  • going public with our app idea.
  • starting to create wireframes of potential scrapbooking web pages.

So how did I do overall? I give myself a B- grade. I did well to expand my view of scrapbooking to a web-based app, I learned a lot about scrapbooking, and made some important contacts, but I still do not have a working app to show people, which is what I was hoping for by the end of 2012. Perhaps that is to be expected given the change in plans, but it’s still disappointing. Producing a working app will certainly be one of my goals for the new year.

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