When to Start

In this episode Matt and Mike discuss when to start your business, a project, or whatever it is you're putting off. It's easy to get bogged down, luckily there are some tips and tricks to prevent it.

Segment 1 - When to Start

  • One of the things you’ll hear as an entrepreneur, and we’ve mentioned on the show several times is to “just start”
  • This means that instead of being bogged down by “what ifs” that you should just jump in and get started on whatever it is you’re working on
  • A prime example:  a would-be entrepreneur gets stuck reading into the basics of how to start a business, what pitfalls could happen, what issues may occur, etc.
    • While it’s good to be prepared, you could read for years upon years and still have things to flip through. It’s generally better to understand the basics, do your best to cover all the bases that you need to and then just start - avoiding the paranoia of reading all the laws and issues that others have fallen into in the past. Definitely read and understand these things, but there is a point where you’ve read enough and it’s time to take action, there’s no way you can cover every base all the time or else you’ll never get started
    • Keep in mind that being cautious isn’t a bad thing either, if you think you need to check a law or regulation out before doing something, then it’s best to check to ensure you’re operating legally. Just don’t get bogged down for years without acting, or your competition will fly by you. If you need to, get a lawyer to explain things to you in everyday terms so you can move forward with peace of mind
  • Now that, that’s out of the way and you’re ready to get programming your new app, website, or whatever other program you’re working on, you’re bound to hit another wall - the learning curve
  • Unless you’re experienced in everything your project needs, you’ll end up hitting a lot of walls, maybe you don’t even know where to start and this is another major point of contention that people get stuck in.
  • Let’s say you want to make a PWA and you’re not experienced at all with service workers - a situation we recently found ourselves in - you could read example after example, look at tons of different solutions, try different plugins and even try different programming languages but at the end of the day you’re just reading up on what you want to be doing, you’re not doing what you want to be doing.
  • Obviously guides, tutorials, and research do go a long way and are very valuable, but it’s easy to get stuck reading through the plethora of different ways that you can implement a solution for your given app and if it’s a passion project you want to make sure you’re using the best solution so you keep looking through different options and never actually start making that service worker (in our example)
  • This is another major area where you need to “just start”
  • The time differs from person to person, and from project to project, but at the end of the day you need/want to make that deliverable and we’re all human so it’s not going to be perfect (especially if you’re a beginner), so read up enough so you can navigate Google searches on that thing you’re working on and then just start making it
  • If you end up pivoting a few times, who cares, as long as you keep moving towards the goal - you’ll end up learning way more working on the solution rather than just reading about it
  • As a I said above the “just start” point is different for each person, and furthermore per project - in the next two segments we’ll be discussing our differing approaches to this problem

Segment 2 - Matt’s Process

  • When we first started our business, we had a hard time trying to figure out exactly what we needed to do
  • We weren’t sure whether you needed a lawyer, or if you had to declare your business somewhere - there was nothing of the sort covered in our schooling other than the different types of businesses like partnerships, corporations, etc.
  • We ended up calling a few places that didn’t get back to us, so we ended up having a meeting with a lawyer which gave us some information on opening, what at the time, was an IT business
  • From that though, we decided that we wanted to go into web development due to an opportunity that popped up and from that pivot we ended up finding a business advisor that took us through the procedure, which ended up being very easy to get started
  • We’ve mentioned this origin story in a past episode, but it’s an example of how we got bogged down in the beginning, but kept pushing through and then eventually just got started - later than we wanted - but we still finally got the job done
  • In terms of a web development project, one of the more recent examples that we’ve mentioned on that show was learning about service workers, which resulted in getting bogged down in the research - my procedure for this was:
    • Google “service workers” and read up on the very basics, learn how they work and how to implement them at a very high level so I know what tools I’ll need to have at my disposal
    • Unfortunately, since service workers are complex and I was completely new to them, I had to read up on some related topics like promises and JS workers which gave me a bit of useful background information - and then I had to figure out how to get service workers to work with VueJS (this entire story is in this episode:)
    • Dealing with advanced/complex topics are particularly easy to get bogged down in because there are a lot of variables that you, as a beginner, will not be aware of and will be tempted to read up on, leading to the loop of constant research
    • In order to get out of the particular situation, I started narrowing the research from the initial very general searches, down to my particular situation of using service workers with vuejs
    • That type of more specific research led me to a few examples that I was able to implement into my testing, which eventually led us to the solution that we’re working on now
  • One of the telltale signs that I’ve read too much is that I have bookmarks/resources that have a lot of overlapping information. If I find myself bookmarking a variety of resources that essentially “read in circles” or are covering the exact same topics but in slightly different ways, I’ll generally stop researching and start implementing on the spot

Segment 3 - Mike’s Process

  1. Feasibility assessment
  • Can the chosen technology; plugin, library, framework, etc. Accomplish the set current and future goals of the application
  • PWA example, simple buying app for a company that needs to work on all platforms

Learning curve

  • With my current knowledge, how long will it take me to

    • Get started with this
    • Accomplish my desired functionality
    • Optimize for performance and extensibility
  • PWA is standard html css js with a small jump in complexity in reference to service workers

Get started

  • Dive right into starting to use it, even if it’s just setting it up and running it’s most basic function

    • I.e making a hello world application
  • Create a PWA of the current products site

More research

  • Now that you have a basic understanding you can dive deeper into learning
  • Watch videos, read tutorials, what ever learning style works for you
  • Always do these with a goal, for instance trying to implement a feature on your roadmap, so that you are
    • More motivated
    • Not wasting any time
  • Try to implement what you’re learning in parallel to learning about it
  • In terms of PWA add offline functionality to app with service workers

Web News - Apple

  • Our main OS is Windows
  • Had to buy a macbook to compile iOS apps using cordova and debug safari on an iPad
  • Initially bought a 2011 13 inch macbook pro
    • Did the job but was pretty slow even with a upgraded HDD to SSD
    • Not enough screen real estate to use as a main machine if I’m traveling
    • Also it does not officially support MacOS Mojave and the new xcode. Which means I wasn’t able to test my iOS apps on my updated iPad air 2
  • Bought a late 2013 15” macbook pro Retina which solved all those problems, but as I found out, Macbooks don’t have the greatest quality control and always have some weird issues
  • Issue I had was a system process called kernel_task was taking up over 500% of the CPU processing threads and making my macbook pretty much unusable. This would usually happen when my Mac was at 100% battery and connected to power.
  • A battery recalibration seemed to fix it but the Macbook still seems a little slow for it’s specs. Makes me think CPU is power throttling (def not temperature issues as they are fine)
  • Had some moments where I didn’t know what to do, I don’t really want to buy a new Macbook having heard all it’s display and keyboard problems, especially considering it’s well over 3000 Canadian
  • Really sucks when a manufacturer closes everything down and doesn’t give you any real options, not being able to do an iOS development on a windows or even linux machine locks me into only one option which hasn’t been a very good experience
  • Considered building a hackintosh but again I need it to be potentially portable
  • Wish I had the option of buying a windows laptop and running Macos on it, or being able to debug/compile in windows or even linux
  • Don’t have any huge problems with MacOS as a whole, has its ups and downs like with any OS/ecosystem but the hardware has me really concerned
    • Not being able to upgrade pretty much anything in the newer macbooks
    • Having higher than industry standard failure rates on ‘premium’ priced machines
    • Not having enough hardware options in the different models (especially at reasonable prices)
  • Apple PWA and Webview support is also a disaster
  • What should I do?
  • Do you have hope for the future of Macbooks?

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