Week 177

I lost my way with these back at the end of August, but it feels like it could be helpful to start again. So here we go…

I’ve spent a fair chunk of the past week travelling around London meeting people for coffee. We’re in a position that’ll be well known to many freelancers and small companies — several jobs coming to an end, but nothing big lined up to replace them — and that’s spurred me to get out and catch up with people, explore possibilities, think about what’s next and expand our networks a little bit.

That’s quite a good way to spend a week, but does conflict with the small matter of actually finishing the current round of projects to deadline, so there’s also lots of evening and weekend working. A sign that we need to work out how to build a bit more redundancy into our processes.

For the past couple of months we’ve been quietly working on a little product we hope to launch very soon. It grew out of some research we did for a client that revealed a little gap in the market. At some point we hope to develop some product ideas that we see as potential money-makers, but this one’s chiefly a learning experience.

We spend a lot of time helping clients build their products, but we don’t see the full process end-to-end. So with this we’re not just doing the build, but we’re setting up the payment systems, we’re meeting with a lawyer, and all that sort of thing. It’s led to a few delays, but will also better equip us to help our clients, and to launch our future products. More on that in due course.

Yesterday saw us at the Design of Understanding conference at St. Bride’s. (Check out these great notes on that. I’m still processing mine) As with all conferences there were some ups and downs, but it was a great day with a good crowd and several very good talks.

Small, focussed conferences are definitely my favourites, but 2011 will also see me going back to SxSWi. And we finally have accommodation sorted out for SxSW. By the time we decided to go all the hotels within 6 miles of the convention centre were booked up, but the wonderful AirBnB came through for us and we’ve got a nice little cottage a couple of miles away.

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