Next year we’ll be mostly done with the basic features of the system and we will devote more resources to marketing.
We’re planning to visit the ITB in March in Berlin and see what’s up, print some materials to present to Owners and new Managers (coordinated business card, flyers, folders and so on), online campaigns, media kits, statistics sheet and so on.
Last weekend we had our 9th Adormo meeting in a nice old country house in Pordenone, North Eastern Italy.
Fabrizio and Michelle, two new Managers for Bratislava, kindly invited us in their “party” house and we spent a nice couple of days talking, eating home (papà) made lasagne, bbq and pizza, and playing table tennis and table football.
For some mysterious reason Fabrizio thought that the Adormo meetings are about having fun while business is taken care by the Apache server (yes, I said that eventually it will kind of look like this for Managers but not just yet!!!) and he was shocked when he found out he had to wake up at around 8:30 (10 am being a closer target for a weekend) and that “no, we are not going to play table football right now, we have to discuss marketing for 2012”.
At the end we found a good balance, working hard and giving up at around 5 pm on Sunday, when the kids were finally free to play.
There were about fourteen of us plus some potential Managers on Sunday.
Here below you will find what we discussed about :
How was the summer?
This was our first meeting in six months (except the mini-meetings eating food street in the room in Bangkok with Alessandro and Andrea) and for most it was the first where they could say they had made some money.
Reservations started coming in in the spring and became common during the summer, so we listened to the various experiences and discussed various strategies.
I recently run a poll amongst managers to check on what the priorities are for them.
Here are the results and my comments:
New features (9 votes) vs better existing features (6 votes)
As you can see they are very close.
I read this as more or less “let’s not add new features fast just to have them, but let’s make the system stronger every day and also add new features”.
This may seem obvious but it’s not.
It goes down very well with the decision to develop incrementally, that is: built a new feature very basically and then iterate (improve, get feedback, improve, get feedback …) quickly.
In other words, each time you get a new feature it will be a half baked product good enough to let you do very basic things.
But since basic things are 90% of real world usage it makes sense.
Often a new feature will generate a lot of work for you, so you tell us “come on, make this automatic” and if your request is useful also for most users, we’ll do it.
The best thing of this approach is that we can avoid the sexy but unuseful functionalities, the ideas you get when you develop lost in your nerdy world with absolutely no connection to reality.
Those normally come out like “let’s do a calendar which auto generates rss and sends an email to every Owner except those who have a conversion rate lower than 15% and red hair, and let them order pizza online without even needing to know it because our algorithm decided they are hungry“. Continue reading Priorities→