"The whole point of getting things done is knowing what to leave undone."
― Oswald Chambers
The arrival of a new year is traditionally when we like to step away a day or two for a 10,000 foot view of the state of our company: Where we are, how we got here, and which new product will be awarded the highest priority during the next twelve months. On-going product planning is critical in today's fast paced environment. Yet product "unplanning" is often a bigger key to getting technology products out the door while they're still useful.
You may not have heard of the "chicken factor." It's when seasoned product managers inflate by 20% any release date cast in stone on the calendar. Because they've learned from experience stuff happens. It always does. Here is how product "unplanning" can keep you from having to use the chicken factor. Instead of getting late to market with a red hot product that matters, look first to beg, steal, or borrow resources from marginal products that can wait.
To get anything done on time, remember that deadlines are so much easier to meet when pet projects that stretch to infinity are left undone altogether.
Unitac International Inc.
The Morning SkyMall
If you stop in at the Morning Flight Lounge from time to time, chances are you're familiar with our latest project, the Morning SkyMall. In a nutshell, the Mall will offer Morning Flight users a chance to set up shop on the internet.
The program won't make you a Vistaprint, and you're probably not going to sell much in the beginning. But, it will give you that all important web presence, with shelves for your niche products and the ability for your customers to price and order them.
There isn't enough space in this newsletter to share our excitement, so we've created a functioning demo store (without the payment gateway, of course). The cost for getting it hosted on BigCommerce? $24.95/month for as many as 100 products, $39.95 for up to 500. How's that for fast, easy, and inexpensive?
Visit the Morning SkyMall Demo Store
Call this the perfect storm. We had started developing MorningFlight/FM under FileMaker Pro 11, then switched to Pro 12 as soon as it became available. That's when we ran into our first headwind. Working with a pre-release version of Pro 12, we found bugs. You would expect to find bugs in a beta, but you'd also expect to not find many in the final product.
Then came reports of performance issues. Not a show stopper if higher speeds can later be achieved without having to reconfigure the file structure, but months of development time wasted if they can't. Finally, a lukewarm response from Morning Flight users. Don't get me wrong. Those that wanted us to continue with the FileMaker product wanted us to continue badly! But I'm not sure the numbers are there.
For the time being, at least until the FileMaker Pro 12 platform has been given a good makeover, MF/FM will stay on hold. We'll take another look at it after the rollout of the Morning SkyMall.
The CEO Project
A "Leave Undone" list, what's that about?
Find out in "The Architect," one of six short video clips presented by Jim Schleckser, CEO of the CEO Project.
If his title sounds redundant, Jim's presentation is anything but.
Tip of the Month
Printing the back of Letterheads
Morning Flight is designed to be used by office staff with limited estimating experience. That's why, fresh out of the box, the program won't let you price letterheads printed on both sides. The idea is to keep Cousin Mel from accidentally quoting 'em that way.
Here is how you can override that:
1. Go to My Store > My Products
2. Double-click Letterheads
3. Click the orange hand button
4. Check the Print 2 Sides box