Fun Facts About the Polaroid Camera

In This Episode...

  • First, the usual update my progress since episode 5.
  • Then, I go through some fun facts and product development ideas we can learn from the first portable instant camera and its founder, Edwin Land.

Dan's Product Journey Update

In this update, I'm feeling fine. I had 5 days off over the Easter break and spent much of that outdoors. So, all-in-all, I'm pretty relaxed.

There was a good chunk of time spent out in the backyard with my family. We did a bit of gardening, as usual. We bought a fire pit for home so there were are few nice moments sitting around, staring into the coals and sharing stories. We also managed to get out for a few long walks in the local nature reserves for exercise, while keeping our distance from others of course.

At the same time, my thoughts are definitely going out for the millions of people across the globe who are now impacted by COVID19. This is especially true for anyone that is ill or knows someone that is. Special thoughts also go out to friends and family of those that have passed away due to the virus.

Lastly on this, to everyone that is doing their part to minimise the spread by staying home and restricting their activities, thank you. In my home city of Canberra, the community is taking it very seriously and our self-isolation efforts seem to be improving the situation. The rate of people contracting the virus here is slowing.

That's the personal side of things. Now, how about the product side?

Following Last Episode, I Had Planned To...

  • Return to the book I had previously been reading - Start Marketing the Day You Start Coding.
  • Continue in maker-mode and focus on building the initial front-end of web-app. I'm picking up speed now and I would like to keep things moving.

How Did I Go?

On Progressing Through the Book

I'm pleased to say that I finished it. I really enjoyed Rob Walling's casual conversational style of writing. The book is essentially a collection of some of Rob's blog posts from over a decade or so ago. Having followed-on with Rob's journey myself over the years listening to his podcast, Startups for the Rest of Us, it was very interesting to see where Rob started out himself.

While I initially thought the book would be more focussed on marketing, it turns out there is also a good chunk of generally applicable business management ideas in there. That was completely fine from my point of view. Knowing how Rob's story has unfolded quite successfully since he wrote the book, some of the key take-aways are grounded, well delivered and have the results to back them up.

To Rob, if you're listening-to or reading this... thank you. I appreciate the effort you went to in producing the book and making it available for fellow bootstrapped founders like myself. To everyone else, do yourself a favour and grab a copy to read. There are plenty of excellent strategies and lessons in there. I'll provide a link in the in show notes.

On Keeping Things Moving With the Front-End of My Web-App

I'm definitely happy on that front.

I mentioned in the last episode that I was working with a few technologies that are new to me. You know that feeling when you are learning something new and then it starts to click? You know, when you feel you're getting it? You understand the concepts and you start making progress. Well, that's where I am now.

I've finished setting up the initial framework, tools and development environment. And now, I am actually starting work on components that an end-user of the product will interact with.

While I've been working in there, I have also been introducing a user-interface styling framework into the mix that is fairly new on the scene. It's called TailwindCSS, and man it's fun to work with! Over my career so far, styling web-apps hasn't been the most enjoyable thing for me. I was never really a fan of using external cascading style sheets (CSS) to design the look and feel of a web-app. It just didn't feel natural. It was like painting a picture by writing words on a separate sheet of paper.

With Tailwind, however, the idea is that you get to apply the look and feel directly in the source code for each user interface element you create. It also abstracts away some of the more tricky details of using CSS. You only need to learn how to work with a smaller set of utilities, rather than needing to remembers hundreds of little details.

I recently posted a reply in Twitter saying what I like about TailwindCSS and it went something like this:

  • Awesome doco
  • Great instructional videos
  • Plenty of examples to build from
  • Full control of styling
  • Flexible and customizable
  • Friendly community
  • Also has a set of off-the-shelf components you can purchase if you want to build even faster

And that's the progress so far.

What's the Plan For the Next Block of Work?

I think its time now that I start implementing some of my marketing plan. I'll probably look toward a basic marketing site where I can get started with a landing page, email sign-up form and some initial content posts to build on over the long-term.

While I do that, I'll also keep gradually chipping away at the front-end of my web-app

Well, that's it for the update.

Next up, it's time to get into some...

Fun Facts About The Polaroid Camera

In this segment we look back at a well-known product from history.

The idea is that we have a bit of fun reminiscing as well as seeing what lessons exist that we can potentially use in our own journeys.

Today we open the vaults and take a look at the Polaroid Camera.

My wife, Kristin, came up with the topic for this fun fact. Kristin mentioned that it was a good example of a product that has indirectly led the way for the pervasive instant photo technologies we take for granted these days.

For detailed notes, visit this article.

Well, that about wraps it up for this episode, I hope you enjoyed it.

Resources and People Mentioned in This Episode

Shout Outs

Shout outs this week goes out to Adam Wathan, Jonathan Reinink, David Hemphill, Steve Schoger and all the other folks around the world that have contributed to create TailwindCSS. Thanks everyone, you've added a whole new element of fun to designing web-apps.

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