John Omar Serial Builder

About Twitter Github RSS

Powwow Progress Report - Week 4

Apr 12, 2017

I'm starting an internet company and detailing the entire process: cost of development, time invested, people involved, features added, marketing strategy, revenue, and more.
Get on the mailing list for future progress reports.

Previous Progress Reports
Week 1
Week 2
Week 3

This is one of those weeks where I accomplished everything I set out to. And I am still enjoying my time in Japan! Besides updating you on the hard numbers, I’ll talk about how I manage to enjoy my travels while working, the hardware I use, and our projected launch timeline.

Week 4 Overview

Enjoying my travels while working

After my email last week where I mentioned that I was in Japan, several of you emailed me asking how I can possibly enjoy my trips when I am working every week to build a company. One person asked:

When you are traveling, don’t you feel the need to spend more time outside visiting the sites so you can get the most of your trip? When I travel I try to see as much as I can.

I get it. Whether you work a job where your time off is limited to X number of weeks, or you decidedly travel in defined blocks of time, it’s natural to want to make the most out of a new place. Rest assured, I also want to see the sites, eat the food, and relax in a new country!

Here’s the secret: I take extremely long trips. Several times a year I travel to a new country and stay not for one or two weeks - I stay for one or two months! Each day I spend a few hours visiting the sites. I work the rest of the time. It’s actually very stress-free because I get to spend the day doing what I love - building things on the internet - and change my environment so I can experience new things in my non-internet life. I take long walks during my 4 hour lunch break, excursions outside of the city, and try new food at every meal.

Living like this is a major reason why I choose to start internet companies.

Hardware I use

Macbook Pro 13’ from late 2013. At home I have an iMac with an ergonomic keyboard. In my pocket I have an iPhone 7.

Powwow screenshots

Getting this @ mention UI working was a pain. From getting the modal to show at the cursor position to deleting the entire @ mention with one backspace, it’s a task littered with many edge cases.

Screenshot 1

But it works. When someone mentions me, I can see the count of unread mentions at the top left.

Screenshot 1

Launch strategy

Read Anne Lamott’s essay, Shitty First Drafts. It’s about writing, but that’s my philosophy on internet products too. When can you expect to see the shitty first draft of Powwow?

We’re aiming for week 6. That’s 2 weeks from now.

In that time we need to finish a few features like notifications and splitting the dates in the UI, and we need to code the entire client dashboard. The shitty first draft of the client dashboard will allow the owner of the community to manage users and customize basic things in the community.

For you

I reply to all emails. Get at me with your thoughts, feedback, questions.


Get on the mailing list for future progress reports.

P.S. I’ll be in Nara, Japan this week. What are the must-sees?