Week #426, #427, #428, #429

Friday, May 3rd, 02019 at 13:31 UTC

These is a month’s worth of weeknotes, but with all the public holidays, it was hardly a month’s worth of work. So a very punctuated last few weeks worth of updates.

Week #426

We had a phone call with a company in Australia about some potential projects. It was certainly a first contact and they are still figuring out exact what it is that they would need the most help with. It revolves around smoothing out some pain points as the company grows. As more and more orders come in, they need a better way to get their online store, their inventory system and their distribution partners all talking smoothly.

We were also Alpha Testers on a new product some friends are working on (not sure how much is public yet). We met with them face to face this week to explain our problems and mis-understandings of their new product and how it can be improved.

Finally, LOTS of data exporting and number crunching. We have started in on a new type of survey around the staff workplace. That finished this week, so it was time to convert the data collected into data for reports. We have a pretty good workflow, but as always with new projects, there is a bunch of tweaking and edge-cases the first-time around.

Week #427

This week started off with more meeting with potential partners on some projects. This one is certainly a long-term partnership and it is very much in the early days. Other friends in the UK have a great small company, and we want to work with them using Iceland materials in their products. So we’re taking it slow and they are going to first try some tests and see how everything works. If it all goes well, we’ll see how it all develops.

This was also Easter week, so there was a bunch of last minute changes to some of the staff reports so they could be published before everyone went on holiday.

Not much else to report because most everyone downed-tools as it hit mid-week and Easter holidays came upon us.

Week #428

This was another week cut-up like swiss cheese. A few latent Easter Holidays and then the first day of Summer.

Iceland still has this old parallel calendar from the old Viking days. It is never used publicly for any business, but many of the holidays are still linked to the months in the old calendar. This week was no exception. The first day of summer arrived on Thursday. This is the start of the 6 month summer season before descending back into 6 months of winter. This is a public holiday and everyone enjoyed some much needed good weather.

We did manage to get a few more things done. After reviewing the staff reports and walking through them with customers, we made a few more changes. As part of the data collection, we also asked a few questions about your direct superior. We haven’t published those reports because we are waiting for some advice from both our lawyers and the trade unions. These reports are more sensitive because they are about an individual person, but at the same time they are not personal because it is all about duties in the workplace. Pending any issues, we will be preppings these shortly.

We also acquired a new 4TB backup drive. So we upgraded the NAS and are continuing our rolling back-ups to protect our data. Doing the upgrade meant a spare older 2TB hard drive, so we shuffled a few others down the line and mirrors other HDs in the processes. (Always be Backing-up!)

Finally, we ended the week syncing with another old friend and partner on projects. It was good to catch-up, chat, learn what he’s up too and seed a few new ideas and potential projects with him.

Week #429

Almost a full week. This week encompassed the May Day public holiday right in the middle of the week. That split us up into two, two-day weeks.

The first half, we started to write the exporting and creating the reports for these new staff-boss reports. We got permission and the go-ahead. We’ll certainly see what sort of backlash we get once they are published to the bosses and managers. This is always a fine-line because we know we are now compliant with any laws, but we certainly want to keep the good-will of the people taking the survey, otherwise we can’t ever do this again.

We also got a response from the EU about our latest eBike Grant submission. It was rejected. This was our 4th submission. The first time, we past their score threshold, but so did so many others that we just were too far down the queue. Then we adjusted the text and submitted again, getting and even higher score and an invitation to Brussels to pitch the project. We did that, but didn’t manage to get any funding. So we adjusted the finances based on the feedback and submitted a 3rd time. This was the worst score yet. Each time, the reviewers change and some of the score is certainly subjective. We don’t know what we managed to get as a score for our 4th submission yet, but it wasn’t enough to get an invitation to Brussels this time.


Now that we are getting back into the swing of things it is always good to keep an eye on the money! Previously, in week notes, we mentioned outstanding invoices. The point wasn’t to blame and shame, but to let others know, it is “normal” (not in a good way), to have invoices outstanding. Some companies are better than others at paying, but we’re all in this together.

In Week #426 we had several outstanding invoices. Two reimbursements from events and travel, which we just sent off. Then a third small one for a little bit of work we’ve done. None of these are paid, but also, none are overdue. There is another small projects in the works, but that hasn’t gotten far enough for an invoice yet.

By Week #427, we had all three of them paid. Once we can finish-off a bit more work, we can finalise at least one more invoice.

Bric a brac

We got our first photo of a blackhole. It matched all the theories and equations of what we’d expect to see. This is one of those amazing achievements but you always stop and think, it feels like this should have happened already!