02020 Omnibus

Saturday, January 2nd, 02021 at 00:00 UTC

02009 was our first Omnibus article. It was a way to look back at all the previous posts and make corrections, highlight additions and updates. Since then, it has morphed a bit each year.

Past Omnibuses:


We posted 38 articles this year, 22 were weeknotes. That means we managed a weeknote every 2.36 weeks. We plan to keep this up in 02021, and hopefully improve that ratio.

That leaves us with 16 articles that were not weeknotes. Ten of which were write-ups of the 02018 Material Conference talks. That leaves us with 6 articles:

We have a massive backlog of topics and a publishing schedule, but deadlines always managed to get in the way. In 02021, we hope to stay on track a bit better than we did in 02020. We did have such high-hopes for this year when it started. Atleast, in the start of 02021, we’re more realistic.

We posted this to Twitter in October of 02019.

Only 1 of those five managed to get published in 02020. It isn’t a lack of content or ideas, it is mostly a lack of time.


We had one company shutdown in 02020 due to COVID-19. That was the O’Reilly conference division. We periodically did work for them analysing survey results. Sadly, that won’t happen any more and there is a gap in the market for a good, large-scale, technology salary survey.

Throughout the year, we’ve been trying to organise our time better and compartmentalise more projects. Rather than having a virtual ‘open door’ where at any point, any customer can demand your time, we tried our best to set specific days for specific projects. Overall, it worked well, but we also needed to be flexible accommodate deadlines, meetings, etc.

We have three main projects which account for the bulk of our week’s hours. From that, we also have a few smaller projects which ranged anywhere from 5-100 hours. These are more open and shut types of projects. We set something-up, fix a bug, review a proposal, send our feedback, make a paper prototype or have a consultancy call. There isn’t any sort of long term relationship with these smaller projects, and that’s OK too.

This all creates a good mix of new and interesting ideas and expands our network.

In 02021, we want to be a bit more strategic on the types of additional projects we take on. Focus them more on our core competencies rather than simply ‘programming’. We also need to carve-out dedicated time for internal projects, of which, there are many! Otherwise, they will never make the leap from a sketch in a notebook to a working prototype.


Luckily, at the start of the year didn’t have much in the way of travel planned for 02020. Usually, things start to grow or we seek out conferences, workshops or events through out the year. In late March, we had our next instalment of the Material Conference Planned, so we avoided any thing that would distract from that in the first quarter. Then COVID-19 swept the globe. We cancelled our event and for the next 9 months, all hopes for any travel plans were abandoned.

Even going into 02021, we are not expecting to travel for 3+ months, realistically more likely 6 months.

What’s next in 02021

We have one virtual event planned already. That’s Stay Curious on January 11th all about Career Choices. It probably won’t be the last in 02021 either.

It was mid-02019 that we went to Brussels for our eBike pitch meeting. It is crazy to see how eBikes have developed in that year and a half. For those deep in the know, it was pretty obvious where it was going, but from the outside looking in, it feels like an explosion! We certainly haven’t given-up on the project, but it certainly took a back seat to many other things. In 02021, we might rekindle aspects of the design and mechanisms and see where that goes.

Back in 02010, we published Designing with Data through Five Simple Steps Publishing. It is about time we did something with this. That means either a second edition and/or making the first edition even more accessible to anyone interesting is indulging on the knowledge presented. It wasn’t easy to write, so it is a shame if it just lingers.

We also have a love-hate relationship with physical products. It was a joy to create our Analog Notebooks, but profit margins, shipping costs, etc. really doesn’t justify the time it takes out of the day to go to the post-office. At an hourly, billable rate, we are definitely loosing! But we can’t help the tug of the physical, so we want to continue, but avoid commodity products and look into something more bespoke and upscale to justify the time.

Finally, as the saying goes, the cobblers children never have shoes, it is time we revisit our own website. We have a few mock-ups, so it is time we implement them in our templates. Expect there to be moderate, incremental, small changes to the website throughout the year.