Week #536, 537, 538

Friday, June 4th, 02021 at 15:51 UTC

Week #536

This week started off by dealing with the bankruptcy liquidation lawyer. We submitted our claim to him regarding our unpaid invoices. Luckily, it is a fairly informal process. We filled out a stock cover-letter provided by our lawyer stating the amount owed and our position as a claimant (we were contractors, so almost bottom of that list). The trickiest thing was demonstrating proof. This is where we learnt several things which we’ll change going forward.

  1. We found emails with meeting invites and proposals, but no replies or official contract. Those confirmations must have been in person! Luckily, there were a year’s worth of paid invoices, so it is unlikely these unpaid ones would be made-up. Solution: Get a proper contract!
  2. Put invoice bills directly into the bank account. In Iceland, if you have hooked-up your accounting software (or just via the online bank), you can create eBills and send them to your customers. They then appear in the customers’ online banks and more quickly get added into their accounting software. If you send them in on paper or in an email, they have to manually be booked into the accounting software. That takes longer and doesn’t help anyone. You get paid slower and the customer’s cashflow numbers aren’t as up-to-date. In our case, had we sent our invoices directly into the bank, they would be claims collecting interest before the bankruptcy. As of now, they are just papers on someone’s desk. Solution: Online invoice everything.
  3. Since our client used mostly cloud-based software, we got a company email which was used to log into all these services. When they went bankrupt, that email was turned-off. The side-effect of was that we lost a lot of ‘proof-of-work’ or any project tasks we were assigned. (The lawyer SHOULD have access to all that, but we suspect it has all disappeared when they stopped paying the bills.) The same applies to the company Slack account. All our documented was written down, but now it’s disappeared (unless you pay-up). Solution: Save all your email locally!

One other client we work for had a request. They invested in a small team who built and iOS and Android app using some web-based technology and compiled that to native apps. That project grew, the apps were buggy and we were asked to stem the tide while they hired developers. That’s how we started working on their new version of the iOS app. Starting from scratch, we had two weeks and next to no instructions to get it working.

This week, some sickness has been going around and caught some of the team. That means we have not been as productive as we’d like and we’ve had to push a few projects too the back burner for a bit.

Week #537

Still battling with sicknesses, we started the week off with a bank holiday.

Most of the week was spent on getting this iOS app up and running. To help future proof it and make it easier to update, we choose to go 100% in our SwiftUI. There was no existing code we could reuse so why not! That might not have been the best idea. There are still a few things that are buggy or annoying with SwiftUI, but we’re betting that it will only get better with time. One thing we didn’t factor in would be how many programmers are comfortable with SwiftUI. They are looking to hire an iOS developer, let’s hope they can or are willing to learn SwiftUI.

We managed to get the app to a place that is 90%+ complete. Now it is their turn to go through everything and make a long todo list of things that need fixing before launch.

We continue with our Open Office Hours. We had one, in person, lunch meeting this week to talk surveys and another video call on friday. It’s been fun and productive to continue to meet people. Right now, there is nothing booked. If you have an idea you want to pitch, want feedback or have a question, feel free to book a time slot.

Week #538

Monday was Memorial Day in the USA. That gave us the opportunity to get caught-up on other tasks we’ve had on the back burned these last few weeks.

The BBC NESTA Human Values project got some attention. It was mostly a few custom fields that needed to be added to the WordPress template so they could manage things and be more independent. Then a tricky background image (or multiple) that needs discussion on how it should work on different screen sizes.

Then back to our Australian Concreters. We got stuck on their “Job Pages”. What used to be a paper print-out that was left onsite with contract info and delivery schedule is being moved online. The crew will be able to access the page for each job site and get the basic details, but now they can add notes, upload photos, etc. Most of this is done, but we’ll wrap it all up this week.

Our iOS support wrapped-up this week. On monday, the company hired an iOS programmer who knows his stuff with SwiftUI and we finished-up our tasks and moved into a support role while version 2 is completed and tested. It was a lot of work in a short time, but we learnt a lot and come away with a few more skills and appreciation of the difficulties of start-up life.

Half our team got the Moderna Vaccine 💉 this week with minimal side-effects. The rest of us are booked in for Monday in week #539 for a dose of Pfiser. In three weeks, everyone should be getting their second dose 🍾🎉.