I missed the anniversary: it's now week 61 of Job Garden. I write weeknotes on the Job Garden blog and they're invisible here, so to rectify that: here are links to all the posts to date. Expect a combination of feature releases and rambling tangents about the old days of the internet.
This is more for me than you, so I'll point out any particular post which I think is worth a read.
Until this point, Job Garden was personal: just a place for me to share jobs at companies I'm connected with in some way (i.e. that I've invested in either personally or more likely via R/GA Ventures, or ones I advise, or they're run by mates).
Now, as an experiment, since a few others had asked if they could also use Job Garden, I started opening it up a bit.
But still very much a hobby. That's one of the things I like about Job Garden: it's well within my comfort zone to build and design, so as a hobby it's perfect because it's about craft and doing things "properly"... and whether that means "100% working" or "opinionated" I'll leave open.
Quantity has a quality all its ownwhich is a quote you really shouldn't use because it's from Joseph Stalin
Here's a post in its own section because it still gets a bunch of traffic. So maybe you would like to read it too?
These next few months feel like their own chapter... adding a few more friends to garden their own job boards, and the general data and design improvements required in consequence:
cross the river by feeling the stones
A small improvement, but big improvements are made out of small improvements a thousand times.I'm pretty obsessed with this compound interest thing it turns out
The material will tell you what it wants to do.
Ah, and at this point Stella was born. So everything stopped until week 50.
That 17 week period - four and a bit months - was interesting (baby aside, which of course is interesting and joyful and awesome and all kinds of superlatives, but I'm talking about JG here) because it gave me room to think about Job Garden. And remember it's still a hobby at this point!
Coming into 2019, a handful of my users got in touch and asked for additional features. So I looked at what I'd built and I thought: it's rare that you make something that does a valuable thing and also people want to use it enough that they're requesting features. Then I thought: I should take this more seriously.
So the chapter that follows is the chapter of: work on Job Garden enough that I can tell whether or not to take it seriously.
I'm not on JG full time. I'm working on other things too. I get up at 6 and work on Job Garden then, and I work at night after the family have gone to bed. During the day I often work on JG but I also have other gigs, and I'm a parent too, and the parent bit gets priority.
Perhaps there's something commercial in Job Garden that doesn't compromise the value it provides to the startups I care about (that's one of our overriding principles. We've got 12.). Perhaps not, and if there's not then the worst thing that will happen is that we've built something good.
The goal for this year is to figure out whether there is something commercial and uncompromising there. If that's the case, I'll take JG seriously at that point.
So the rest of the weeknotes (till now, I guess) are in that chapter.
They are also less frequent, and seem to be more about feature releases although of course with regular tangents. Here:
That brings us up to date.
Reading all these weeknotes back, just now, it also feels like the end of a chapter, or at least a subchapter: having shipped autotags and the new design, Job Garden basically represents what was in my head pre week 1. Sure there needs to be more data on which to pivot, and more ways to receive alerts about new jobs, etc, and there is a ton to do around that, but that's all just a matter of colouring between the lines.
I feel like now everything's on the table; the basic Lego bricks have been made; the frame has been created. So it's time to figure out what to do with those pieces, and the motivations for what to prioritise from the roadmap (which is big believe me) will be different from what they've been so far.
Which means year 2 will feel different. Exactly how I'll have to see in next year's retrospective.