A day late, but here’s the progress report and look-out for the coming week for doing more science.
Been updating the wiki‘s engine (MediaWiki), and seen that spammers have found it. Similar problem I had with the other wiki I installed (DokuWiki) for Taipei Hackerspace. Not easy to deal with, and made me think that I might have too much infrastructure to take care of, and not enough experience to do that. The wiki, the blog (WordPress), the forums (phpBB) are all needed in my opinion, and I prefer self-hosted for the control over it, but these are probably not the problems I should be doing. Either needs simplification, or bring on people who have the skills to deal with it. The wiki is especially daunting to secure against spam, as it looks like it doesn’t have a good control interface.
Through a side project, building a bitcoin vending machine, I had my first experience with system integration and dealing with hardware suppliers. It’s absolutely essential to figure that out, and so far quite underwhelming. Lessons learned: try to do more research before ordering even if it’s impossible to research everything needed; trust the gut feeling more; be more assertive about your rights and the supplier’s obligations to you once they take your money; even more signs that there’s a space to improve on customer experience.
Started to lay the groundwork for the conference, and so far there’s either total silence to my email reaching out to potential partners, or very enthusiastic interest. The first thing should be really to figure out more concrete things about what am I doing with it, so I can more effectively communicate. People have questions that need to be answered, that simple. The whole process advanced enough, though, that second guessing came into the picture: is organizing a conference really useful, or just a very costly (in time and money) distraction from the real work? My guess would be that this questioning is a lazy excuse when the rubber hits the road and the effort is needed, but better clearing it up before I push much farther.
I’m learning to accept help from others. There are both people I approach and ask, with there are others who offer. Now I think I’m getting better at deciding if a collaboration is working or not. Building up my patience as well – being genuinely curious does help with that. Often should just find the professionals, once found a good one, that has the real impact on the particular issue. Also, there’s a lot of bullshit being said by those who should be in the know but not (looking at you, National Immigration Agency), have to build up resistance to it, and have more effective approach to deal with it.
Been educating myself in different ways. Keep reading more physics and science (at the moment The Solid Earth, geophysics), have to keep on top of that. Signed up to relevant online courses that are starting now: Content Strategy for Professionals, Critical Perspectives on Management, Embedded Systems. The plan is to see if the content is really relevant, if it is, make an effort to follow it through, if not then drop it quickly and make time for other efforts.
Clear up thoughts on conference, do my own groundwork, and sketch out at least an initial business model canvas for it. Set up initial page that can be shown to people, and signal “it is really happening”, with a sign-up form. Reach out and get feedback to more people, follow up with very interested reply from NTUT to host on their campus.
Since the Annual Meeting of the Physics Society of the Republic of China is just going on now, I’m pretty sure that all the professors over here who I wanted to reach will be incommunicado for the whole week. Use this time to focus on hardware projects (the PCB design, FPGA consulting problems) this week to make real progress on them.
Setting up a company for this project is inevitable, but I’m trying to delay it until it’s absolutely necessary. There are some preliminary steps I can take already, either myself or by the help of outside professionals like the brand new local service BizAbroadExpress. Things like finding a Chinese name for Moonpunch, looking into renting a business address, finding a good CPA to get my capital requirements verified, these can be done beforehand.
… I think getting these done would make a really good week, have to figure out how much is “overcommitting” and how much is not challenging myself enough.