[PIT Podcast] Getting Real and Narrowing Scope
Jun 11, 2020 08:37 AM
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This is an important PIT Reflection. In it I do share a little productivity, but more importantly, I talk about some code decisions and ultimately what the future looks like for this podcast.
- DEVONthink - DevonTechnologies
- Nested Folders
- Company of One (Affiliate Link)
- Transcriptor - PyPI
- Render-Engine - PyPI
What's up, everybody?
Jay Miller here back with a solo PIT Reflection type thing for the first half of June 2020. this year has sucked royally.
I don't even want to get into this. Um, all of the individual things that have happened in 2020 have just been nightmarish at best.
So this is going to be more of a productivity's side thought exercise for me, and I hope that it will engage your mind a little bit as we sit down and talk.
That said, it is gonna be a little bit off the head. I have some notes and I'll use those notes. But ultimately, I'm just using them to riff off of.
So let's start with a couple of things. First of all, productivity's in general. What am I doing, Productivity wise?
Um, if you would have asked me this question yesterday, I would have told you something different. I am jumping back to the notebook. I go to the notebook like probably once a year. I'm gonna try to do a full year.
Don't at me. Don't challenge me. Don't do any of those things the way that I see it productivity tools, productivity, apps, productivity. All of those things should be used for you to do your best work. None of these tools should be considered a Bible or any type of gospel for you to breach or proselytize on others.
In fact, I'm not using this podcast to preach or proselytize my own productivity method. I am merely telling people how I am doing a thing in hopes that if someone else that is doing something similar here, is it that I might be able to inspire them to try something that works for them or for them to reach out to me and let me know of something that did work for them without any obligation to join the Church of Notion or Rome research or obsidian or all these other apps that said, Let's jump into this.
What absolute using. Like I said, up until today, when I said, You know what, we need to get back on our analog light, our BuJo-esque system.
I would have said I was using OmniFocus. Um, I think for right now I I don't really have too much stuff in OmniFocus. That will make it hard to transition.
I wasn't really using OmniFocus as the power tool that most people use it as, um, it was simply a way for me to differ things so that I didn't have to look at him.
Good thing is a notebook and a piece of paper kind of does the same thing. I just don't need to look at it now.
One of the biggest apps that I have jumped on. Probably the biggest change in my workflow since leaving Evernote back in 2000 and what, 10? Yeah, I think 2010 was when I left Evernote or not.
Didn't leave it like the company I stopped using.
The application is the adoption of DEVONthink now, DEVONthink, is one of these tools that I think that a lot of people are intimidated by one.
It's an expensive tool.
I get that. Yeah, it's expensive.
Oh, boy, A suspensive.
It's like fountain pen money expensive.
The thing I like about DEVONthink is I don't have to question where I put a thing.
I deal with a lot of files between the day job, the side business and the other ambitions and inspirations that I have.
So for me, it is important that when I'm looking for a thing, I can find it with relative ease.
DEVONthink allows me to do that.
It does its job really well.
And the thing that makes it different from, you know, another power tool that I use Drafts or Evernote or again, like a Notion or Rome Research kind of tool is that one.
It beats all the cloud tools because it's designed to work with my local machine.
So adding some order to my chaotic system.
The other thing that it does is it make some connections and allows me to easily connect things that should be connected.
And it allows me to look at different things from many different schools of thought, which isn't always the best way to do things.
But when you need to, it is amazing.
So again, I'm not gonna go into too much detail about this.
If you've been looking at DEVONthink you'd know all the stuff that I could talk about with it?
Um, if you aren't looking into DEVONthink unless you just genuinely have a problem with maintaining lots and lots of files and documents and things like that over a long period of time.
Or you're just fed up with Evernote as a whole and its inability to, um, not move like a giant green elephant in a china shop, you know, then I mean, give it a try.
There's a free trial.
Give it a shot.
I mean, if you really want to talk about it, they have a forum.
They have, um a lot of people that air again, much more avid users shout out to the Nested Folders podcast.
They did a great to show seriess on how they both use. DEVONthink in their own systems.
One, uh, uses it more of, ah, file cabinet, the other one more of ah ah, thought companion.
But there's an app that I wanted to talk about a little bit from the business side, and this is after I haven't used a hun.
But I've used it.
And when I have used it, it has had a really good effect.
Uh, I used to do business meetings any type of any time I was doing, like a client consultation.
I would use something like notion.
Um, I'm a firm believer in the idea of shared notes are better when you're able to collaborate on them.
The one problem that I had with notion initially was that you know, you get us up in account, you got to give them access, they can watch, you do stuff, and that's cool.
But ultimately, it doesn't feel as inviting for someone that's not a part of your team to come in and start working with you.
And there was also, like the pricing question and things like that.
But for the last couple of consultations that I've had, I have used a tool called Miro. MIRO is an interesting little tool.
It is basically a collaborative white board, and it's designed to be a collaborative white board. One of the things I like about is that it also gives you a section for your notes. It allows you to attach things. It allows you to collect a bunch of stuff under one umbrella.
I mean, imagine having a giant whiteboard and being able to just have everybody writing on it and asking questions and commenting and doing things like that.
I really like it, Um, especially for like a consultation type thing.
I haven't used it at the premium level where they have stuff like of voice and video chat and stuff like that.
I mean, just you zoom.
Or I think in my last consultation call, I like, I think we just use facetime and then, as we were talking, you know, we're both adding stuff into it so that's cool by itself.
But yeah, I mean, again, just this isn't an attempt to get people to try stuff.
It's more of Ah, hey, here's something that if you haven't heard about it and it's something that it suits you, then sure, why not take a crack at it?
It's not gonna be life changing for someone unless it is the exact thing that they're looking for.
So we've talked a little bit about the productivity side of things.
Let's jump into the projects.
Ah, but to do nothings really changed much on the project side of life.
I mean, it is it's still basically render engine and transcript.
Or for me, I do believe the last time we had a conversation like this transcriptor was still just a Django app now it is no longer Django app.
It is a python package.
Yes, but he s the best way to put it.
At the end of the day, I realized that I don't want to build a SaaS app.
I know that there are a bunch of people out there.
They're like, "Oh, yeah, SaaS applications!"
"That's passive income and smart revenue."
And there's a whole conversation to have about that.
But that is not me.
What I enjoy doing more than anything is helping people directly by me providing a service to them.
Now I know that's not scalable.
I understand that.
I don't care.
Um, there's a excellent book that I've been reading on and off, you know, for the last who knows how long.
Called _Company of One__ by Paul Jarvis.
I think that there is an amazing idea and an amazing benefit to imposing a limit of scalability on yourself and on your company.
And here's Here's what I mean, if I use pit transcriptor, as you know, we'll pick transcript of the Django app.
It's a great tool that allows anybody to sign up for an account and start doing transcriptions and Ultimately, I'm eating the cost, which means I'm having to charge people memberships, which means I am now in the business of customer service.
I'm in the business of tech support, and I am in the business of having to explain to people why Amazon transcribe does some of the things that it does because of how it does it.
And there are a lot of different things that Amazon transcribe Google Cloud Platform or Google Cloud Services and Microsoft Azure.
All of these services do certain things because they have to in order to scale at the level that they want to scale.
But what's the alternative here?
I could build a system that allows me personally to do transcriptions at a rate that I can afford in that I could maintain and by providing it as a python package.
There is a level of support that I'm willing to give, but a lot of that is I can now define the scope of the application of the package that I'm supporting.
If I decide that the transcript or packages on Lee going to support AWS Transcribe, then okay, I have the ability to do that if I decide that transcriptor is not going to support custom vocabulary.
I can do that if I and these are all things that I have chosen to do.
If I decide that transcript is only going to focus on the resulted output of a transcription job and not the actual processing of the job itself, I conduce that.
And by doing that, I narrow the scope that I am responsible for to my clients.
I'm Onley responsible for the actual job that they're paying me to do.
They're not paying me to maintain a python packages or maintaining Meteo or they're paying me too.
Provide them with a transcription.
And the developers that are using the tool that I have built are I mean, they're not paying me at all, but they're relying on me, too.
Provide a level of knowledge and service about the platform, or about the system that I have created all while while having the ability to take it and make it their own because it is an open source.
A pack same thing with render engine render engine by default as a static side generator is designed to be very flexible, but because I'm not selling static sites is a service.
I'm only providing a system for generating sites.
That is a level of insight that I don't have to provide.
I don't have to teach people proper SEO.
I don't have to teach people proper CDN usage and compression of images and things like that.
My system does not care about these things.
It does not benefit them anyway.
The only way that we were able to integrate sire like a search capability, like for those who don't know, one of the big achievements of he had this year for render engine is the integration in with a fuse dot Js, which is a static site search.
Um, that's all done on the client side.
Now they're probably better ways to do it.
I'm sure you could offload that to another service, but my assumption is if you're building static sites, you have a certain thought about offloading stuff to third party service.
Um, but, you know, part of my thought pattern was Do I want to support looter?
Another static site search engine do I want to support, um, elastic search and do I want to support?
You know, Al Gore, Uh, or out was What is it?
Yeah, Al Gore as either Algora or Algoria.
Something like that.
I think it's Algora.
And because I wasn't saying, "Hey, everybody, here's a platform that, you know, you give me $10 a month and I host your static site."
And there's nothing wrong with people that are doing that.
You know, shout out to the whole micro.blog service and Manton Reese and Jene McDonald and the other people that are a part of making that a reality.
Um, that's just not me.
That's just not what I'm aiming to do.
I would much rather make sure stuff that I'm doing is compatible with what they're doing.
And they have really made that easy.
So again, big shout out to them.
So I guess in this rambling that is kind of my big take away in this whole conversation is there's something to say about the idea of controlling the scope of your projects, and that is something that I am learning more and more of as I get older and as I want to do more things while having more responsibilities is, I have to be able to control the scope of what I'm doing.
So the big pit question for you that I want to hear about, whether it's on Twitter or whether you want to email me at info it productivity in tech dot com is how are you controlling the scope of the things that you're doing?
And furthermore, what can you do in order to begin controlling the scope of some things that might have gotten out of control?
I'm gonna leave it there because the last, you know, five minutes or so of this little podcast thing, it's going to be devoted to a little bit of, ah administration work here.
So I've been thinking more and more about Pitt as a community, as a group of people Maurin Mawr during this time with racial injustice and things like that happening.
Have I not been more proud of the black community that I've been a part of, you know, obviously from birth, but also the vocal community and the amount of ally ship that I have around me and that has made me want to value the people within that community.
More and more now, I'm still not sure how that involves pit, but what I have learned is that I want to be able to support of the things and the people that are doing amazing things more and more.
And by doing that, I have to have the support of the community.
So here is my I thought I would be willing toe have more conversations like this on a regular basis if there were some form of feedback one, there has to be feedback on it.
I don't I don't mind shouting into the either, but the actual time it takes tow, edit and record this.
And I mean, even the editing isn't much, but I cough a lot.
I'm an asthmatic.
I'm a chronic asthmatic.
There's a lot of coughing that's involved in a lot of people.
Sometimes here and then sometimes don't hear, depending on my mood.
There's got to be feedback in the term and in actual like conversation.
I'm only sharing this stuff with you because I want to start a conversation.
If there's no desire for a conversation to be had then I have no reason to continues speaking about it.
The other side is it has to make sense from a time value perspective.
As some may noticed, I have upped the transparency of me searching for, um, I want to say a job, but searching for a way to provide for my family?
No, I have a job.
I'm not worried about getting fired today, at least, and pit is still growing.
I mean, last year was the best year for pit, which I mean.
Luckily, the company's only two years old, so you know, hopefully, hopefully we can continue moving in a positive direction.
But the time that it takes to record this I'm currently sitting at 22 minutes, 39 seconds.
I think on the actual recording, it's like 22 minutes, five seconds, something like that.
But I was working on a transcription before I started doing this, and I said, You know what?
I really need to get that thing done.
So if I'm going to do more things like that, I need to make sure that I'm not taking away time from my family without it making sense from a from a value perspective.
So what does that mean?
Does that mean there's gonna be a patri on?
Does that mean there's gonna be ah member full or something like that?
No, I don't know what it means at the moment.
What I'm looking for is one person.
I'm looking for a couple things.
I'm looking for two people to listen to this and tell me that they heard it.
They enjoyed it or they heard it and they didn't enjoy it.
And here's why.
Or they heard it.
And I'm an idiot or whatever.
The other thing I want to hear is someone say I have heard this.
I appreciate it.
It brought me value.
And I want to, in some way, shape or form compensate you for the value that you've put out.
Now, if you feel like you can't afford that, by all means, I understand I'm not even saying that you have to feel obligated to give me money.
I am saying that if this truly brings value to you and you feel like you would be willing to do something to ensure that this value continued to happen, I need to know, because otherwise all I'm doing is wasting my time and my energy putting something out there that no one's listening to now, the pit podcast as a whole.
The interviews they will still happen because I enjoy.
I enjoy the conversations.
At the present time, I have five six interviews scheduled in like the next month.
I can stretch those out for the remainder of the year, and that will be the entire pit season.
Or I can release them on a bi weekly, maybe even weekly basis, like we used to back in the good old days.
But I'm not going to do that at the stake of my sanity, knowing that it's not going to make an impact in anyone's life or knowing that the people who are consuming it are just using.
It is background noise.
I cannot do that.
So here's the promise that I'm making today as I'm recording this and this will be released is June 10th.
If by June 20th we have one pledge to somehow pay for this service, you know, pay for this podcast, not even not even monetarily.
Maybe it's just in terms of like, Hey, I promise that if you put in episode, I will retweet it and I will reply with a comment.
I am okay with that being the currency.
I love your money.
But if you don't have it, I understand.
Some of us just don't have it.
And if I have two people that can just say Hey, you know what?
I really enjoyed the conversation.
I really enjoyed the thought piece.
This is what I did like.
This is what I didn't like.
Maybe a little too much preaching at the end.
Whatever it is.
I will talk about this every single day.
I will tweet it out every single day.
I will give it my full up.
Do a transcription for it.
I will do everything possible to make sure that people hear this.
And if again, two people tell me, Give me some feedback.
One person pledges some type of either money or effort in terms of a currency.
Then I will continue to do this and I will pledge to release the episodes that I'm recording at a bi weekly basis.
Starting out if we get more than that and I feel like I can truly start doing this on a weekly basis, then by all means, that's awesome.
But if not, I have to think about the effort that I'm putting in, and I have to think about the find that it's taking away from my family and things like that.
I have no problem with it.
My family has no problem with it, but ultimately we and by we I mean me.
I I want to share this content with you, but I don't want it to fall on deaf ears, and I don't want it to just be background noise for someone's commute.
I want to be something that they take in and that they value.
So that's my pledge to you.
Like I said, two pieces of feedback.
If you can make that happen, then the podcasts interviews will go on a biweekly schedule, and I will probably supplement the interviews with more thoughts like this, just less preachiness on the back end.
But that's gonna do it for this week.
I have been your, um, speaker and your hose J.
If you want to reach out to me, there's a couple ways you can do it.
You can A) hit me up on Twitter.
You can B) email me at info at productivityintech dot com, or C) You could go to my website kjaymiller.com.
Uh, there might be a contact button there.
There might not be?
Now, you can't really do that when there's no contact button.
I'm also a microdot.
Blawg at KJ.
Why Miller, if you use microdot block instead of Twitter.
But if you want to be invited into our privates like channel, I'll bet you.
But if I like, If I like the cut of your jib, then sure, we'll bring you in.
Um, once we have enough, people will start an open conversation about how we can make this work financially.
I'm open to doing more things like this, whether they're a live stream, whether we're having, like, voice, call, conversation, stuff or whatever.
But more than anything, I just want to make sure that people are hearing this and that people are getting something out of it.
But that's gonna do it for this time.
I'm Jay Miller.
Thank you so much for listening.
Uh, thank you to Nadir Omowale for the use of his music a "hustler in spite of myself" for the intro and outro music.
And of course, I hope for the last 29 minutes and five seconds that we have been productive.
Thank you so much.
I will talk to you next time.