Entries in category "rykorp"

found a spark of inspiration. doing my best to protect it so it can grow into a flame. 

Posted by roy on January 27, 2012 at 02:44 AM in Personal, rykorp | Add a comment

It's nights like this that wish I had somebody else to lean on. 

Currently feeling: alone
Posted by roy on November 30, 2011 at 03:16 AM in Personal, rykorp | 1 Comments

Life never gets simpler - maybe that's why as I get older, I keep trying to find simplicity in everything. 

I've been a bit "off" lately - for various personal reasons, but a big part of it's been rykorp-related. I've been trying to pin down why, and I think I've figured out why. 

I remember back when I was working at MT, how lonely I felt a lot of the times. Looking at my life now... the loneliness is a lot worse. I've near given up ever finding someone who will understand the burden of my career - being an adult is truly about being alone. 

The complexity of being solely responsible for everything's been compounded by the fact that I now have responsibility over some semblance of a payroll - I have 6 or 7 people I pay every month before I pay myself. It's an odd feeling to think that others are relying on you for their own financial security. 

The good news? I'm over my addiction towards a paycheck - I'm used to paychecks being irregular. Phew. 

I think it's hard enough doing your own start-up - but at rykorp, I'm not just building the company for myself, but I'm building out the hopes and dreams of OTHER people. 

These people have put up cash and their time into risky ventures that have a low probability of success (a generalization about startups in general - I believe that every company I work with will make it to the top) and trusted ME with the execution of their vision. 

That is a really scary thought. I'm running without a safety net, and if I fail... nobody to blame but myself. But as scary as that sounds, it's also a riveting feeling - like the rush you feel when you do something dangerous (doubing down on an 11 against a face card on a hot dealer). And you know me - while I'm not an action junkie, I constantly need something to keep me moving in my life. 

The dangerous part of this whole endeavor - I'm the type of guy who cares more about other people than my own welfare. This manifests itself in a lot of different ways (as my close friends can attest), but this thought occured to me: if I had to choose between letting one of my clients fail, or letting rykorp fail... I would gladly choose the second. 

Letting my own dreams fail - sure I'll be hard on myself, but I'll get over it. 

But letting the dreams of others fail? That's not an option. While I'm over the personal issues I had with MT, there was a big part of me that was not only angry, but also felt guilty - maybe I could have spent an extra hour each night planning ahead... and maybe things would have turned out different. 

This is what keeps me up at night lately. 

Posted by roy on September 13, 2011 at 11:36 PM in Personal, rykorp | 1 Comments

Somehow I went from relaxing at the beach to working 14-hour+ days. 

This week has been an interesting mix of tasks. Yesterday started off something trivial: continue the integration between the bond book of a client with their website. The technical difficulty? The bond book, which issues the credentials, is a subdomain of the main website. Cookies cannot be set at higher-level domains. I hacked in a quick solution to set another set of cookies on the .ccmfit.com domain upon login - this now allows WordPress's theme engine to know when I'm logged into the site. 

Super thanks to Jennifer for doing a quick design iteration on their homepage, which I rolled out last night. The old look of the homepage:

And now the new one: 

Looks great!

. . .

This morning was a status call with Edgehogs, a very exciting company I'm proud to be working with. This project is also notable in that it's the first one that I brought in a technical project lead. It has been a load off my mind knowing he's coordinating with the development team and thinking deeply about technical specs while I handle overall project management and the design aspects of the site (we're thrashing through logo and design iterations right now).

The company represents the target market for rykorp as well: marketing & sales-driven startups that don't need innovative technical approaches to their technology stacks in the early stages. They are very much a "drive towards a minimally viable product for launch" mentality right now.

I got to meet up with their team last Friday (they exploded from 2 to 19 in two weeks), and it was a refreshing feeling to see the excitement and passion in an early stage start-up. I miss it... 

. . .

After the status call, I went into the songz.co project. There is a new component being built out for this site - this was the first project I had another developer do the coding lift while I focused on design and product management (and in some ways, a ton of lessons learned, which I've learned to not repeat with other clients). 

We're migrating the code from an old development server to the new one - but I couldn't get the installtion done correctly. Compound this with the fact that I was cutting new code against my SVN server, while the dev team was working off their SVN server... ouch. 

This morning was spent trying to get everything set-up, but to no avail. The dev team is currently installing it now, but I need to come together with a strategy for the SVN issue, especially since they are going to be doing bug fixes while I finish up the design aesthetics prior to launch. 

. . .

New Mind Education is finally ready to roll out their new homepage, so the afternoon/evening was spent validating the work my sysadmin had done on their production server, which is based in China. 

Their production server is in China, while the development server was in the US. Of course, after migrating a site from one server and hostname to another is when you realize all the problems with the old site - a bunch of links were hardcoded to the development site. I've fixed up the problems I saw, and sent over instructions. Hopefully we launch soon. 

The NME project was interesting to me because it was the first project I worked *really* in detail with WordPress. NME is basically launching 4 different sites on a single instance of WordPress: their corporate site in Chinese + English, and their primary educational program in Chinese + English. 

The design was done by the incredibly talented Jennifer

Chinese UPP site:

English UPP site:

I am astounded at how far WordPress has come as a CMS. Every element of the UPP site is completely updateable by non-technical people, and it's nearly impossible for them to break the site. Kudos to WordPress! (Now fix all those security bugs...)

. . .

Final task of the day? We've gone through about 3 or 4 rounds of iterations around the logo for Edgehogs, and we still haven't found anything we've liked. I've been doing some research on animal-based logos, and am trying to put together a concept for the logo designer. Been a while since I've had to do anything creative... hellooooo sketchpad!

. . .

Oh wait, nevermind. Final task of the day: switching over DNS providers for Tabulas - looks like I was still paying for DNS Park. Switched it over to GoDaddy... hopefully nothing breaks ;)

. . .

I think the toughest part of the adjustment to rykorp is the lack of rest. Now that 3 or 4 projects seem to be coming to an edge simultaneously, I have real concerns about where my cash flow for the next few months will come from. It's never ending: work hard to finish projects, then work hard to start them. The only time to really break is during the middle of them!

Posted by roy on June 22, 2011 at 12:47 AM in rykorp | 2 Comments

My newest rykorp blog post is slightly more interesting than the last one: "Turbocharge your application development with MindTouch." Maybe a better title would have been "How I launched a product startup in 8 weeks with less than $10,000!"


Posted by roy on June 2, 2011 at 01:08 AM in rykorp | Add a comment
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