Just 2 days left before the 30 days sprint challenge

Posted May 29, 2008 by Sun Softworks
Categories: 30days, Project Management

Just 2 days left  before the 30 days sprint challenge and to sort out my priority list, right now all I have is :

– A domain registered

–  A product logo

– A product idea

A bit of spare time

I miss some precious ingredients to get going, that’s

– No written specs

– Not a single line of code

– No web site setup

I think my next action should be setting up the web site, this should enable Google starting indexing my site, I’ve read this can take up to 6 to 18 months … Even if it’s a cheap template, I really need to put a few pages online, explaining what features the product will offer and maybe a registration form, for the users who would like to  be informed when the product will be release …

I wonder at which stage of the development are the other folks that will be participating to this experience. 



June 2008 Workoad


270 Dollars for a logo

Posted May 29, 2008 by Sun Softworks
Categories: 30days, Marketing

Master Time Tracker Logo

$270 is the price I have payed for having the “Master Time Tracker” logo designed, I wanted to initially try logoworks but ended up getting the work done at design outpost, the main reason being that I tought it’s easier to create competitiveness between 2 freelancers who are paid on a project basis, rather than 2 employees from the same company who will be payed the same salary, regardless if they ship a world class or crappy logo …

However Logo Works do have a nice portfolio,  Design Outpost did work fine for me at the end, but in all cases you need an extremly detailed specification of what you want, otherwise you might be disapointed by the result and you will have the feeling of not getting any value for your money.

  • Find below the specifications given to the designers for the logo :

“Master Time Tracker” : is a time tracking software that will be sold on the internet, the logo should look sleak and convey the fact of controling the time spent : the logo should display a hand holding a clock, the logo should convey the image that by controling time you master your money (cash-flow)

See Below a picture that I might use in my web site for the product : http://www.istockphoto.com/file_clos…php?id=3801718

The logo should features this :

1/ The logo name (product name) is “Master Time Tracker”,
a Watch should being held by a hand, with a finger on the button ready to stop the watch : ie : http://www.istockphoto.com/file_clos…php?id=4614151

2/ A dollar sign should appear in the middle of the watch : ie : http://www.tristardatasystems.com/im…t_TS08_5MU.jpg

3/ I need a version of the logo with the following tag line
“A smarter Time Tracker” and another version without the tag line

4/ There should be an effect showing that time is passing, time is turning

5/ The logo will be copyrighted, so it must not be built using bits & pieces from other copyrighted artworks.
This need to be be a totally new design

6/ the version of the logo for the web site and software application should be in 3D -> sleaker than the version that will be used on paper, so 2 versions of the logo are needed a 2D one and 3D one
ie : http://www.businesslogo.net/images/samples/3d/1.jpg


  • Since I’m always afraid of not being able to communicate clearly in English my vision of the logo, I always try to find existing powerfull concepts and ideas that I get some inspiration from and derive the various ideas to end up with a logo that’s NOT a copy and paste of the logo I get inspiration from

         A few quotes to wrap up this post :

         Picasso : “Good artists copy. Great artists steal”

         Steve Jobs : “We have always been shameless about stealing great ideas”



Why Mental Procreation ?

Posted May 28, 2008 by Sun Softworks
Categories: Blog, Software History, Uncategorized

Some of you might think, why this guys has choosen such an odd blog title, let me explain you why I’ve choosen this name …

I needed to come up quickly with a name for this blog, and as I was running out of inspiration, I remember that as a teenager I was a happy owner of a Commodore 64 8 bits computer and that I was also an avid reader of a magazine called Zzap 64, it was simply the best paper magazine dedicated to the C64. The magazine featured your usual game reviews, how to cheat in some games by poking into the game loaded in the RAM so you ended up with unlimited lives, weapons or even disable the sprite collision routine.

But my favourite part of the magazine have always been computer programmer interviews and the legendary programmer diaries.

The title Mental Procreation is an hommage to Andrew Braybrook (Andy, Why did you leave the video game industry for an insurance company?) and Zzap magazine. Andrew Braybrook was my programming hero back then. For those who were more into Apple computer (I could not afford the Apple II in those day, it was a very expensive beast), Consider that Andrew Braybrook is to the Commodore 64 what Bill Budge (the brain behind pinball construction set from EA)  meant to the Apple ][ owners

Check out the original Mental Procreation diary as it was published back in 1987 :



How much time can I spend working on my Micro ISV ?

Posted May 28, 2008 by Sun Softworks
Categories: 30days, Time Management

Two years ago I was doing a project management course, the University where I studied  gave us a very useful spreadsheet that allowed you to enter your weekly commitments (day job, hobbies, physiological needs, etc, etc) and the spreadsheet would work out how much time you’ve got left to study.

Well that the exact thing I needed, but now I need to analyze the time I can commit to my Micro ISV venture, like many of you guys I do have a day job to feed the family and pay for the bills, I work as a Freelance developer so this give me a bit more flexibility (I’m not always fully booked with projects ) and time (I rarely commute these days and can do all my development work remotely) compared to someone who need to sit in a cubile for 8 hours and has a 3 hours commute a day, I consider myself lucky having being able to escape the cubicle nation

 I also delegate most of the admin stuffs(sales quotes, invoices, payment reminders, communication with our accountant) to my wife, since those are really time consuming tasks where I don’t bring any added value.

This little exercise allowed me to visualize that I have roughly 48 hours available free per week, I will round down this number to 25 hours (Yes I’m a very conservative person!). So 25 hours a week is really the minimum I should commit to my Micro ISV project.

Find below my weekly schedule, it’s not super precise but it give me a good idea of where my time is going :



The time weekly chart give me a good view on where my time is going :


Once you’ve finnished this little exercise you will know approximatively how much time you’ve got left for creating your software product, or more generally any other activies you would like to fit into your hopefully busy life


On various forums like BOS, there’s often that recurring question “How much time do you guys spend on you software product ?”, but often the real question behind this query come really down to “How much time can I devote to work on my software product ?”

If you want to check how a Micro ISV project can fit with you current commitments,You can grab the Microsoft spread sheet over here (I could not save an XLS file into wordpress, so I changed the extension of the file to .DOC, make sur to modify the extension again to XLS before opening the file)

Micro ISV Time Calculator

Now let’s see if I can commit to my 25 hours a week (100 hours/month or 1200 hours/years) Micro ISV schedule without negatively impacting my family and my freelance contracts …













What can I deliver in 30 days ?

Posted May 28, 2008 by Sun Softworks
Categories: 30days

This morning I was reading Joel Spolsky’s BOS forum when I came across this interesting post from Patrick Mc Kenzie : Launching app in a month — any contemporaries?

Patrick’s post inspired me to start this little blog where I will save my diary (I promise that I won’t bore you with what type of cereals I had yesterday or which movie I watched last night), I’ve always been reluctant in having a blog since I’m not an amazing writer and  English is not my native language. But after checking wordpress and realising that it does not take more than 5 minutes setting up a blog on WordPress (BTW it’s my first blogging experience) . I’ve decided  to get started

I doubt I will be able to ship my application in one month, but my goal is to make more progress in 30 days than in the last past 4 months. The last past 4 months were a bit overwhelming for me since I’ve made the switch from a steady full time job to being a Freelance Developer. So today I’m pretty much a consulting-ware shop who would like to generate more income through the sales of a software product.  Beside work I also intend to maintain a sane lifestyle : I’m a family man with a wife and two adorable kids (2 years old and 2 months old) that requires some time and attention

In my next posts I will write a bit more about the application I will be developing.

Do pray for me so this blog do not turn into a Mental Procrastination process instead of Mental Procreation process 😉