Schedule

Maker’s schedule v/s Manager’s schedule

At 13 Llama Studio, we are a young and energetic team who works on multiple ideas at the same time. We are makers … people who tinker with code, libraries and see if we can put all of them together and create a beautiful kaleidoscope of an experience for our audience.

The Maker’s schedule

Designing, Development and any activity which involves creation for that matter is a thoroughly rewarding experience. However, it also puts you in a state of trance … a trance wherein you do not want to be disturbed. Not because you want to be rude and unresponsive, but because when you are in that state, you literally are building a castle in the sky.

This castle can quickly come tumbling down like a pack of cards if you were to be disturbed. This scene from the movie Social Network sums up how I feel when I get disturbed when I am wired in.

The maker’s schedule is not full of deadlines, it’s full of possibilities and experiments. The maker is someone who explores multiple options, plays with different things and creates something truly remarkable.

We do encourage makers, however, as a services firm, we do have deadlines. Which is why some of us have to shift modes from Makers to Managers.

The Manager’s schedule

In a year’s time we take on 20 or more challenging projects and deliver them (mostly on time and under budget :)). This requires constant updates with the business team, setting up meetings and achieving deadlines. This is where makers need to become managers and start actively managing the creation process.

At times it becomes really difficult to make this shift. A manager lives by the hour and generally has multiple tasks setup in a day. If an hour gets wasted, the other hours in the day can make up for that wastage. A maker on the other hand has few tasks in a day, but needs longer chunks in the day without being disturbed.

The shift

A lot of the work that we do is done in the wee hours of the night. This is not because we are suffering from insomnia or we love burning the midnight oil. This is because it is during these hours when we are not disturbed. It’s these hours (and the early mornings) that I try and schedule my most difficult tasks.

People who have worked in start-ups would agree with me when I say that most of the day is usually spent in discussing with the rest of the team as to what they have to do. This is the shift. The manager works during the day, the maker works during the night. It does wreck havoc with personal life, which is why most makers end up hiring managers as they grow.

The purpose of setting 13 Llama Studio was to have a team of makers ship awesome products. As an organization which is slightly older than a year, we are becoming more discerning with the people we want to work with (both employees and customers). However as we grow and scale up, we are going to require full time makers and full time managers.

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Happy Diwali

Happy Diwali 2014

Happy Diwali
Happy Diwali

Some highs which makes Diwali all the more sweet for me –

  • More than a year complete at 13 Llama Studio
  • We shifted to a brand new office
  • We are going to our alma mater for summer placements
  • All’s well on the home front
  • The kids are going to be alright :-)

 

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The new office!

The New office
The New office

We recently shifted our office to Sakinaka to a larger, much open space. Shifting to a commercial property has its charms, and it has its overheads as well.

This office will see us through for atleast the next couple of years, and hopefully we will be forced to move on to a much larger space after that!

Yes, the cake was our own celebrations on having finished the furnishing of the office. More teaser photos of our office here.

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The difference between a Good vendor and a Great vendor

9 months into this business, here’s a gem of a lesson that I have learnt. It’s good to have vendor’s guilt (you need to be clued in on Amit’s blog for this term, he is going to has shed more light on this – Vendor’s Guilt). It keeps you on the edge, it makes you deliver on time. However, it’s great to learn how to control this feeling and not get overwhelmed by the same. On a more personal note –

One of the primary reasons for starting a services firm was to beat the run of the mill service providers that I see in the Indian IT Services market. Service providers need to be value adding rather than extracting value from the organization.

Being steered by this value, the focus has always been on adding value. Getting recognition and paid for providing this value is the differentiation between a good and a great vendor.

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How-to-Ace-a-Job-Interview-Thumb

How to Ace a Job Interview

When I was going for my first interview, no one told me this … however as time went by, all of us learnt the hard way.

  • Always sit upright in the chair, slightly lean forward
  • Never cross your arms or legs, that makes your posture defensive
  • Always smile and be forthcoming about your weaknesses
  • Be honest and do not be afraid to say “I don’t know”

After a decade of working and interviewing people, this infographic is a great summary of what are the basic things you should do when going for an interview.

How-to-Ace-a-Job-Interview

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The Sunday Dip

The Sunday Dip

If you are running a regularly update site over the past year or so (or like me for more than 5 years), then you would be taking a look at Google Analytics every now and then to see how is the traffic on your site doing. Here is a glimpse at the stats of one of the sites that I manage.

The Sunday Dip

Notice the periodic jagged pattern which runs throughout the year? Consistently as well! The general trend of the traffic we see is going upwards (Praise the lord for that!), however we see that every 7th day – yes, the more observant people among you would have noticed that we are running the default view of Google Analytics.

So on every 7th day, without fail the traffic dips. This my friends, I chose to christen as the Sunday Dip.

Why does it occur?

The Sunday Dip occurs when your target audience is out on a holiday and choosing to socialize in the real world than on the internet. It occurs, because like a normal sites target audience, these people are not visiting your site. Ask yourself this question –

On a Sunday, which is the first site you open? Is your machine even on?

For me, it’s Gmail, followed by Google Analytics, followed by my blog’s admin panel, Reddit, Facebook and so on. But I do not consider myself normal, I am the Big, Fat Geek :-)

Web browsing on an average is lesser on Sundays not only because major office goers are not in their offices, but also because the same people try and stay away from their machines on the weekend.

What should I do now?

Now that your audience is not even online … then what should you do?

Well, you could always step away from that desk of yours and spend some quality time with your family. The Sunday Dip is a natural phenomenon of how your users are behaving in their free time. It is to be embraced and not to be battled against, since you would be fighting human nature.

If you still want to fight human nature, then there are methods which will help you condition your audience to keep visiting your site on Sundays! Here’s a list of things you could try out –

  • Schedule your blog posts with military precision on Sundays, share them on Sundays as well. Over a period of time, your returning visitors will recognize this pattern and start frequenting the site on Sundays.
  • Give a big bonus incentive to visit your site on Sundays. It could be a free e-book or any other download you think that could be of value to your audience.

Now its your turn!

Personally speaking, I choose not to battle the Sunday Dip. I embrace it and do research for the post on Monday! What have you tried in the past to drive traffic on Sundays?

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