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About a year ago, I sat with Chris and a bunch of other studio owners, and we talked about how tough cash-flow can be. It was a good (and eye-opening) evening. I was surprised to hear which studios were doing OK, and which ones were struggling.
Chris was the only one who could confidently say that he knew exactly what his studio was billing for the upcoming 6 months. To me, that’s pretty impressive. Now, I know that what Newfangled does isn’t right for everyone, but I think there’s something to be said for finding a strong position—as they have.
Anyways, he was nice enough to take some time to explain how they got to this spot. And he covers some of the messy stretches and mistakes they made.
Here’s the link: http://blog.officehours.io/chris…
Cool Concept...here is my two cent!
• Make Youtube video without the black letterbox (Same Size)
• Closing the video: click anywhere outside video, to close video
• Keep menu icon navigation on all screens (Add Blog Icon)
• Having the close button in upper right corner is a nuisance
• You need more women to the advisors (Sausage Fest)
- Thanks for the feedback. :-)
Good tips on the video size and close. Will look into those.karj
- Menus are consistent throughout. Blog won’t be added because it’s not important enough.karj
- We’re working to reach out to more women, and some are joining up.karj
- Tough part is that the advisor pool isn’t dictated by us. So, if you know women who’d like to be advisors, please encourage them to sign up. :-)karj
- Thanks for the feedback. :-)
A few new articles:
Should I hold office hours?
Rob Schwartz on ripping up his LSATs, passing on Hollywood, and his life in advertising
(In it he makes an interesting offer to creatives who do good work.)
Thomas Jockin explains how he keeps his Officehours sessions booked
I hope this isn’t too much. I think there’s some useful information in these, though.
BTW: Thanks for all of you who provided feedback early on. We still have lots (and lots and lots) of work to do, but the input you and others provided have helped us make some positive changes.
Initially, I thought the site’s function was obvious—so much so that I failed to properly explain it. Your comments here, changed how I looked at that. So, we threw a not-so-great, but more explanatory, homepage in place, which solved the problem.
This week, we finally replaced that with both an improved homepage and a video that explain the service in a step-by-step fashion. Anyway, thought I’d show you what your feedback resulted in.
I’m interviewing Officehours advisors, both to promote the service, and to help showcase some of the great people who’re taking part.
I find this one particularly interesting, as Andrei and Peter have taken their share of hits—but keep on trucking.
(Check on the chat log in the middle of the post. Just imagine what it feels like to know that the folks who liked your product most, went on to do something pretty similar—with Slack.)
I really like the idea. Are you focussing on any one theme, topic or category, or are you opening it up to just about anything? Right now, I kind of get the feeling it's more design and tech-themed.
- Which is fine, but suppose someone wants to do, say, a traditional advertising creative chat?Continuity
- Also, you've got times indicated for someone's next session, without indicating the time zone (e.g.: GMT, GMT +1, etc).Continuity
- I started by reaching out to designers—just because a number of them are friends (and I thought it made sense to start with one specific profession).karj
- That said, we do want it to be broader in nature. With time we’ll reach out to others with different expertise. :-)karj
- The time zones are localized to each user’s location. That said, many are confused by this, so, we’re working to make this more clear.karj
- BTW: Time zones are now better indicated (and can be adjusted manually if necessary).karj
Just one more post, and then I’ll go away for a bit. First of all, I wanted to thank all of you for the feedback and thoughts. :-)
All of the points we didn’t know about are now logged in our issue tracking system (Bugherd).
Meanwhile, we’ve opened up a new thread on Chapp where we’ll post about what we’re doing, and encourage folks to post support questions. Feel free to drop by and comment, if you have something you want us to know: http://chapp.is/Officehours
I know there are a lot of bugs still with Officehours, but I think it can really be a good thing. When we started out, getting good advice was challenging. Our hope is that we can build a service that really helps people move forward with less friction/struggle.
- you seem more interested in all the software / services / platforms you are using that the actual product. Bugherd / Chapp / Officehours... but seriouslyfadein11
- never launch a product that doesn't work on a key browser. I hate Safari but I know so many people who use it.fadein11
- We’d love to support Safari, and are working on it. The issue is that the underlying call handling operates using Twilio—which uses WebRTC.karj
- Unfortunately, WebRTC isn’t yet supported by Safari. Given the trend, though, it’s reasonable to expect that Safari will catch up.karj
- In the meanwhile, we’re building mobile apps, so that we can properly service iOS devices.karj
- We’d love to have all of this working, right out of the gate, but that’s not possible. There are only two of us—and we just have to prioritize certain parts.karj
- But—we certainly are working on it. :-)karj
The concept sounds pretty good.
- We’re really optimistic about it! When we started our studio, we had very little experience/knowledge... Some tips from others would have helped a lot.karj
- Our hope is that this can serve as an easy way to facilitate such meetings. And, by limiting the talks to just 10 minutes, sessions don’t take a lot of effort.karj
- Best of luck . I think it's worth a try and we will see.docpoz
Why is user select turned off for all the content?
The Safari issue is a bit of a nuisance. It relates to a bug in Twilio (which we're using to serve up the sessions) that’s occurring in a handful of instances.
We’re working to fix the issue, but it’s a pesky one, as it lies in Twilio’s code base, not ours. That said, we didn’t want to hold off on launch due to just one browser.
So, the service works—and is quite stable. That said, it might be another week, or so, before we can sort out the Safari bugs.
- oh damnernexbcn
- perhaps it would be a better idea to hide this warning on the sign up page?ernexbcn
- Yeah—that’s a good idea. We’ll make that change. :-)karj
- people use Safari?formed
- That’s sort of how I felt. I knew it was an issue, but didn’t expect that so many were still on it.karj
You'd benefit from a more useful landing page
The first cta brings you to an advisors page, and there is no mission statement or information about what officehours is about.
So I click around and all the other links point me to a sign up... but I'm not going to do that without some cursory information about what you do.
- It’s in the works. In fact, it’s already comped, and is waiting to be coded.karj
- That said, our first priority was to launch and run some sessions. The stability of the sessions is very important to us.karj
- cool man, good luck with itAl_dizzle
- BTW: Revised copy for the homepage, aiming to more explicitly verbalize what the site does: http://chapp.is/Offi…karj
I like the concept behind it.
I don't feel the site makes it super clear what it's all about.
Maybe an example video?
Maybe the two illustrations are having a mock meeting in the text bubbles suggesting topics/questions to talk about?
Same here. =( . . .
- seriously, just to show two illustrations with chat bubbles?ernexbcn
- for one moment I thought it was a site that gave you random quotes to tell clients, I'm not kidding I even refreshed to see if I get another one :')ernexbcn
- Sorry about this. I’ve posted a more detailed note about this issue below.karj
I wanted to share this—it’s something we’re pretty happy with. In short, it allows you to give/get 10 minutes of one-on-one advice for free.
We just soft-launched, last week, so there's a lot of work to be done. That said, we already have some great advisors on board (most of them design-focused) and initial feedback seems positive.
Feel free to drop by and check it out: http://www.officehours.io