Switchback Diary

Updated: May 2

These are summaries about how things are going that date back to when I first started Switchback.

Checkout my podcast to get the deeper story behind each entry.

- Ty


2022

April

Got 3 people to try out the app. They like the feel, but it's not enough to get them to get out that credit card. Almost finished with the Someday List feature. Gotta figure out a better hook/feature set.


March

Lots of skiing time with friends & family made this a slower month, but still fixed lots of issues. Turns out all-day events are event trickier than I first thought. Only one more task before I start testing it out with a few new users.


February Tackled the most complex issues for the first version (I hope!): all-day events. Trust me, harder than it sounds.


January

Update frontend enough to get Compass working (in the most generous sense of word). It syncs between GCal and can update events. Secretly deployed to the internet and using it day-to-day while making updates. Gettin' close!


2021

December

Wrist thankfully recovered enough to code again, backend nearly done. It's been hard to code for so long without a release, but I'm seeing the light at end of tunnel.


November

Man, this month was rough. Needed wrist surgery after being bit by a cat; wasn't able to code. Moved to Saint Paul, Minnesota to be closer to family and a tech hub.


October

Maniacal focus on development paid off. Calendar's UX, architecture improved a ton so far. Frontend 50% done, backend 25%.


September

Launching was humbling. Big takeaway: Product's gotta be easier to use, more aesthetic. Started working on improvements. This next version is gonna be sweet.


August

Finished the working prototype, which has these features: focus mode, priority tagging, analytics. Notified 130 waitlist subscribers. Now we test, get feedback, rinse, and repeat.


July

Code, code, code, code, code


Cut out all the non-essentials: Twitter, newsletters, fluids. Singularly focused on launching early


June

Pitched the app all over the internet and started coding the first version. Currently 70 people on the waitlist - exciting! 🤘


Goal is to focus on launching the first version next month.


May

Refined idea into a reimagined calendar app. Launched the landing page and finished the prototype. Feedback has been positive! This is by far the furthest I've gotten on anything and is the most viable. Now focused on growing audience and getting initial product out there.


Hired a part-time dev to help out.



April

Yes, virtual co-working is a thing. And. My product ideas could be better applied in a different context, namely: building a better system to structure our time. I don't see a comprehensive way to do this; how we organize our time is scattered among calendars, to-do lists, notebooks, and kept in our heads. Despite how frustrating it is to keep pivoting, I think it's the right move.


Creating wireframes in prep for a demo/pitch event next week. Hoping to get some feedback that I can use to eventually (finally!) transition into developing the thing.


Feedback from event and other meetings has been positive! Started with conceptual images and have been converting them into an interactive prototype. Holding off on coding has been a good call so far.


March

Serious doubts about virtual co-working viability after testing an existing app with a few friends the past week. {Sigh}


On second (forty-ith?) thought, there's definitely something there with virtual co-working, just not in the way I initially understood it. {Pfew}


Interviewed EFF's Director on the podcast, which was a dream come true 🥳


February

Got feedback for idea of visualizing presence and making casual convos easier for Microsoft Teams. It's possible and could be useful, but there's some serious holes in the business & adoption model that I haven't found a solution for.


Excited about idea of virtual co-working. Imagined possibilities and started thinking about the core value-prop and features.


January

Left my full-time gig and moved to Bozeman, MT. Feels good to be all-in. Now I just got to figure out how to make money ...


Put our Instagram and Facebook profiles to sleep. Those platforms suck.


2020

November

Scrapped back country map after deeming Gaia GPS good enough.


Got feedback from people about their experiences working from home and using social media. Looking for potential opportunities.


October

Testing viability for a back country map app.


September

Created a podcast logo. Too busy with my boring full-time job.


August

Finalized & shared a client project involving contact syncing.


July

Focusing on the niche of geospatial web apps. Three reasons why: 1) geo data and apps are badass, 2) I already have experience building full-stack, scalable apps, 3) geo applications are on the rise thanks to an increase in data and computing power.


June

Scrapped the audio-reminder hardware idea; couldn't see the potential for a market.


May

Switchback LLC is official! It just 30 minutes took and $50. Tickles me how typically-bureaucratic orgs have a knack for making things very smooth when it involves accepting money.


Testing out viability of audio-reminder hardware to make high-risk activities like rappelling less dangerous.


Made some silly videos sharing my ideas. Trying to put myself out there, not take things too serious at this point.