Project Aardvark

Last Post

Friday, August 12, 2005 posted by Yaron Guez

So today is our last day.  Well, the last day for me and Ben at least.  Mike is staying another week, and Tyler is starting full time (he already graduated).  I’m amazed at how fast this summer flew by.  Then again, we accomplished so much.  Launching Fog Creek Copilot version 1 on Monday was incredible.  Techsmith put up a page on their site about Project Aardvark and the Usability Tests and  I had to correct the fact that it said we had only four months to pull this off.  No, not four months, we did it in 10 weeks. 


At the same time it’s very frustrating.  The product is finally live so there’s so much more for me to do if I had another month.  We don’t want to start any web advertising until a month after launch, so we would have stats to compare with when choosing what type of advertising arrangements to go with.  Besides, we already have a good amount of internet publicity as it is.  There are two upcoming  articles in Crain’s New York Business that mention us, there are a few other press possibilities that might pan out, we had 750 beta testers, 14 usability testers, 190 future release preview testers (so far), 586 bloglines subscribers, and we’re already getting a steady number of Day Pass sales a day.  The most exciting thing is the number of corporate license inquiries that I’ve been getting.  The list grows in bounds everyday.  We had to set up a filter in FogBUGZ because it was taking too much time to keep putting names on the list.


For those that have been asking, hosted and unhosted licensing and other account payment options will be available in future versions of Fog Creek Copilot.  Accounts will be available for those who plan on using the service often and don’t want to purchase a Day Pass each time.  There will most likely be a way to purchase month passes, and/or chunks of connection time that can be used separately.  Licensing options will most likely range from a certain amount or unlimited number of invitation codes a month, to a hosted portal designed to match a company’s current support site.  Since 3/4 of us are leaving, there’s no explicit timeline for these releases just yet, so be sure to keep up with Joel’s blog for future release dates or e-mail [email protected] and ask to be added to the corporate license contact list. 


See!!  There’s so much more ahead with this product and I’m going to be missing all of it. It’s depressing.   I’ve got such a vested interest in this.


I've spent most of this week working on a graphical tour.  I’ve been recording videos of how to use Fog Creek Copilot for a Flash walkthrough on the website.  It’s turned out to take a lot longer than I thought it would.  This is mainly because of all the different user routes that need to be captured.  It certainly doesn’t help that I have to turn the air conditioner off every time I record any narration.  And of course every time I’m juuuust about done recording a big section, someone coughs, or a door slams, or a phone rings, or a question is asked, or the doorbell rings…you get the idea.  I’m almost done though.  This is my last thing to do for this internship.  Finish this flash movie and I’m done for the summer.  Crazy.


I saw the first few pieces of the film that Lerone (I mean Doug) had edited the other day.  The piece opens up with an interview of me at school a few days before going home talking about what I was expecting for the summer.  I can’t believe how much has changed since then. 


For starters, I learned an incredible amount this summer.  I’m a CS major, not a business major.  So while the other guys started here with a whole lot of formal education on their trade, I only started with what I had from three past summer jobs, plus any innate business sense that I have.  Yet, we launched a product from inception to release.  The official title Joel gave me was Product Manager, as opposed to marketing intern and I soon realized why.


“So, what are you doing this summer?”

“Four of us are launching an online service this summer.  Three top software developers are writing all the code and I’m doing everything else.”


I remember one friend, interning at Boston Consulting Group, laughed when I told him that and responded, “well, whatever you’re doing, it’s not enough.”  It was daunting, but I learned so much along the way.  It’s been such a great experience.


Secondly, when I came here, New York was a place you visit now and then.  You take Metro-North from New Haven for an hour and a half once in a while to meet up with friends for an evening, or to see a show once in a blue moon.  Now?  I love New York. I absolutely love this city.  I can’t wait to move here.  It seriously does not sleep.  You can go out at any time of night on any day of the week and find interesting things to do and people to meet.  I made a great friend who lived in the building this summer.  We found so many cool places through out the city.  Last night we were in a taxi going to the lower east side to meet up with some people and as I was looking out the window it occurred to me that I knew where I was and recognized places that we passed.   And I realized that had pretty much been the case for the past three or four weeks.  The city seems so much smaller now. 


So what did I do this summer?  Launched a product, learned a ton, made some great friends, and decided I’m moving to New York City.  Talk about a great internship.