We've regrouped, we've negotiated and we've agreed. We're launching our public beta on the 28th September 2018.

This is a huge milestone for us as it will mean we not only have something for you to play with, but to have a strong foundation of which launch updates frequently on. We will have a product where you can give us real, brutal honest feedback. It will hurt, but it's also our launchpad to the next chapter of Zaro. Don't forget to get your invite to the beta!

The Zaro one-liner

We feel we've been unclear about where Zaro is headed and the current homepage makes it look like a Trello clone. When the Beta launches we'll be revamping the homepage and bringing it all together in a cleaner, more concise value proposition.

However, we've worked on a quick one-liner. A one-liner is designed to explain what the product such that someone else could explain it with ease. They are hard to write. Here goes...

Zaro, taking project management to a new level with strategy, showcase and analytics to make your team unstoppable

We wanted to capture it as simply as possible. From this one-liner you know it's a project management tool and that it's better because it works with project strategies, showcasing work and analytics.

We will undoubtedly change this as we get feedback, but it's good to start somewhere.

Startup School

As we mentioned last week, we enrolled on the online Startup School run by YCombinator. This has been a great opportunity to connect with other startup founders and have access to the course material.

It has inspired the following blog posts that strengthens our learning as we build Zaro:

  1. Good startup idea vs bad startup idea - finding your product market fit
  2. From idea to startup - what is your product?

The great thing about startup school is that it has forced us to track a metric each week. We are tracking the number of weeks until we launch. We felt 3 weeks for feature completion and a week of stabilisation. We're now committed.

Kubernetes

Early on we invested in learning Docker to containerize the Zaro application to make development and testing simpler. This has worked fantastically and any developer has full running version of Zaro with a Neo4j database, Redis queue manager, API server and microservices. Our test suite can do end-to-end tests across all these components and it works wonderfully.

The next phase of our technical learning is to deploy these using Kubernetes. As a developer myself, I know that one of the limiting factors preventing you from iterating quickly and being slowed down by manual tasks that should be automated, and deployments is certainly one of those tasks.

Kubernetes is fun. It's a very impressive product that will allow us to do rolling blue/green deployments and (hopefully) minimise downtime when releasing new zaro features. We want to be in a position where we can take an idea and build and launch a test with minimal effort to see if it works or not.

It is a lot of moving parts and you may be thinking that this is premature work before really testing Zaro as a product. This is how we look at it: by investing in the platform that we can rely and trust to move quickly, we'll pick up speed. Zaro in our first version may not be the right product that solves a problem, but it will be the foundation of which we iterate on. Having a robust, yet adaptable infrastructure will be key to that success.

This infrastructure helps us to throw away ideas that don't work. I've been trapped in projects that weren't right, but were so bedded down in doing it that way that it was too much work to move away from it.

The second benefit is we can share educational content about Kubernetes on the Zaro blog, all part of our content marketing strategy to find developers who can consider using Zaro for their project management.

In Summary

We are working hard, but we're still loving it. We can't wait to get this product in your hands; to get your feedback and let you have influence on what Zaro becomes.