Actually, it's less than 3 weeks until we launch our beta on the 28th September!

We're continuing the hard work to get everything ready. The final feature developments for this iteration are being locked down. We've started our internal testing and found quite a few bugs already.

We've been using a competitor product 😱

Internally we've been using Trello for a few tasks (such as bug reporting) just to get a good feel for how it performs. It's reassured us of the reason why we're building Zaro. I will be honest, Trello will do things that Zaro wont do in the beta 😭, but there is so much about Zaro that we will differentiate ourselves by. We're not interested in making a Trello clone. We're interested in helping you build innovative and competition killing products.

But, while we're here, there's a few notable things we found about Trello:

  1. Trello has too many clicks to do simple things. Zaro will be about having flow when you work. You don't want to have a jarring interruption to do a simple task.
  2. It allows you to add images, but it really makes accessing those images cumbersome. While we need to add image support immediately after our Beta launch, we'll make sure that your images are presented beautifully and effortlessly.
  3. There's no status management? You can do it with some power-up – which feels like a hack. We like to organize things in terms of functionality and have each card have it's own status. In Trello you feel forced to manage the state of cards as columns. This is fine for simple projects, but not for the type of projects we have in mind.
The Ultimate Startup Trello Board

If you didn't see it, we created The Ultimate Startup Trello Board which was a painful experience to showcase in Trello. There was no opportunity to elegantly add detail to the subject areas or for someone to add this board into their account and start answering the sections.

Development update

The app is coming along nicely. Internally we have about 10 days left to finish coding and a further week to bug fix.

Aside from that, we've made great progress with our Kubernetes deployment configuration. There still more to do, such as getting this to run on DigitalOcean, adding persistent storage for the database and running over HTTPs. If this doesn't work by beta launch we can deploy the old fashioned way, but it only means we'll need to migrate it to Kubernetes at some point.

Content marketing

We launched a few new pieces for our content marketing strategy. The goal is to build up authority around the topics of design, development, content marketing and startups – all with readers who are ideal customers of Zaro. We have pushed out 3 new pieces:

  1. Using the DigitalOcean API with Node.js and programatic SSH
  2. Easy async/await in JavaScript
  3. The Ultimate Startup Trello Board

The serves two purposes in the short term. Firstly to provide content for gaining followers on social media and secondly to build up momentum in organic search.

Using the Google Search Console, I can tell you that this will take a while for it to pay off.

In summary

Nothing more to add, best get back to work 🙂