Building a website like Smashrun on nights and weekends, is to put it mildly, exceedingly challenging. There’s a huge gap between what we want Smashrun to be, and what I’ve had time to code, and it’s been a daily struggle to come up with ways to bridge that gap.
A couple of months ago we heard about a program called Start-Up Chile. It’s a pretty incredible premise. The Chilean government is offering entrepreneurs a 40k USD grant to move their start-up to Chile for a period of at least 6 months. In return they ask for no equity, but only that you actively engage the tech community in Chile and share what you know. And, of course, if you find the environment their suitable to your business you are welcome, but by no means required, to keep your business based there as you grow.
Well, that sounded like a pretty good deal to us, so we applied, got in, and yesterday Jacklyn and I arrived in Santiago, Chile. In a few days, Steve is set to arrive to help us get up and running, and then the real excitement begins — working one job. We’ll be throwing some serious man hours at Smashrun, and maybe if we’re lucky we might even be able to find some money for a bright spark junior coder to chip in.
Sure, things will be a little tight but, this is hugely exciting stuff for the Smashrun team! With a little luck, in the next few months we’ll be enabling more devices and creating exciting new charts, badges, and social features.
Now… if only I can make a little time to get a run in.
Anyone got any good recommendations for running routes in Santiago? Those hills in the distance seem fairly manageable…
After reading 87 beta surveys, 24 emails, and too many tweets to count in the past 72 hours…it’s pretty unanimous: the badges are cool and Smashrun needs more of them!
Luckily, we’ve been working with an awesome designer/ illustrator who’s been knocking out some newly minted badges. We’re not yet sure about the release date, but the next set will focus on cumulative times, cumulative distances, variations in pacing, and periodization. Here are just a few examples of what we’re currently working on…
As always, feel free to comment and let us know if you’ve got some milestone ideas and we’ll jot them down as we create more!
Another exciting weekend here at SmashrunHQ. We’ve been rushing to fix a host of registration, ranking and Nike sync related issues that have materialized recently. If you had trouble importing your runs, you’ll want to go ahead and give it a try again.
We’ve fixed at least a half-dozen edge cases. Some of them were really painfully esoteric.
Who knew Nike runs from early 2010 in Australia have invalid time zone signatures? -21 hours GMT is not a valid time zone guys. It’s +/-14 hours only.
While that’s all well and good. It’s not very exciting if you haven’t been having trouble. So we threw in at least one solid improvement. The bottom of the run overview section used to contain “Best times for most commonly run distances.” That was a bit silly. It’s now called “Personal Records” and it contains links to your best 1mi/5k/10/half marathon/marathon times. And we threw in a nice little sparkline to boot.
If you run into any problems, please shoot us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be doing really frequent releases until all these issues are sorted out. And then it’ll be time to work on some more exciting things, like: new badges and community features, and charts, and additional device imports, oh my!
I’m looking out my window at the brownstones of Fort Greene thinking how beautiful the weather is today, and how great it’d be to take a run up to Prospect Park, but before that I’ve got a few really exciting items on my to do list.
1) Write Smashrun’s inaugural blog post – Introduce yourself, describe our new release and what’s in the works.
This one shouldn’t take too long to take care of…
Hi, I’m Chris, and I’m a designer, developer, and part of the small team responsible for Smashrun. This blog is part of our latest release, which brings our closed beta to an end, and clears the decks for our official launch. Our new home page has some shiny new features: a snazzy video (nice job Jacklyn!), some quotes we solicited from users (thanks for the compliments!), and an about section with a new FAQ and some info about why and how Smashrun came to be, and some details about the team (Jacklyn, Steve, and I).
None of that is terribly exciting for you if you’re already a regular user, but it’ll help make sure you’re in good company. What’s more exciting is that we’ve knocked out a bunch of bugs, and improved the reliability of the Nike import. We’ve also been working on creating another 40 badges. There’s a nice mix of easy and challenging ones, we’re going to shoot for having these out to you sometime next month.
2) Submit finished application to Startup Chile
We’re applying to Startup Chile. The Chilean government is sponsoring a unique program whereby select startups will be given a $40,000 grant to participate in a 6 month entrepreneurial exchange in Santiago, Chile. The opportunity is pretty incredible so we’re going to give it a shot.
3) Launch new homepage
If you’re reading this then that one’s done.
3) Go for my 18th consecutive run day in a row.
I’m shooting to be the first to earn the 50/50 badge. Last time I was in the 30s when I got the flu and threw off my schedule, but this time I’m going strong. You can track my progress on my run page. And sometime in the near future we’ll add some social features, so you can encourage me/give me a hard time when I miss a day.
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