My simple annual review process

It’s the time of the year for annual review. This year has been a roller-coaster ride for me and here’s my simple annual review process. I got this from my favourite podcast the Fizzle Show.

I ask myself the following questions:

  • What did I accomplish this year?
  • What did I learn?
  • What went well?
  • What didn’t go well?
  • What’s Next? (Planing for the future)

What did I accomplish this year?

  • Rebuild Intraix app: A common thinking among programmers is not to rewrite any code. However rewriting the Intraix app allows me to perfect my iOS skill set and also know the possible technical issues we are facing. The plus point is that after building it, I also build a better relationship with my development team. Now you could be thinking why am I rewriting it. The reason because the existing Intraix app had depend on several external libraries and systems. To make the app more versatile, we decided to build the external systems ourselves thus it broke the existing app.
  • Pick up hardware skills: In the last few months, between October to December I learn a lot about hardware development and I can confirmed that HARDWARE IS FUCKING HARD but if you can make it, it would certainly give you advantage. I started from Zero knowledge and now I am comfortable with basic C and handling serial ports and GPIO pins which used to be alien to me. Why did I had to pick it up because my team have people leaving and it all because of these 3 things. Management , Growth and Money. Anyway the good thing is that I learn to understand that Technology is never a problem, people are. Sometimes when we faced with a problem, it is not because that it could not be solved but because the person in that situation does not want or try to solved it.
  • Moved Launchbyte to WordPress: This is kinda of a good and bad accomplishment. After moving off to WordPress, the whole process of uploading the media files and creating an episode was much simplify and build into a system. It also help me better understand how itunes work. However the most fulfilling part of building Launchbyte is that I learn the engagement tactics that I learn from other podcasts to grow users and it really works. It feels so good when once I head over to Reddit and a redditor shares that one of the podcast he listens to is Launchbyte. The sad thing about this project is that we drop off the recording because I had some issues. Intraix was having some trouble and I decided to drop all side projects to focus on fixing it. Will Launchbyte be back? Maybe, maybe not.
  • Away from Social media: At certain stage, I felt I was spending too much time on social media, maybe I feel depressed or maybe I was looking for something more exciting. Each time I visited and spent on social media it just made me more negative. Maybe because it’s all about others posting about the good things about themselves and I start asking myself “why not me?” Rather than “how can I reach this stage” In the end, I decided the best thing to do was to delete the social media apps on my phone and thus giving me more time to write.

What did I learn?

Updated: 01 Jan 2015
I just completed the start of year run and now to resume my review. 2014 is the year of change, a year of awakening. A year where I learn either you do it or you don’t, there is nothing that is impossible.

  • Patience: I’m an impatience person. I know that myself so I often tell myself that I have to stay clam and there’s no need to rush. Because most the time rushing gives you bad results. That said, 2014 I put my patience on the test. Intraix grew a little bigger in team size . And comparing between programming and managing people, the latter was way more harder. I learn to be more patience than I ever was because everyone behaves different, management style A might not work for team member B.
  • Growth: I forget who said it but it goes something like this “a startup with no growth is almost like dead” and I have to say that this is true. 2014, we had little growth and a fellow team member left because of it. He went join a rocket ship and we have him our best wishes. In fact, I like to thank him too. He left us an email before he left. That email woke us up and bring us back into focus. Also because he had left, there was no one picking up the hardware slack. I did it myself and it was where I found out that if a person puts his heart into it, all problems could be solve.
  • Momentum: Growth is also momentum, without growth there will be no momentum for the startup too and people will stay to leave. To bring back momentum we have to start with small win. Two small win e had before the closing of 2014 is that we had signed a deal with an electronic firm for a smart home project and our hardware is almost ready.
  • System: Almost 3 years into business, it seems like we did have a decent playbook or a structure workflow. Coming year the plan is to build up a decent playbook so that the business can run on its own.
  • Technology: Do not believe when someone tells you that “this cannot be done because this technology has certain issues”. When we were exploring development of the hardware, we were like going in circle and I trusted my team with the development. But it’s only when I put my hands into it than I realised that, certainly can actually be done if more effort was put into it. Maybe it’s the interest, when someone is not interested in certain stuff, it’s hard to push oneself to discover more. This also in turn teaches me that hiring is upmost importance, you get the wrong kind of team members for a startup, it’s a deadly move.
  • Mediation: After the trouble in our company, I started to pick up mediation. 5 mins each morning and it train my thoughts to think clearly and also my patience.

What went well?

  • Our investors trusted us
  • I’ve got Married
  • Startup Asia Japan was fruitful
  • Got our focus back
  • A better Launchbyte

What didn’t go well?

  • Lost talents
  • Hardware delay
  • Did not hit 21Km target

What’s next?

  • Better nodejs with Blogwith V2
  • Build a decent system around Intraix
  • 1:45 for half marathon