Our Roadmap for 2017

On: 2017-02-19 17:30:00

Did you miss our blog updates? We are happy to announce we're back to it and we are making 2017 an epic year for the Phone Janitor product. Let's talk about how that will look.

If you want a quick summary, this paragraph is for you. First, we are in server testing phase for the new rewrite. That will likely be deployed in mid-late March. Then we will be switching providers so we can get MMS going. Then this summer we will launch our Android app. Then we focus on growth and the features for that. Sound aggressive? It is, but we have the momentum now to do it. I would like to get into some details on this, if you are interested.

We have just this week finished all the frontend functionality for our massive rewrite. As we have said before, this rewrite lets us work faster, and we are already seeing how easy it makes adding new features. This is not blowing smoke, either. I myself added the call history module in an hour. That was Thursday. We are really proud of how this new UI feels and how much nicer it is to use. We still use our own Phone Janitor numbers daily, so we feel some of the pain points of the old UI personally.

We are going into a very critical phase where we add integration with our third party vendors. This is important because everything has been rewritten, so we start by assuming everything is broken until we can prove it is not. I will not want problems with the new UI any more than I would want customers to experience that. So the testing is going to be thorough and explicit. The good news is we have a lot of automated tests on the server now so we can tell if there is a problem before one starts.

We plan on rolling out the new setup somewhere between mid to late March. We will announce this as we get closer to an actual date. It will be mid-week, in the wee hours of the morning, since nobody seems to use their service at that hour. You will not notice anything, your links will still work, and the next time you launch it everything will look different, but we think you will find it easier to use. In fact, in a few weeks, we will be posting some previews for those that like that sort of thing.

After that is finished, we immediately start working on moving to Twilio as our telco provider. Twilio is the big dog in VoIP services, so they are good, but also expensive. We can afford such at this point and we desperately want MMS working. No, really, I am getting tired of telling my friends and family that I can not get the pictures they send me. I am sure some of you feel this, too. This will happen within two months, as we can move that fast. Most of the time will be waiting for telcos to port numbers. Again, you'll notice no hiccups, you'll just suddenly have MMS capability.

While we are working on the port to MMS land, we will be getting an Android app going. Sorry, iOS users, we love you too, but we do not own a Mac or an iPhone, so developing for iOS is prohibitively expensive at the moment. But wait, there's more! We are developing with a tech called Xamarin that works across platforms, so once we have a few thousand in the bank, porting to iOS will be quick and easy, so you will get yours soon enough, I promise.

Once we have an app you can make and take calls on, while integrating nicely with camera features and whatnot, the push toward growth starts. We have a goal: 1000 users by Christmas, 2017. Why state that publicly? I'm glad you asked. Quite frankly, we do not see ourselves as a typical company (such an original statement, I know), we see ourselves as a partnership with the world.

That sounds fluffy, but it's true. We've helped people who have come to us and we were not the fit they needed. We turn people away regularly who are not going to be happy with our service as it is now. We are somewhat popular with some Realtors right now, but many other businesses have asked if we offer anything for them and we simply do not right now. So we help them with recommendations for what some would consider competitors. Simply put, we believe if we act as if we are friends, we will be friends and that kind of a relationship will be better for business and better for a positive loop in our features and the joy we can bring to our employees, our customers, and even our "rivals". Who would not want that?

So yes, our goal of 1000 happy users is public, because it is not just our goal. Hopefully it is yours as well, because growing this company will be good for everyone. Everyone. We are going to show the world how business is done between neighbors, but at a much larger scale. We think it is doable. As one example of why, we have not had a cancellation in over a year.

This is going to be a fantastic ride. We are glad to be back at it.