Weeknote 492: Plotting a new course

Published 2019-09-06 by Jochen Lillich

Inspired by Steve Parks’s recent blog post over at Convivio, I’ve decided to pick up publishing weeknotes again. I’ve been struggling a lot with getting into a writing habit recently, and weeknotes seem like a good way to ease myself back into writing regularly. Thanks, Steve!

This week, I went on a personal retreat. I booked myself into a little hotel in Ashford, disabled most of my notifications and spent two full days just walking around Mount Usher Gardens writing down my thoughts. I started with a retrospective on the things that made me proud and happy as well as the things that used to suck the life out of me. The overall result was already pretty positive and I’ve found simple approaches to tip the scales even more in the future.

I spent the rest of the time pondering my “One Big Question”. This year, this question was “What’s next for freistil IT after we’re finished with paying down our technical debt?” You see, our attempt at growing our team culminated in it dissolving in a quite tragic way last year, with just the two founders left. Although our hosting infrastructure is very stable, we’ve discovered lots of hidden technical debt that keeps us from developing new features. That’s why Markus and I have been focusing this year on refactoring and modernising our infrastructure both on the hardware and the software level. Seeing the result is a bit like stepping into late grandma’s house after the musty carpets were ripped out and replaced by oiled wooden floors, and the rooms being redone in bright colours and with modern furniture.

While this type of work is very satisfying, it’s of tactical nature, and thinking strategically is my job, too. During my retreat, I weighed the ten options for future endeavours I was able to come up with against each other and pared them down to only one that met a lot of enthusiasm when I explained it to Markus yesterday: We’re going to modify our managed hosting service in a way that will allow us to provide much more customised solutions than before. We never believed in cookie-cutter hosting products, and now we’re going to leave the mass market even further behind. We’re convinced that providing a boutique hosting experience that is highly specialised and optimised for quality will be much more fun for everyone involved. For more details, I’ll have to refer you to future weeknotes.

Have a great weekend!

PS: The number 492 in the title isn’t the count of weeknotes I’ve written (obviously!). It’s the age of freistil IT in weeks.