Twas a packed three weeks on the road. I worked a full week at my in-laws' house in the middle of the Appalachian mountains -- and it's amazing where you can have a decent Internet connection these days -- then traveled down to Pensacola, Florida where I was able to work with my partner in the same physical office for the first time in the past nine months we've been working together (though I've been full-time for only four). It was really nice to be able to have quick discussions and Q&As spur-of-the-moment. It was also a good time of some friendship building, which can make the tough start-up road much more bearable. There were plenty of nerdy music conversations, with my keen interest in composition, and my partner's adoration for jazz. I believe it is healthy for coworkers in just about any environment to have diverted conversations a couple times a day or so. I think productivity suffers if people who work together don't free to talk like friends.
So anyway, this rare week of working in the same office focused largely on planning our next moves, determining the final needs for releasing an MVP (minimum viable product), showing my partner how to use a couple of tools I developed for creating and managing content for the app, along with the whole integrated process he'll perform regularly.
Meeting with the Investor
It was also an opportunity for me to meet our investor in person. What an admirable and gracious man. After we demonstrated what our software can do so far, he then steered us toward the right target audience for our product. It surprised and maybe concerned me at first, but then after a bit more conversation it made sense. (Still wish I could give all the intricate details, but still we have to wait until it's public.)
While I was in Pensacola, I got to visit a few old friends from college. I also got to visit a former professor -- that was about 15 years ago -- whom I think of just about every time I compose something, because of the guidance and encouragement he gave me in composition, and voluntarily at that -- I was never a formal composition student of his: Dr. Wayne Fritchie (an alumnus of the Julliard School, I'll brag). So I was able to look him up and pay him a visit, and thank him. What I thought would be maybe a 30 minute visit turned into a two-hour visit of totally rad music composition talk! I got to listen to some of his works and read through his scores. He explained to me the composition process behind his work for English horn and orchestra, which was totally different than what I had ever done, and encouragingly efficient. Namely, he composed the melody first, for the entire three movements! Then added the harmony and textures as a piano reduction, and then expanded that to orchestra! In contrast, I once tried to compose my second symphony, starting with the full orchestra score; I got through about eight measures and halted. (Though I think a large part of the problem was that I hadn't established my personal musical language within which my creativity could blossom.)
So anyway, some more work was done, some more Kanban cards were created, and now I'm home and back to the grind. Oh, and I never visited the beach while down there. Though I did eat dinner at a marina at sunset. Also got to visit Walmart, I must mention.