UPDATE: 100% of the proceeds will now be going to Watsi. The campaign has also been verified on Teespring. They’ll send the money straight to Watsi.
I’ve just launched a campaign via Teespring to raise money for patients on Watsi. A while ago I had a shirt illustrated for this idea and I was originally going to sell these shirts via a Shopify store and give half of the proceeds to patients on Watsi. I’ve decided that Teespring is a much easier way to do this, and I’ll be donating ninety percent rather than just fifty (since I’m doing much less work).
Teespring works a lot like Kickstarter. Once a certain number of shirts have been ordered, the campaign succeeds and the shirts will be printed. I’ve set the goal here at 50 shirts. Hopefully we can meet that goal within the next two weeks.
I’ve set-up a separate mailing list for the Flask book. If you want to recieve updates surrounding the launch (Maybe a launch-day sale?) and new editions of the book in the future, sign-up here: http://eepurl.com/Gy-Dr
This mailing list will continue to receive the latest blog posts from robert.io.
Also, you may notice that I referred to the book as Explore Flask in the title. Working with illustrator Dominic Flask (awesome name, right?), we came up with the new title to go with the theme of the book (space exploration).
I’ve decided to start consulting. I’ve thought about whether it would be the right path for me on and off for around a year, and I think now is the right time to give it a try. My biggest problem is that I really dislike sales and selling myself is no different. Because of this, finding clients might prove to be a challenge. Nonetheless, I’m going to have a go at it and see where it takes me. I’m also planning on keeping a journal to track my progress.
If you or someone you know is looking to build a web app and needs some help on the technical end of things, hit me up at mail @ robert.io.
Over the past few weeks, aside from working on the Flask book, I’ve been working on my latest project: Thread Hero. The idea is to design cool shirts, each with the theme of a certain charity or organization. I’ll sell the shirts to fashionable do-gooders for $20 and split the proceeds with the related organization.
I started talking to Nick Sirotich about illustrating the Flask book after seeing his Unicorn with a Unibrow, in a Unitard, riding a Unicycle, in the Universe. I came back to him with this idea and he’s been working on a really kick ass medical themed shirt that’s going to fund patients on Watsi. It’s not an official partnership with Watsi, as they’re too busy to monitor use of their logo by other people, but they’ve been awesome about supporting the idea. The design is nearly finished and I’m hoping to start selling shirts in about a month or so. We’re making sure that the shirt is subtle enough to be appealing to most people, even people like me who generally avoid graphic tees.
Depending on how many people sign-up on the launch page, the first batch will probably be less than 50 shirts to test the waters. It’s almost definitely not going to be a profitable venture. I’ll be getting $10 from each shirt to go towards the cost of printing and fulfillment and it’ll end up costing a little more than that. Hopefully if there’s enough support out there, I’ll be able to print more shirts to lower costs and break even. In any case, if each dollar that I spend earns even a little more than $1 for the charities, then it’s profitable in the sense that it was a better contribution than just giving them the money.
I’ll post more updates as the shirts get closer to being ready. In the meantime, if you like cool shirts and you want to support Watsi you can sign-up for Thread Hero updates and show your support on the launch page.
I’ve been keeping track of all of the books I want to read with a long note in Evernote. It’s not ideal, and after reading that I wasn’t the only one with a less than ideal process I figured it might be worth building a web app to track my reading list.
I spent a little time on it and and came up with Bookends. It’s a simple way to organize the books I want to read. I put a $12 / year price on it for anyone who has a similar problem. I figure that’s high enough to cover costs with a few people who share my problems and low enough to justify charging for such a singularly focused app.
It works pretty well for me as is, but there are a couple of things I want to add. One is a bookmarklet, which will be easy enough. The other is a recommendation feature. I think that the simplest way to do that would be to make it email based. You could click a link from the book, “Recommend to a friend,” and it would take you to a form where you enter their email. If they have an account, it will send it to an inbox on the site, and if they don’t it will send them an email.
It would also be easy to add a contacts system where you can associate a name with their emails so you don’t have to remember your friends’ email addresses.
I’ll put some more thought into the best way to do that, but I do plan on keeping everything pretty simple.
If you have a long list of books that you want to read, try using Bookends to keep track of them intead. Let me know if you have any questions!
Thanks to over 300 backers, the Practical Flask book project has passed the previous stretch goal of $5,000. I just sent out an update with the newest goal for the project.
If the Kickstarter raises $10,000, the book will be freely available online as good old HTML.
The model that I’ll follow for this will probably be something like Daniel Shiffman’s The Nature of Code. This also means that the book will be available on GitHub for pull requests and issue tracking! Remember though, this is only if we are able to raise $10,000. We’re already more than half-way there!
I always open links and comment pages in new tabs when I’m browsing Hacker News. I’ve thought about using an add-on to automate this for a while, and I finally got around to making one last week.
I used the Reddit Enhancement Suite as a model, and made Alter HN. I’ve added a few more enhancements, like marking a submitter’s comments and adding an [l+c] link that opens both the link and comments with one click.
I ended up self hosting the .xpi for the add-on because the process for getting it reviewed in the add-on marketplace was a huge pain. The first version was on within a day, but version 1.0 was uploaded a week or two ago and still hasn’t been reviewed. I don’t feel like dealing with all of that for a small project like this, so I just added it to the website’s directory.
The code is on GitHub. If you have some ideas, go to the repo and submit an issue or a pull request. I’d love to see some more ideas. You can also subscribe to the mailing list by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
One again, as part of the research for the Flask book, I have recorded an interesting call with a developer. This time that develop was Armin Ronacher, the creator of Flask. We talked about APIs, blueprints, and more. See below the video for a full table of contents.
As part of my research for Practical Flask, I recently had the pleasure of talking with Balanced CTO Mahmoud Abdelkader about how they use Flask to build their product. Our call lasted for just about an hour-and-a-half, and was recorded with Google Hangouts.
Good news everyone! After much consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that to make Practical Flask the resource I have in mind, I need some support. I’ve started up a Kickstarter to fund the expenses associated with self-publishing this book.
I’d like to encourage everyone to go to the Kickstarter page, watch the video, read about what I’m trying to do, and greedily fawn over the rewards. Then, when you’re mouth is watering for a pre-ordered print copy of the book, PLEDGE, PLEDGE, and PLEDGE some more.
I’ve already been talking with an illustrator with an awesome style and, if you make this Kickstarter a success, the book is going to have some killer design elements. I’ll also be able to pay to have the book reviewed for technical and grammatical errors. All of that is not to mention expenses like getting an ISBN, and — if things go well enough — my personal expenses.
I’ve also decided to move my target deadline back to November. My original goal of August 1st may be possible, but it wouldn’t give me the time I need to put all of this polish on the book.
There are a lot of hurdles to publishing a book with the quality of a professional publication when you’re on your own. I’m hoping that you can help me overcome them by backing the Kickstarter for Practical Flask.