Kevin joins Josh and Ben again this week as the trio discusses Honeybadger's hack week, processes for making bold UI/UX changes, what to do/not do if your customers hate said UI/UX changes, plus the latest trends in Crocs fashion!

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Developers building a software business on our own terms.

Josh: It's always nice to have like rituals before you start the podcast.,

Ben: put on the smoking jacket and the bunny slippers.

Kevin: We should all be wearing our Honeybadger Crocs

Ben: oh

Josh: Yeah. I've got mine, my orange Crocs somewhere

Ben: I love my Honeybadger Crocs. Those are the best kayaking shoes ever.

you know they have Croc cowboy boots?

Kevin: That's

Josh: Do they,

have so many different kinds of Crocs. if you go on their website, like It'sa wide world of Crocs,

Ben: it's an amazing world to live in.

Josh: I'm gonna have to check that out. The cowboy boots. That's that's something I have to wear those. If I ever visit Texas like a tech conference or something?

Ben: Next time, head to Austin. It was, what, Kate Ruby Weird, I think was the name of the conference. I can't remember

Josh: Yeah, that was the one [00:01:00] in

Ben: was. That was fun. speaking of Ruby, I got my son learning Ruby via Y's Poignant Guide, which, I can hardly recommend to anyone as a good reading material, but after every page, my son, he looks over at me and he's this guy is really crazy.

yeah he is.

Josh: It's a good role model, right?

Ben: Exactly. I was like, that's what, years of Ruby do to your brain. So watch out.

Josh: someone, printed up some actual physical copies of, the poignant guide recently. I forget it was actually a company that did it as like a, I don't know, marketing or just a nice community thing to do, but I thought that was really cool. I didn't get a copy, unfortunately, but there's actually talk of producing some more of them at cost.

So maybe we'll get our hands on some someday.

Ben: that'd be fun. Well, speaking of learning things, that's a good little segue into our topic for today, which is our annual. Tradition here at Honeybadger of having what we call a hack week. Although it's more of a hack month, because, we celebrate the Christmas [00:02:00] season by hacking on stuff instead of doing our usual Josh, you want to dive in with that?

What is, what does hack week mean to you?

Josh: Hack week to me. I'm trying to remember. It's usually just where I like tinker on things. I think in the past uh, something I've enjoyed is like working on my much often neglected open source projects and things like that. I think there's been a year or two where I've worked on.

Heya, for example, our little like mailer. Marketing mailer thing for rails. so yeah, he, it was a, something that came out of that, I think, back in the day. And then, I know we've done admin of code, or we've attempted to do admin of code a number of years and, uh, Kevin has succeeded, but,that's, that's a fun one.

Ben: And I think one of you probably is better explaining Advent of code, Well, I guess we can have Kevin talk about that, but before we get there, I guess we should actually mention that Kevin is on the podcast today again. Welcome back, Kevin.

Kevin: thank you. Hello.

Josh: can't get rid of this guy. It's a

Kevin: I, you guys didn't even invite me. I just

Josh: be careful. [00:03:00] we're going to make this a regular thing.

Ben: Kevin's just crashing the podcast today. But, um, I guess we should back up cause not everyone has listened to the entire back catalog of founder quest episodes, which is a real shame. You should go do that if you haven't already. But if you had, you would know that we have a tradition of a hack week at honey badger during the month of December, because we have a kind of a slow time here at honey badger.

people are. Taking it easy around the holiday time. And as we get closer to Christmas, it gets slower and slower. And we just decided, you know what? That's a good time to just relax a bit and do some fun things and things that, you know. You might not get to do when you have the normal pressure of every day, you know, responding to customer service requests and putting out fires and that sort of stuff.

And so we started a tradition of first it was a hack week and it was like, I think the first time I tried it, it was like the week after Christmas or after new year's or something. And then we're like, you know what, let's just go big. And let's just do the whole month of December instead of the week after

Josh: I feel like it was like the first week or something like the first or second week. But,[00:04:00] I think after that we were like, we don't want to like, just go back to work now. with the holidays approaching. so we

were like,

let's just make it a hack month.

Ben: Yeah, and you know, not, I would say not every year it turns out to be a pure hack, relax time because, things come up and we actually do work every now and then, but the idea is to try and do our best.

Josh: Yeah.

Ben: What's been your favorite hack experience, Kevin, over the past few years?

Kevin: Some of the years I don't even remember what I worked on. I know one year I did, I think every year I usually do item of code just because that's something I like to, it's a good excuse for me to try something new. I usually will try and pick a language I've never used before. And see how far I can get.

And last year I did Go, which is good because we have, we've been doing more work with Go and Honeybadger. So that actually was really helpful. I think one year, one year I took the whole time and just messed with, with Terraform [00:05:00] trying to like get our stack going. and that was a fun one.

weren't, weren't you a little more collaborative though, when you guys first started this out? Didn't you pick a project that all you'd work on?

Cause you now we've do our own separate things, but it sounds like before you worked together.

Josh: I think the first one was it like, was it project X, what we were calling at the time, like our little, like our, we were like obsessed with killing intercom because we were like really mad about intercom at the time, like their pricing and all that. I won't get into that rant, but, I, we were working on a little elixir, thing.

That would have been like the base for something to compete with intercom and it's not really a Honeybadger, proper project, but it was a, it was something we were exploring. And, we were considering, launching additional products and, we were excited about.

tinkering with Elixir, of course, around that time in it. Yeah. So I think the three of us, Ben and Starr and I worked on some various parts of that was actually pretty fun, because I remember like collaborating with the two of [00:06:00] you. like we broke up some different chunks to work on, um, just to kind of like, you know, directions to explore in basically.

and I, as I recall, we kind of all picked things that were compatible with our, existing strengths in the company. and it worked out pretty well.

Ben: Yeah, that was fun. And, learning Elixir was fun. And, trying just something completely different. That was fun. it was not part of our normal product. And, yeah, we still haven't replaced Intercom. Sad to say. Like we that kind of fizzled out, but it was still fun to

Josh: Althoughthat is another, that, that was another impetus for, for Heya,that we, uh, we replaced a tiny part of it with a, completely different approach to it.

Kevin: Do you remember what artifacts came out of it? not that the heck we've had to produce anything, but I'm curious if you remember, like, other than the stuff that went in the hay hat, where you landed at the end. Sounds

Josh: had, we had, an elixir Phoenix app somewhere, that did like event processing, I think, we at least got that far we were doing like ingestion. I [00:07:00] think like also a part of it was also uh, segment, is it segment. com now? that's like the, the marketing or like customer, like Data and marketing warehousing and like distribution tool, that lets you basically like ingest customer data and it sends it to all the other, like marketing sources, that might use it.

And, um, so I think that was part, that was part of the base that we were building was like something that could like accept events, like that. And then we would do, do something on top of them later.

We just can't, we can't get away from like high scale event ingestion.

Ben: guess when all you have is a hammer, right?

Kevin: If every squint, everything is the

same problem.

Josh: we did decide we've, we made this decision to have this, like this critical high scale service that we have to operate. And if that's what we're good at, We might as well play to our strengths. Like we're a small company that does like web scale things, which is not ideal.

that's not normally what I would recommend to like the typical indie hacker [00:08:00] starting out necessarily, if you could find, if you can find a. Project that doesn't require the level of operations, that like a dev tool does that's great, but also the, that's where a lot of the reward lies is in the solving the hard problems.

So I think that's why we just decided, well, let's just like, we'll just like make everything we do have some sort of critical infrastructure component to it.

Ben: Because yeah, we don't have enough on our shoulders. We need more. So today we thought we would chat about our, Hack Week projects. The things we're working on and, I had totally forgotten about that Elixir thing. And so thanks Kevin, for that good memory. And we're actually going back to working on some things together, versus being all apart this time.

Josh: Yeah. I was going to say like these hack week things are usually like work on what you're the most excited about. and I think for all of us at the moment. that is insights. And also there's these other, kind of like,revamping some of the application and modernizing things. And I know, Ben and I have [00:09:00] decided that we're going to work on some, uh, some UI and design things, that we've been putting off for a long time and, uh.

You know, it's been, we've had pretty much the same application for a long time now, we've, updated things, we've upgraded our CSS frameworks and we've made improvements along the way. But we've never really like taken a step back and looked at some of the, like the larger, design trends in the industry and things like that we could really do to improve the quality of life and polish of the application.

And, as developers, that's never been our,that's not our strong suit either. Like we're not really designers, some of us more than others. but I think all of us would like to. Level up on the design side of things. And so, um, that's what we're working on. And to be honest, like working on all of this stuff for the past, year or so, I'm really excited to see everything start to come together.

And I feel like we just started to like. Get over [00:10:00] some sort of, you know, we're starting to build some momentum in that direction. And we have a lot of like, we've done actually did a lot of design work this year, with, some consultants and things that worked with us to kind of like rethink a lot of the application.

and the UI in terms of this new feature. And so we have all this work to implement basically. And we've, we've started that and it's really starting to build momentum and it's really fun to see it come, like basically come to life. I think we might actually be shipping some things, this hack week, even on our end, Ben, but, yeah, it's going to, I think it's in the end, it's going to be a whole new honey badger.

Ben: Yeah, I think with the addition of insights, we've really had this realization that this changes the product, or at least has the potential to change the product in some significant ways, and maybe the UI that we've had for the past, 12 years or whatever, doesn't quite accommodate that new, uh, functionality or the.

What insights really brings to the table. And [00:11:00] so sitting back and working with these consultants has been very helpful in like kind of reevaluating, like what is Honeybadger the product? What are we delivering to our customers? And, not that we're going to go and throw out all of our UI and come in with something completely different tomorrow, cause that's not going to happen, but.

It's really say, Oh, is it, is the landing page that you've landed on when you come in, is that the best thing you want to see, or,with the uptime stuff and with this new insight stuff, does it make sense to have a different kind of navigation so that you can, explore the product more, So like you were saying, like, we're not UI designers, we're not UX experts by any means. and so sometimes we're slow on the uptake on this kind of stuff. But, really having a chance to decompress a bit, sit back, and look at the UI, and be like, this could be better.

I'm pretty excited about doing that for this Hack Week.

Josh: yeah, I want to give us some credit because I think like design is just something that we have neglected for a little while. Um, at least that's how I feel. because you know, I've like, I've done more, you know, it's kind of fluctuated over the years, but like we've, as we've built this product, it's been mostly development.

And, to be honest, I've just gotten a [00:12:00] little rusty over the years on the design side as well. And it's always nice to come back and sharpen that skill. And, and yeah, and I think like now that we're finally actually getting into it and doing the work, and starting to collaborate, like I feel us getting better already, right now we're working on a new, um, like basically like rethinking the global, like the navigation, basically like the shell that, we're not going to change the actual like workflows of honey badger, but we're thinking like, what can we do to make like, you know, navigating around the application easier and like polishing various pages as a, as Part of that but I mean it's I think it's like it's looking really good.

Kevin: I think we're talking about design. I'm sure there's a lot of other bootstrap companies that are, that don't have like in house design. We don't have in house design. We've worked with consultants a few times, I'm curious. Maybe, I don't know if this is a design podcast, but like what kind of process it might be interesting to talk about what process or what process we don't have when we try to redesign something.[00:13:00]

Josh: Yeah that's a really good point. I think you're onto something there. I think like we haven't really had much process, up to now, beyond just like we do it, whoever's building the feature comes up with some UI for it. but when we do reviews of that, it's more, it's usually more focused around the actual, the functionality and.

and the code, and we haven't really had as much of a step of let's really think about the UI or the user experience of this new feature. Or even if we know we need to do that, we'll, like, you know, we're very much let's get it out there and then we'll make it better. And that works to an extent.

but unless you don't have that stopping point to then look, actually go back and make those improvements.

Kevin: Yeah. I used to do. Like Figma mock ups for some of my, I think some of the bigger stuff I would do that, I'd try to make some sort of representation of what the end, what I think the end will look like, just so I can get some feedback before I do a ton of work on it. And I feel like I haven't done that as much lately.

I [00:14:00] feel like usually I just, I have, I know what I want it to look like, and then I just go for it, but I think I'd probably like to do that more, do a little more upfront, even if it's like. Even if it's just something like getting my pen and drawing a couple things around just to show like where I think things should go.

I think that's usually, I don't know if either of you find it helpful, but I find it helpful for me just to process what I'm making.

Josh: Yeah, I've never been like a super like visual designer necessarily. like I've been doing like Photoshop forever and, used to make layouts and stuff and have to chop them up and all that. But like, once I got used to kind of prototyping in the browser, like that's really what I was drawn to, but I find like, it can also be really helpful to just like start out.

Building the UI or, hacking on the app or the feature that I'm building with the intention that there's a good chance I'll throw this [00:15:00] away. or at least I'll throw away the UI part and rethink that at some point. Like an example of that is recently with the insights project. I've been thinking a lot about onboarding and how we introduce people to the feature in the UI.

And I think we talked about this a little bit on a, on past episodes, but. we've been thinking about, doing the thing that a lot of applications have that is like, uh, you know, a little tour or something that pops up when you see a new thing. and it probably has you could step through it or close it or whatever.

but it'll typically like dim the screen and. highlight an element and say, Hey, look at this thing. Um, this is what it does. And then continue to learn more. And, uh, like we know that developers don't really like that. and we're used to it. It's something we put up with.

but I think for, especially for developers, it's like just something like a lot of us just automatically like just close it or escape out. And, and so I had built, a little prototype of that and. because I had to really put the upfront design thought [00:16:00] into it. but that was enough to, for me to then start thinking about like this is this little, like pop up is telling me that like what this button does when I click it and if it's a good button, the button should be, it should be obvious what the button does.

So we're kind of rethinking how we can like subtly prompt people to do the important things, or to learn important concepts. but I don't think that it's, I basically I'm looking back now on that little prototype I did, and I'm thinking, yeah, that was a bad idea, but it helped me get to this point.

Ben: Yeah, I'm probably the least design talented amongst all of us, because I'm more focused on the backend stuff on a regular basis. I'm completely helpless when it comes to the idea of actually designing something. I think, you know, actually sitting down and drawing is something I very rarely do. we were looking at, with the consultants, we were looking at some UI changes, that is, Well, it's been through a few revisions now, and I think, what, Josh, what you're working on is, It's the culmination of those things.

It's not the direction we're going originally, [00:17:00] but some of those ideas persisted and uh, that I sat down, with my pen and I drew some things and that was super helpful just to get out, what are some of these structural ideas I have? But beyond that, like that, the step between that and having the actual functionality in front of you, like actually designing a page and where are the elements going to go and stuff like that is I can't, I just can't do that.

Like I'm terrible at that. And so my approach is if there's a new feature. I just, I hope that the existing framework is good enough where I can just slot it in, and that it kind of fits and, uh, when it doesn't, and I think there are some spots in the app as I've been going through the past couple of weeks and looking like at a bigger picture, Oh, that doesn't really fit.

Well, let me kind of see if I can. Finagle that a little bit, or adjust it. And that's the process I take, which is terrible and ad hoc. But I, apparently I just cannot do the whole, actually design something and then make it work. I just got to throw it out there and then, okay, that's, that was bad.

I got to fix it.

Josh: One of, one of the things you did, that was really helpful during this whole project [00:18:00] early on was thinking through some of the information architecture, um, Side of it and, and thinking about, I mean, that's a very designery thing to do at the start of a design project, because, you want basically like everything that comes out of, the, whatever design that results in the end needs to like naturally fit into the hierarchy of, how the app is constructed.

Basically. So, you know, we have features that are, that exist under a project for example. And, and so like these things, and then the project has errors and check ins and uptime monitoring and things like that. and, and all that plays into like what's possible with like how you would design like the, the main navigation or different navigation flows and things.

so that was a super helpful thing to do up front and I highly recommend thinking through like that sort of thing first.

Ben: Yeah, that was a fun exercise. it takes a fair amount of time, not only documenting what you have today, but also then like thinking about, [00:19:00] well, how could this be better? You know, it's, yeah, it was a bit of a, bit of a stretch for me. It was fun.

Josh: Yeah, I read a book a while back, I think it called everyday information architecture which was a useful read. I can't remember, the author series now, but maybe we can put it in the show notes. but yeah, that's a, it's a great concept to like have a formal approach for.

Kevin: It seems like we're also, like, we've been building up features for the last, how many years? We, as I think we, as you and then I, me for a while, and it seems like we're almost turning a point where we're stepping back and taking a fresh look at it, like is, is all the things that we're adding and the new things that are coming up, does all this fit together anymore?

And I think the consensus is not that we're going to do a full redesign, but that some things, some ways that we used to think about HoneyBadger don't make as much sense anymore, and we're like trying to struggle with how do we represent that visually. As a [00:20:00] UI now.

And I think it's, I don't think it's, I think it's a hard problem

Josh: Yeah.

Kevin: general. Like I think,

Josh: Yeah. We're at, we're like definitely at the point where our UI cannot handle like the things we're throwing at it anymore. and at that point, that's a good point to, to step back and reimagine everything and like Ben said, not hopefully not change the core, like the fundamental things too much.

because I, there's a lot of things that people love about our UI and, I wouldn't want to change those things, but if we can keep the, keep the best parts of it and then use that as inspiration for building. Building out more UI around it and better structure, I think is the big one, better structure and organization.

Ben: Yeah, on the one hand, our UI is a little long in the tooth in some parts, right? But on the other hand, that's quite the compliment to Starr and to you, Josh, from the early days of, you know, a lot of that design is, the original stuff is still there. we've updated a little bit of the styles and things like that, but like the bones of it, it's like pretty much the same.

[00:21:00] And,it's pretty impressive that it's lasted so well and it's worked so well.

Josh: Yeah. Yeah. Like that error page, like the fault page. I don't think we can ever change that, because people are just so used to it and it does, it works really well. Like the approach is a little janky,in the, like the things that we used, but it works surprisingly well.

Ben: Yeah, I remember, um, so a couple of jobs ago, we, uh, we're sitting down and do a big redesign and step one of this big redesign was to hire a UX consultant. She came in and she did a bunch of wireframes. She interviewed all the principals,what does the business do and, what do you want the site to do?

And then she went away and came back with these big binders full of, Printed out wireframes, like where every page was detailed and it was awesome. Like she was fantastic. The whole process was just amazing. I loved it. And we did none of that for honey badger, right? We just Hey, it should do this and let's go build it.

So I think both of those approaches are valid. if, I think if one of us was a UX expert, we would have sat down and would have done the wireframe things, but it's like, yeah, we don't have the money for that when we were [00:22:00] starting out. So, um, you know, that's two ways you can do it,

Josh: we're learning it now and hopefully we can integrate both of these approaches into something that works for us. I want to hear though. I feel like Kevin has a, a disagreement on the, on never changing the error page. I just saw you squinting. I don't know. Like I've, if you feel free to like, be like, no, Josh, you're misreading me, but, I love a good, I love a good, uh, a good debate.


Kevin: to debate you about it, but I think, I don't know. I think there's always room to rethink the way that we do something. And I think about if we want to add insights. Things to that, it might start to feel like a lot and it may be, we even talked about like some of the redesigning, cause we have this like little bar in the middle that has all the actions that you can do.

And there's like 15 of them now, like for a different product, depending on how many integrations you have hooked up. So that may be getting a little [00:23:00] tight for that type of thing too. So, I don't know, I think we haven't spent a lot of time on it. And I think I went through once and just did almost an IA layout of that page.

Like the things like just sort of got clear about all the different things and where they are.

Thought a little bit about where we could move them around, but I didn't really get anywhere that felt good. So I never actually shared it, but yeah, you don't want to alienate your users by changing things so much.

They don't know how to use your product, but yeah, you also don't want to just get stuck in the same place too. So I know we're trying to find the happy medium between those two things. And I think we're there, but

Josh: yeah,

Ben: I remember

Josh: reason I came back to you. Cause I knew that I wasn't completely hitting the mark there and there's totally, there are totally like, you can improve upon experiences, hopefully without having to change, the bones of the thing necessarily. but even if that, if it works, but yeah, I think, there's definitely a happy medium there for some of our existing features.

Ben: well, two things. One, I [00:24:00] remember vividly the pain that we experienced when we moved the resolve button on the detail page, on the error page, like people just worked. Clearly upset and, understandably so when you have muscle memory and like you always go to click this one control, which is probably the most clicked control in our UI and then you like move it to the opposite side of the page.

People like freaking out, so yeah, we are sensitive to that always when thinking about that error detail page, but on the flip side, yeah, we have slapped in a few more buttons on that row in the middle of the page. And, Also, the state of the art has moved forward, right?

You go and you look around and there are, there's great Inspiration, great design happening out there, companies like GitHub and linear and you name it, there's, I'm sure you can think of more great examples of people who are like pushing design forward and showing you what's possible and like, Oh yeah, that just makes sense.

That's a great approach. And and you know, like, you know, two or three years from now, everyone's going to do it that way because, it's just a natural way to do it. the iPhone's Oh, once that came out, I was like, Oh, yep. That [00:25:00] every phone's going to be a slab of glass in the future.


Kevin: I have a question. I know of a time when you redesigned and it didn't go well. And my, what I always wonder is that, I see some companies that do something and then it seems like they don't care about the fallout. It's just, that's what we're going to do. If their customers don't like it too bad, you'll get over it.

And then, there's the other thing where like you are reactive to your, like, where do we fit in that? Between those two extremes,

Ben: that's a fantastic point because there were people that said, Oh, is this a beta? Can I go back to the old version? I remember that. I'm like, no, this is the way it's going to be. Like we decided this is good. but, and we try to be super responsive to customers, but at some point you have to like, this, this is what we feel is best.

So yeah, that's a tough line to go down. I'm trying to think of a time where we reverted something because customers said, but I can't come up with something right now. You got anything Josh?

Josh: yeah, I don't think so. I can't

Kevin: didn't [00:26:00] you do, didn't you do a redesign at one point before me and then took it back?

Josh: don't, I don't remember if we actually took it back. yeah, I'm not, I'm blanking on, I remember I don't know, like a couple of weeks and, like my retention settings are basically like two weeks. So

Ben: your cash limits are pretty low.

Josh: yeah. And I have like pretty severe rate limiting on my ingestion as well, but

Kevin: In general,

Ben: Yeah, I can't think of a time where we, because I remember vividly like people saying, oh, this is worse. And sitting back, I remember It was upsetting at the time. Cause like you put all this work into it and especially Starr and that one put a heck of a lot of work into that. I remember.

and even I've experienced this in the past few weeks. It's where I spend a lot of time thinking about something and tweaking something. And I show a screenshot and people are like, Oh, I don't know about this and I don't know about that. And I'm like, ah, but then I have to sit back and be like, okay, wait, we're just.

trying stuff, right? We're just, we're learning, we're figuring it out. And you can't be married to a particular idea or something. but in general, I think [00:27:00] When we've done, when we've done that work and, we say, Hey, we actually feel this is better, like the stuff we're working on now, it's like we have a staging server with our current UI changes that we like, we're just dying to get it in front of our customers.

Right. Because we feel it's so much better after having spent hours and iterations. But, I'm sure there's going to be someone who's going to say when they see it, they'd be like, can I get the old way back? we're going to be like, no, because this, we feel like this is our best work.

Right. Even if maybe you don't like it. So

Josh: people

don't like change in general. There's always going to be someone who just. And, I do think it's I don't know, there's like a leadership aspect there where we just need to, like you said, make the decision of, like, in the direction that we think the UI needs to go. And then, you know, basically people have to come with us and we have to basically, like, maybe we can incorporate some of the feedback we get from that and, Prove that to them that this is better than the old way over time. but yeah, it's tough. It's a tough situation.

Ben: [00:28:00] that's a bouncing act. But I think one thing we've learned from those experiences is not to go too far too fast. Right. If there's a lot of big stuff, we want to change to like introduce that over time. Gradually, you know, don't throw all this stuff on somebody at one time. I remember, I don't know, a couple of months ago, I was talking with, with you, Kevin and with Roel and we were talking about some big UI ideas and I was like, yeah, we'll just push it out there.

and you two were like, no, you probably want to like, let people opt into that for a while before you do that to them. And I was like, oh, all right. but that was good. That's good pushback. Like you, we should make it. slow gradual, I think

Josh: Yeah. I appreciate the way that GitHub has released new UI and new like big features and things recently, which is to have the beta feature where you can toggle them on. And, They'll they do that for a while. And then I think, I don't know how exactly their process works, but I assume at some point then they like make that the default [00:29:00] for everyone.

but it's having the ability to do that. I like, it's really, I can imagine it's really nice, because it gives people some choice. but at the same time, it's gotta be a lot. A lot more overhead to maintain those types of things, because there's just some changes that are like, you know, they touch everywhere, across the application.

And, I can imagine that would be really hard to start to manage, like two versions of a lot of everything, basically.

Kevin: we talked about the base camp thing, like having a whole nother app that you migrate to and keeping the old one going, which is an interesting solution to that problem. It feels. Like you said, then now you've got, you've got two things, which features do you move there? Like, do you backport? I feel like that makes a lot of decisions much harder than just, here's a new thing.

This is what we're working on and this is what it is going forward. But yeah, really big changes. I think that can make [00:30:00] sense. Like we didn't, you know, we've had thoughts of big changes to add to honey badger and how so big that we've talked about. A whole new kind of experience with it. And we never, we didn't go down those roads, butum, but that's one way I see some companies doing it.

Josh: Yeah, I really liked the, I liked the Basecamp approach. I think like some of the ways we've architected our app makes it complicated for us, especially as a small team. like they're relative to us. They're even, they're much larger.

but I've like. There's probably ways we could design our architecture, an application that would make it easier to like, basically just like create a new application for people to move to for the UI side, but like the way we've taught everything is kind of like, you know, it's a monolith and, like the application.

The people use like the web UI is only one role that monolith plays. And I think like our struggle has been to like, untangle all that. If we're going to move people to a new application entirely, for like UI things. But I [00:31:00] really liked that approach of if you could just like, host the old version for people who don't want to move.

but yeah.

Ben: Yeah, it's a slightly different use case when you have you know an ongoing data ingestion pipeline Churning away in the background and then now you want to slap, you know, a completely different UI on that and then freeze frame the old UI like they did over at Basecamp. We'll have to link in the show notes to, I think it was David's presentation at Business of Software where he talked about that approach of running something until the end of the internet and moving people to a new version.

Cause that was really good. Really good presentation. Pretty cool. And it would be fun. Like, I mean, I think we've been tempted many times to do. Version two, right? And, everything's new and everything's great. And, and then you go, if you go back and read a few articles about the travails of the big rewrite, you know, then you're like, okay, nevermind.

Oh, I'll just do some minor tweaks here and there.

Josh: we've, we, there's multiple instances of us talking ourselves into it and then talking ourselves out of it just back and forth.

Ben: So we will not be doing [00:32:00] that this particular hack week. no, no big V2 this time.

Kevin: Not yet anyways.

Ben: Maybe next year, but, one of the things, one of the things you mentioned, Kevin, I just want to come back to was you said for your project, maybe it shouldn't be your project. and that's been one of the challenges I think of our implementation of Hack Week is sometimes our actual work is so much fun.

That we just can't pull ourselves away from it enough to do something else. We want to work on the actual work and that's cool too. I think that's why we call an optional hack week. Uh, if like your actual work is just interesting enough to do for that time, then you just go ahead and do it.

And that's, I don't know, maybe that's a cop out. Maybe, we should be more rigorous. I don't know, but, but it works for me. Like I'm happy, like spending two weeks, three weeks on the UI stuff that I'd never get a chance to look at most of the time.

Josh: Yeah, I think the point is that it's just, it's a lower pressure time to work on, like to really focus on something. and then of course we still go on Christmas vacation right after, so it works out pretty [00:33:00] well, all around.

Kevin: Yeah. And I think for the, the stuff that I'm working on, it's, I, I think of it like things that feel almost too big to think about. Like, I think we're so focused on shipping mode that there's certain things I won't even let myself delve into anymore. 'cause it, I know I'll go off on a tangent.

And I think those are the things that I like, that's, I love going on tangents. So, I'm going to give myself leeway to go on tangents, I think, this next couple weeks. And not really, feel pressure that, if I don't produce something, like, I should probably be producing something right now. Like, it just, I think it, I think sometimes that can be stifling creatively,

And so so yeah, I'm just, I think that's the part of the hack, even though it's something that I've been working on and worked on today. Like it, it's okay that's still the thing that I'm going to spend my hack month doing, but with, without the pressure, like you said,

Josh: Yeah, I'm totally on board with that, Kevin, [00:34:00] because there's a lot of good stuff that has come out of your tangents. so feel free to think big.

Ben: Well, just like there's that old saying, to everything there's a season, right? There's a season for shipping, and there's a season for going on off on a tangent. So tis the season for tangents. Ho, ho, ho. Well, this has been another stimulating and Wonderful conversation with the two of you.

Awesome. I love hanging out and not spending time chatting. Any final thoughts?

Josh: Huh. I'm just excited to get to work in December and then I'm excited to take a break, a long break and, you know, just relax.

Kevin: yeah.

Ben: Same. All right. Well, it's always a pleasure. If you happen to enjoy this episode of FounderQuest, you should definitely head on over to iTunes or Spotify, assuming they're still in business after all their layoffs, and give us a five star rating. Unless you think we deserve a four star, then you should probably just go for a walk until you think we deserve a five star, because obviously we do.

[00:35:00] So, appreciate you doing that for us, and hope you enjoy your week.[00:36:00]