Pivots on Pivots

I’ve heard this more than once when in product meetings with the Marketing folks, “If we’re slipping the schedule, we have time to add more features, right?” When Engineering and Marketing are two different groups, that’s funny or the beginning of a small war, and more often than one might think the Marketing people get more traction than they should have. Here at FoodTruckYP, we have yours truly in both Marketing and Engineering.

In my Instagram travels I’ve come across so many different kinds of mobile food vendors. No, mobile vendors. Food and drink of course, but more clothing and similar trucks and trailers than I would have thought (I love the idea but they are usually the odd vendor out at food truck events, stuck off to the side and underserved by the event promotion, to be sure). Add to this the Bike category, and then add to that the Boat category of vendor vehicles. And more… mobile vending is everywhere, and while I knew that, I didn’t know that. Now I have some grasp of the scope and grandeur of mobile in the world of entrepreneurialism.

Clearly, as a mobile entrepreneur myself, so invested in this idea for so long, what would it hurt to prepare for this larger scope? Since I have more time anyway…

So a few bases are getting covered prior to launch:

  • A central hub. This will make more sense when it’s out for all to see.
  • FoodTruckYP.com is aimed squarely at trucks, trailers, and carts. And bikes and boats. Basically anything that moves on its own.
  • There are some other components that will be aimed at less-mobile mobile vending, and at non-food mobile vending.
  • Now the hub idea might make more sense.
  • I’ve moved whole-heartedly into i18n so that we can get l10n views of these tools to people who don’t necessarily speak English. Initially I’m going to lean heavily on machine translation, which will be dubious at best, but I’m working on a little “suggest translation” feature so that generous souls out in the world might correct my non-existent vocabulary in just about all languages in the world
  • I no longer refer to this as a “food truck web app” but as a platform. The difference might be subtle, but the way I’ve designed the data model in the back end, it is not too difficult to add things like supply chain ordering, online customer ordering, integral loyalty program support, etc.
  • I’m hoping there will be some working “Eye Candy” on the landing page in time for launch, but I’ll end this list right there.

There are some other subtle things… support for progressive web apps magically tumbles out of the design of the platform, so implementing that is a matter of some javascript and some DNS work. That’s now on the roadmap for sooner rather than later.

I’ve often said that without the tumult of the Sales-Marketing-Engineering triumvirate in an organization, any one of those would go off the rails, either selling something that will never exist, promoting something that can never exist, or designing the coolest thing that will never, ever see the light of day. I’ve come very close to convincing myself that that latter point is true, but the other two parts of the triad have sat on each shoulder and poked and prodded, the platform will indeed see the light of day.

Then we will all know if this is a cool as I’ve come to believe it will be. Note that it will never be done (that’s the Engineer talking), but one nice thing about this company is, my customers will be talking directly to Engineering. And Marketing. And Sales. I’ll try to keep those latter two from promising too much.

Happy Holidays, and let us hope I have an announcement to make before the year rolls over…