Lost an old friend, gained a new one

Last weekend, I posted about the demise of my faithful Swing-a-way can opener. I had that opener for probably 20 years. It had been a good kitchen tool, but it was finally wearing out.

The parent company, Amco, still sells the Swing-a-way opener, and I was going to go that route, but the reviews on Amazon were pretty negative. In a familiar story, Amco closed up their US operation, moved the production to china, and then import them back. As is often the case, this results in a slipping of quality.

Fortunately, there is a brand that is made in the USA, in the same factory as the old Swing-a-way can openers were made, and they have the same awesome quality. The new name is EZ-DUZ-IT, and for $7.59 Amazon delivered it to my door. That night, I needed to open a couple of cans of dog food, and I put the new opener on the cans, and it just breezed through them. Smooth action, clean cut, no missed spots. Heaven in a kitchen tool.

While I have a decade or two to see if it wears as well as my old Swing-a-way, I am hopeful for the future.

The real irony? Amco’s Swing-a-way, made in China was $8.99. The EZ DUZ IT – $7.59. Can’t beat that.

The joys of a quality web developer

Two days ago, we pulled the plug on the hapless guy who was on our project.  Not that he is a bad resource, but the project we handed him was beyod his scope, and it was flailing.

We consulted another group in my company as to who they would recommend (and, most importantly who know our “system” if you catch).  We got turned on to a group in Pennsylvania.  Quick call, I forward on my original design document, and mockups, and the next morning we got a proposal.

The price was very fair, and they were going to put extra people on it to allow us to launch on 11/27. At 10:00AM yesterday (MST) we gave the go ahead.  By 2:00 PM, we had artwork.  It looked awesome.  They captured what I was envisioning (and put in my mockups) perfectly. Today they have another two interfaces prototyped, and after a quick review are busy coding.

I am beginning to think I might be able to start testing this next week.

Of course, they were ecstatic about the fact that I had a document that described the workflow, the use cases, some typical user stories, and detailed mockups.  Apparently that is all stuff they have to tease out and build themselves.  I guess being a product manager has some positive attributes.

Fingers crossed, but so far I am really happy.