Hello 'ello 'ello
We have a few things to cover since the last update, let’s go.
The last year
It’s been strange, to say the absolute and trite minimum. And to be honest there’ve been times I’ve really struggled; that’s reflected in the rate of updates for Zevvle and the service quality — for that I’m sorry. Things are happening in the background that I’m excited to share, and we’ll get to that in a minute.
Something I’d like to mention is that Tim — my brother and co-founder — moved on to another adventure involving lots of bikes. His help was indispensable and we had a wonderful time working together. I didn’t mention it at the time because I was worried what it would look like — “Co-founder flees company with unpronounceable name” — but that was silly in hindsight; it was nothing of the sort.
On the bright side and a personal note, I moved onto a boat last July and, besides some wintery cold mornings, it’s been absolutely wonderful and great for my own health. I enjoy running a network from a boat; 10/10 would recommend.
Although things have been a little quiet recently, I’m working on something in the background that I’m irrationally excited about. After a lull of feeling lost, I’m back to lying sleepless at night thinking about what I get to work on in the morning.
Building for the web, revised
When I started work on a new version of Zevvle for the web, the intentions were pure — build an app you can access from anywhere, without the gatekept app stores. But the way I went about it was less than ideal. For one it left the API hanging — one of my favourite parts of Zevvle — and not being critical to the app would inevitably leave it longing for love.
That is changing, and this new version I’m working on will completely dogfood the API, just like the original apps, yet much better. And fully accessible with dark mode available from the beginning! That sounds trivial, but it’s so nice. I missed The Darkness. There’ll also be some other new things to make it worth the wait…
I’m really happy with the progress so far, and I look forward to sharing it with you. Shitty apps and websites grind my gears, especially as many of them don’t give a thought to performance. My 5 year-old laptop weeps under the pressure which is absurd — rendering a screen with text, some buttons and a few colours shouldn’t require the stars to align (this talk by Jonathan Blow on modern software quality is great).
The web is wonderful, but there’s a lot of junk and I don’t want Zevvle to contribute to it. I also can’t wait to delete thousands of lines of code. Tim often reminded me of this, which is fitting:
I would not give a fig for the simplicity this side of complexity, but I would give my life for the simplicity on the other side of complexity. — Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr
Aspirations for the future
When starting Zevvle I reasoned by analogy — the happenings at Monzo HQ looked phenomenal, and I thought “that’s what I’m going to do in telecoms.” But honestly that’s not what I want to do; it’s not where my heart’s at.
I have no interest in creating an all-consuming behemoth or ascribing to the startup stereotype of “changing the world.” No, I simply want to enjoy myself and create a reliable service that customers love and that I’m proud of.
That lifts a weight and frees me to build Zevvle, not “the X of telecoms.” Everything doesn’t have to be Serious Business™, and I want Zevvle to be unique in a way that other companies might struggle with. Right now I’m working on making the core service amazing, but then…?
On being a bottleneck
Part of making Zevvle a reliable service is me getting out of the way. When the new app is live, I’m going to work on greasing the gears to make myself as useless as possible. Clearer designs, better FAQs, and more power to you.
Thank you for reading, and again I’m sorry about the lack of updates — I sometimes shy away from posting and focus on coding, which isn’t ideal. But no, I’m still here and working on it; thank you for being here.
EMBRACE THE WEIRD.
Although it’s just me, for now(!), I’ll continue using ‘we’ and ‘our’ when referring to Zevvle!