Jojnts - a digital health startup

I've been helping HittaHem with improving their mobile web presence since the beginning of this year. My time at HittaHem is coming to an end, so I've been looking around to find out what's coming up next. It's been a great time working with HittaHem's really talented and inspiring team who's pushing their industry in many ways. A big thanks to HittaHem for this time!

While looking for my next client project I came in contact with Jakob Dahlberg (CEO) at Jojnts (www.jojnts.com). Jojnts is a Swedish digital health start-up on a mission to re-think and transform how people get diagnosed and treatment for joint pain (arthritis). Jojnts is approaching healthcare with real science (clinical evidence) and they have gathered industry experts, professors and physiotherapists as well as venture capital from relevant firms.

Initially me and Jakob were discussing how I, as a consultant, could help them out with continuing the development of their web app, but the discussions took an unexpected turn. After long discussions and considerations it's now decided that I'll be joining as Chief Technology Officer! I'm really excited about it and I'm looking forward to start my journey at Jojnts, I'm sure it will be a great one. My freelancing business is going really well, but when this opportunity showed up I had to go for it. I really believe in their mission, and the founders have proven that Jojnts is here to stay.

Initially my main focus will be to recruit developers to form a product development team here in Malmö, but also continuing the development of Jojnts web app (which is currently in private beta).

If you're a software developer who's interested in joining as well, please get in touch. You can read more about what we're looking for here.

Exciting times ahead and I'll promise to keep you posted along the journey!

 

The adventure continues

I've been helping some Malmö startups with their web development lately. It's been an awesome ride, and I thought it's time for a quick update.

I rounded off last year helping Stephen Fritzdorf and his startup DrQuench to prototype a new take on their hydration strategy service. I've previously built the first version of their iOS app, and now it was time for a minor pivot in pursuit of product/market fit. We created a web prototype of a hydration service aimed specifically for races in Sweden (marathons, half marathons etc) which helps each runner to create a personalised hydration plan prior to a race. The service was built using Rails for the backend and HTML/less/js for the frontend.

Since the beginning of this year I've been helping another Malmö startup, HittaHem (www.hittahem.se). HittaHem is a later stage and fast paced startup within the Swedish housing market. They have Bonnier as an investor and they've already managed to become an important player within their industy. For HittaHem I'm building a mobile web frontend (single page web app) to improve their mobile web presence, mainly using HTML/less/Knockout.js.

HittaHem is situated at Djäkne Kaffebar in Malmö (www.djakne.se). Djäkne Kaffebar is a great place to be for any freelancer, startup or entrepreneur. Having a barista making your coffee every day, any time, is almost too good to be true!

This year so far

It's quite funny how life goes. Time flies and things happen faster than you ever could imagine. A lot have happened the last couple of months for me, and I thought I could share what I've been up to. During the spring I've been working on some really fun and challenging client projects, but it was one personal event that really stood out from the rest.

During the spring I've mainly been working with Rails development in a couple of very large and complex client projects. The biggest of those Rails project is counting in at ~36.000 rows of Ruby code, compared to ~16.000 rows which is the size of the business system I've previously developed for another client. A lot of code to digest and understand, and last but not least, a lot of time and effort spent trying to understand all ins and outs of the domain model that's hiding beneath all those lines of code.

I've also helped Fritzdorf Sport push out an update of their Quench iOS app. In this update the app got some really neat internationalisation improvements. It now has support for both the Imperial and Metric system (when entering weight data) and it also got support for several new languages.

In parallel with my freelance work I've (together with some other talented developers and designers) been putting in a lot of blood, sweat, passion and tears in a new own-ip project of ours. We're really excited about this project. It's still in stealth mode, but I promise you'll hear more about it in a near future. One thing I already can say is that it hopefully will make you enjoy your life even more in the future ;) Stay tuned!

As if all of this aren't enough, there's this one other thing that really stood out from all the other awesome things that have happened this year so far. In May this year I became a dad! :) It's impossible to describe in words how proud and happy I am for this, so I better not try either.

Today I'm really looking forward to see what the rest of this year has to bring. It better be good!

Time flies and your life is very precious. Make sure you enjoy every second of it!

Quench - Your hydration coach

It's time for an update on one of the client projects I've been working on recently.

In middle of November last year Stephen Fritzdorf, a sport physiologist who was with the Danish Olympic team (London 2012), got in touch with me with an interesting project brief.

In the Olympic team Stephens job was to fight for gold for Denmark by taking physiological and other scientific measurements. Stephen is currently running his own business, FritzdorfSport, and he's also lecturing at Lund University in the field of Sports Science.

Stephen approached me with a very interesting project brief. He wanted to create a "hydration coach" app which would help people to hydrate properly, to get the most out of their workouts and to recover fast. He already had the formulas in place, but he needed help developing it into an easy to use iPhone app.

I first introduced Stephen to "the lean startup" methodologies, and it resonated with him from day one. During the first month or so Stephen was, together with my help, mainly working on formulating his business model canvas, defining the initial hypothesis, scoping the first MVP (minimum viable product) and talking to potential users. This way Stephen made sure he invested his resources wisely, where the main focus always has been to reach validated learning early on.

When stephen had a clear picture of the functionality requirements for his first iPhone app I quickly sketched it out as some basic wireframes (with just pen and paper) to make sure we were on the same page in terms of initial interaction. The wireframe was bounced back and forth between us a few times before we settled on a first interaction to aim for.

I then built a first iPhone app prototype based on those wireframes. We focused on functionality before look and feel. The first working prototype had all functionality in place, but without a custom interface (only using native UI components). This quick prototyping enabled Stephen to start testing the app before deciding what to focus on next. When Stephen was happy of how it was functioning we started to focus on the apps look and feel.

The app is now available on the AppStore! You now can do on your iPhone what was only previously available to Olympic athletes or by private consultation.

Make sure to download and try it out!

Stephens plan is to continue the development of the Quench ios app, but also other related apps and services. He would be very grateful if you want to help him out shaping his apps. Feel free to use the feedback link within the Quench ios app to send him some valuable feedback.

It has been very fun to develop the Quench iPhone app from initial idea to product together with Stephen, and I'm really looking forward to continue the collaboration in future development projects.

Stop building stuff that nobody wants

 It's quite funny how much time I have spent implementing ideas that would never work out. Product or service ideas I was sure would become a success, if I only built it. Thousands lines of code has been written during hundreds evenings/nights in parallel to my education and employments. However, almost every time the built service/product was never picked up as I thought it would. Now why is that really? Obviously I'm completely off in terms of predicting what customers want, but is there something else to it?

How could I miss out on focusing on the right thing during all these years?

It wasn't until I read The Lean Startup by Eric Ries that I understood I could approach ideas differently and more efficiently. The Lean Startup is all about validating your idea as time and cost efficiently as possible. I won't go deep into this subject, but a google search will get you covered.

As a developer this way of approaching new ideas is very liberating. From now on I'm trying to avoid implementing things that first isn't validated. Instead of building something that might work, I now instead aim to build things that probably will work. That's a very energizing way to work and live, and it frees up a lot of my time which I now can spend on validating more ideas instead of implementing just a few of them.

I think there are developers who wouldn't care about this. These are the kind of developers who write code just to get something to work, and doesn't really care of the big picture, i.e. the complete service/product, market etc. Personally I don't want to write code just for the codings sake, I want to create products and services that gets picked up by millions of users worldwide.

Let's stop wasting your life building stuff that nobody need or wants. If you still know that you're doing this, please rethink your current approach. There's a better one. You'll save a lot of time and money.

I'm still quite new to this but if you want my help in validating some of your ideas, feel free to get in touch with me. Who knows, it might even end up in the hands of millions of users ;)