Monday, 25 February 2008

Software Development in the North East

To focus time on other projects, Ive handed over GetFoodOnline to Hartlepool based Software Development company (TeesDevShop).

TeesDevShop produce custom software for businesses in Teesside and Cleveland including Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton and Darlington.

One of their specialities is in web development and so Im happy to let them take control of the technical side of things. TeesDevShop also produce innovative solutions using mobile technology so we are hoping that there will be some interesting new features to the service.

Friday, 9 November 2007

Simple Mistakes (2)

Oh well, never mind.

Thank you for you recent order for the Wireless Entertainment Pack from

Unfortunately, there was an error in the product details at the time that you placed your order, the Wireless Entertainment Pack does not include an X Box 360. As a result we have had to cancel your order.

Thursday, 8 November 2007

Simple Mistakes

Today I received an email from a friend with a link to an Xbox 360 from Tesco online. The bargain price was about £32.

Not wanting to pass up the opportunity of a bargain Ive ordered one and paid my money. It remains to be seen whether or not I will get an email saying that they've made a mistake. Hopefully not.

However it highlights a couple of things:

Firstly, the impact of a simple mistake could be huge for a business. I cant imagine how many people will have got the same email, and the power of the viral email message is not to be under-estimated. A presumably low paid job doing data entry could have serious consequences for a smaller business.

Secondly, I wondered *how* they would notice such a mistake. Would someone get an automated SMS from some part of the system that detects unusual activity? Would it take an employee to get the viral message? Or will it be tomorrows Management Report that takes someone to go an manually work out what happened?

Thirdly, if being cynical, you could imagine it being done on purpose. Say they were prepared to allow the first 500 go through at a loss of say £200 each. Yeah thats 100k down the pan but its reasonably small change for Tesco. How many people will have tried to register to buy one. And the press fall out afterwards might give them a chance to push their site in the press. And if they publically honour the mistake, thats pretty good press for them.

I hope they do.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

GetFoodOnline - an online food extravaganza

At the start of the year, when ordering food for a large group from my local takeaway restaurant and having them muff it up completely, I found myself wishing I could have ordered online.

There there would be no confusion about the order, and a large group could take it in turns to place their order at their leisure. Much less prone to error.

A couple of businesses exist that pertain to do something similar but I wanted to go a step further. Most takeaways dont even have a website. I wanted to be able to make a cookie-cutter site with configurable areas of the page, a simple tool to input the menu, and therefore hand control over entirely to the takeaway owner.

The sites would have contact details, pictures, opening times, full menu details, food images - everything. All built dynamically from a configuration designed by the owner.

GetFoodOnline was the result. Over the coming weeks I will talk through the process I used to get the site up and running, and where it is now.

Introduction to my Ramblings

Ive been in the software business for about 10 years now, and thought it was about time I had a go of this blogging lark. Im my 10 years Ive always been employed, but recently Ive been thinking about trying my hand at making a bit of extra cash on the side.

This blog will follow my progress as I experiment with a few different ideas. I'll try to highlight what does and doesn't work - but along the way I might blog about some general experiences in from the Software world.

I'll also bring you up to date on what was/is my first attempt at extra income - GetFoodOnline - my online takeaway business.