14 August 2010 · About 3 minutes read

Business Startup Week 4: Moo Cards and Rails 3

After working with Android/Java last week, I decided to spend some time this week checking out the Rails 3 release candidate. With the final release due soon, I hoped to gain an insight into what I’ll need to do when the time comes to upgrade Amberleaf.

Despite some massive changes to the framework, everything went fairly well and it wasn’t long before I had an app up and running, complete with RCov and RSpec 2. The recently updated beta of The RSpec Book has been updated to reflect the latest changes. As always, Ryan Bates’ excellent Railscasts also came in very handy for showing how to use some of Rails’ new functionality.

In developing the test app, I stumbled upon the Flutie gem from Thoughtbot. Flutie gives you a nice set of default css styles for your app during its development, great for helping to get an app off the ground. With Rails 3’s new generators and agnostic-approach, I’m sure there’ll be plenty more

Business Cards: Branding Plymouth Software

Last week, it was recommended I try Moo for business cards, so I sent off for a sample pack. Moo’s samples are great as they let you upload your design for the cards, which allowed me a preview of what my final print would look like.

Business card samples

I ordered the Moo Green recycled paper cards. They arrived on Wednesday, and have a great feel and quality. Just as impressive was Moo’s quirky order process, and the tongue-in-cheeky Buzzword Bingo” card they supplied in the pack. It’s well worth ordering a sample pack from them just to grab one of these!

I’m thinking of colour schemes for Plymouth Software’s brand, using a chocolate/coffee colour scheme. The colours I’d chosen for the samples, though, were far too dark for print. I’m unsure whether to work on this, or instead opt for a light, white/mint colour scheme. Something to ponder on whilst I work on upcoming projects - although I’d like to give the website its proper branding as quickly as possible.

Amberleaf Updates

With some sign-ups to Amberleaf, I’ve been receiving some great ideas and feedback. This week, I pushed a few updates, including additional fields for client records. There are interface changes on the way too, as some of the screens are in need of a tweak.

I’ve also watched the stats for Amberleaf rise quite considerably according to Google Analytics. I now need to focus on converting those into sign ups for the 30 day free trial! I’ll be taking a look at the front page again, with a view to cutting down the amount of text and de-cluttering the page.

What’s Next

This week, I’ll be working on couple of projects for customers. On Friday, I met up with Caddology with a view to building a fresh new site. I’ll also be heading back to Java to work on my Android app, which I hope to release in beta to the Market.

Finally, as I’ve been pretty convinced by Moo, I hope to get a final design together and printed up - although I have a feeling a certain ExpressVA Services may be demanding I design their business cards as well!

Chris Blunt
Chris Blunt @cblunt
Chris is the founder of Plymouth Software. As well as code and business, he enjoys being a Dad, swimming, and the fine art of drinking tea.