Ricardo Sanchez
Coder, Photographer, Youtuber, Blogger

TidyContact

Making progress, slowly but surely

I can’t believe it’s been about a year since I started with the idea of TidyContact, time really flies, especially when you have a busy life full of projects, kids, family, etc, and I am blessed for that. So far I have learned lots of things building TidyContact, most of the things I’ve learned are related to the web framework I am using (ASP.NET MVC), and the service oriented architecture I am implementing with this project. Yes it is taken longer than I expected and I know this goes against the Lean Startup methodology, but frankly, I do not care since what I am doing is fun (to me at least) and it is also a way for me to learn about third-party apis, frameworks, databases, etc… it is geek fun.

During this time I have been able to collect about 60 names of people who are interested in TidyContact, and about half of them showed enough interest to actually pay a monthly subscription for it, that is good. It is truly difficult to develop a product from scratch without any help from other developers, designers, etc… at the same time, it is rewarding every time I reach a milestone such as completing a feature, finishing a module, getting the landing page done, etc… I am looking forward to launching the beta version soon and hope to get valuable feedback to make the application better before the first version launches. I would say I am about 70% done with the version I want to release to beta users, I believe in releasing a minimum viable product and all that stuff, but since this application is something we’ll be using internally in TodoTax.com it won’t make sense to release it if it doesn’t do at least what we want it to do. Continue Reading

With TidyContact I am scratching my own itch, really.

Let me start by explaining how it all started… I promise it won’t be a super long read but it also won’t be as short as you would like I imagine. Back in 1999 I had a bad experience at one of the national tax preparation firms and decided to learn and do my simple tax declaration myself. After a few months of a lot of reading and browsing irs.gov I felt ready and waited patiently until the next year to fill out the tax forms on my own. One year after that I had a group of friends and family members asking me to prepare their taxes as well… yikes! In 2001 Sanchez Plus Services was born (officially) and at the time I had about 20 people paying me money to prepare their taxes.

Fast forward to 2005, that is when my family and I moved from Minnesota to Austin, Texas and at the time Sanchez Plus Services had about 100 paying clients and the little business was already very profitable! the interesting part is that we never opened an office or even had a website… in fact, we didn’t even met with our clients in person, it was all a phone/fax operation and I just worked on it after work during tax season (February – April). After the 2005 tax season I decided to stop preparing taxes for other people and started doing computer consulting instead since that was my day job anyway, at this point my wife took over Sanchez Plus Services which she had already been helping run for a few years already and knew how to handle it and get things done. Continue Reading