2008 Year End Summary

Each year as I'm reviewing and closing out books, notes, and documentation for the year, I take the opportunity to make some comparisons.  Overall, it's been a momentous year personally, professionally, and industry-wide.

As always, I have some hard metrics to back each of these up, but here's the summary:

  • Blogging – My goal for 2008 was to average 20 items/month across all my various sites which would make a total of 240 posts.  This year my posts have shown up on Blue Parabola (2), Zend's DevZone (1), PHP Advent 2008 (1), WhyGoSolo (20), and of course here (106) for a total of 131 or 10.9/month.  Oops, strike one.
    • For 2009, I'm going to scale things back and go for a total of 180 posts (15/month).
  • Conferences – My goal for 2008 was to speak at three conferences and attend another three with one being a more strategy/direction conference.  The results:
    • In terms of formal conferences, I spoke at DCPHP, PHPWorks in Atlanta, Talkers (for broadcast radio hosts) in NYC and then attended ZendCon.
    • On the Unconference side, I cleaned up.  I cheated on the strategy/direction one when I helped organize the first SocialDevCamp in Baltimore where I also spoke.  Then I helped organize (but was unable to attend) BarCampDC (led by the great Justin Thorp) and the ZendCon Uncon (under the wing of community master Cal Evans), and PHPAppalachia (where I acted like I was helping Elizabeth Naramore) .  I also attended PodCampDC.
    • I consider this one a success… with the acknowledgement that unconferences are a bit different than conferences.
    • For 2009, I'm taking a different angle… My goal is to speak at two conferences this year while attending at least another 4.  Further, my goal is to give at least 6 professional-quality presentations to technical/business groups. 
  • Publishing – I've never had an article published in a magazine.  Luckily, in the past couple years, I've made many friends and acquantences that have knowledge and understanding in this area.  I hope to learn from them and try something new:
    • For 2009, my goal is to have two formal articles published in professional magazines or journals.
  • Revenue – Overall, revenue was flat for the year.  Oddly enough, the economic downturn has not affected CaseySoftware – or more importantly, Blue Parabola – in any appreciable way.  The failure to meet numbers for the year was due to my involvement in WhyGoSolo.  It was an investment that didn't pan out… more on that later.  😉
    • This year, estimations in general were much better focused and consistently came within a tolerable margin of error (5-10%).
    • I kept a few collections people busy.  In addition to Dan [withheld] and Ed [withheld] from last year, I added Phillipa, Robert, and Brian which effectively doubled the amount out to collections.
    • Furthermore, I took a harder line with customers.  Most invoices go out Net-15 or Net-30.  For those who didn't pay in a timely manner, I turned off their services.  This was not out of malice or ill intent, just a simple matter of protecting my own interests in accordance with the means detailed in our contracts.
    • For 2009, unfortunately, I'm not in a position – legally or otherwise – to share Blue Parabola's projections.  For CaseySoftware, I plan to continue working with existing customers and convert the others to Blue Parabola as needed.
  • Customer Retention – Unfortunately, due to a change in how CRM-type aspects are handled, I don't have a solid % of how many CaseySoftware customers did a second (or third!) project with us this year.  From my notes, it appears that it's above 80%.
    • For 2009, my goal is to completely rebuild and improve how CRM-type aspects (follows, tracking, informaiton updating, etc) are handled from top to bottom.  More on that one later too…  😉
  • Community Contributions – This is a new area for me, but I thought this was the best way to capture them:
    • In 2009, my goal is to have the Web2project v1.0 release.  Furthermore, my goal is to clean up the core of the code and make a real API available.
    • Updated 02 Jan:In 2009, my goal is to continue the monthly meetings of the DCPHP Beverage subgroup, launch a new easily-updated DCPHP website, convince the leadership to formalize the roles/responsibilities and then fill them, and grow the mailing list from 250 (now) to 400+.
    • In 2009, my goal is to continue contributing to the Open Source Community, not by releasing a new project or something that pushes technical boundaries, but instead by focusing on something that moves our processes and practices forward to improve effectiveness, efficiency, etc.  Obviously this one needs some clarification and specifics…

On the personal front, I succeeded in one of my goals and just barely missed another.  Thanks for tolerating the navel-gazing each and every year.

The 2007 End of Year Summary is here.