Category: Fun Stuff

Harvest Playback, April 7th Edition

This was an unusual week. On Wednesday we had a film crew over at Harvest HQ all morning. We were filmed for a video customer story for Voxel, the awesome hosting company Harvest depends on. Work went on as usual, except that we had cameras following us as if we’re in a reality TV show.

Our product team made great progress this week: an important system security update will be deployed this upcoming Wednesday, the Backbone.js project I mentioned last week is going strong (hope to have a beta release this month), and we’re about to begin an exciting integration, which you’ll be hearing soon.

A week’s worth of random findings, from our Co-op stream:

Friday was an important day for Jonathan Lane, who checks into Harvest each day from Mayne Island, BC, Canada (if you plan to visit, he asks that you first watch this video). Jon was a happy Harvest customer, and joined our support team one year ago. These days he leads up the Fireteam and diagnose potential bugs reported by our customers. We’re lucky to have the amazing Jon on our team!

There you have it. Hope your coming week is smooth, interesting and productive. See you soon.

A Product Company Plays Agency

A couple of days ago I read this article about the newly designed #taxioftomorrow that will start appearing on New York streets in 2013. There were a lot of interesting tidbits in the article, among them, the yellow color is going to be brighter, the floor mats will be made from recycled materials, and the sound of the honk is changing. But what really struck me was the story of how Nissan, an automotive manufacturing company nearing its 80th year of operations had to learn how to behave like an agency.

For the Nissan designers every decision needed to be vetted internally and then approved by the client. Some decisions that Nissan thought would be easy approvals became lengthy discussions. One such decision was the partition between driver and rider. Wanting to embrace technology, the Nissan team pitched the idea of an intercom system. David Yassky, NYC Taxi Commissioner, didn’t approve. In addition to worrying about sound quality, Yassky shared a widely held belief by Drivers – connecting with riders generally earns them a better tip.

In my previous life at a large corporation I was always on the client side of agency interactions. Giving creative feedback was never easy, I didn’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. However, as a brand manager I knew my job was as an advocate for the customer and the company. If my feedback was focused on customer insights, it was generally well received and aided in the creative process. The story about the divider reminded me of this. It’s a great example of a client and an agency working well together. Yassky didn’t tell Nissan that he didn’t like the closed divider, he told them about his customers’ needs. In this case the drivers’ need to make human contact.

For an old product company and a bunch of city politicians, this article portrays a relatively smooth process. I can’t wait to ride in the result!

Harvest Playback, March 30th Edition

We know. We’ve been a little sparse on the blog lately. Aside from taking a needed break last week to hack, we have been busy improving Harvest. Our product folks are split into three teams: one working on a big feature that is ready for an internal alpha next week, one pushing through a couple of big system updates (the recent Ruby upgrade and an upcoming security patch), and one team dedicated to squashing bugs and improving minor interactions in Harvest. We believe in continuously improving the application – so you, the customers, can have a smoother and better experience.

One little tidbit to share about the big project we’re working on: it’s using CoffeeScript and Backbone.js, both created by our fellow NYCers. It’s going to be cool, we promise.

Now, a roundup of the curious and interesting from Co-op:

There you have it. We had another fun, interesting and rewarding week. Looking forward to the next! Talk to you soon.

Harvest Playback, March 24th Edition (Hack Week)!

This past week was our first Harvest Hack Week of 2012. Our team took three days off from the normal project schedule to hack on side projects and experiment with new technology. On Friday, we had a one-and-a-half hour presentation on the projects: two mobile web apps using Backbone.js, one Rdio integration, a Chrome extension, an embeddable JS tool, and an experiment with our system logs and stats. We also had a few people who took the opportunity to learn programming on Code Academy.

We’re super excited about the Hack Week projects! In the coming weeks, some of these will be released to the public, some will be in open source form, and some will become “core” projects (as in, made into the Harvest application). We will share some of the lessons learned on Tech Time, our recently released engineering blog.

In between the hacking and fixing small bugs from the recent big Ruby upgrade (for a faster, more stable and secured Harvest), we bantered on Co-op:

There you have it. We’ve had an exhilarating and productive week at Harvest! See you next week.

Harvest Playback, March 16th Edition

March Madness is upon us and we made a special Rdio playlist to go with it!

This week, a bunch of Harvesters travelled back from SXSW, and we have a few more cool comic strips to share with you (by our designer, Kim Ku). Barry, T.J. and Warwick have been working hard to prepare for the big Ruby upgrade this Saturday. Oh, and Harvest for Mac is now the number 1 top free app (in the Business category) in the Apple App Store, and received a 9/10 review on AppStorm!

A roundup of Co-op musings from the past week:

There you have it. Another productive and crazy week at Harvest. Have a great weekend and see you next week!

Harvest Playback, March 9th Edition (Deep in the Heart of Texas)

A bunch of Harvesters left for SXSW this Thursday. Our very own Kim has promised to keep us updated with some comics (more to come). If you happen to be in Austin, TX – come meet the Harvest Team!

This past week, we launched the vastly improved projects section for the newly designed user profile and upgraded Co-op and the Harvest Forum to Ruby 1.9.3 (Harvest, coming next week).

Gleaned from Co-op from the past five days:

That wraps up another productive and fun week at Harvest. See you next week!

Will We See You At SXSW?

A bunch of us will be heading down to Austin again this year for SXSW, and we’d love to see you! RSVP to Meet The Team for coffee on Sunday, March 11 – we can’t wait to catch you!

FYI: Meet the Harvest Team is listed on Sched.org, if you’re using them to organize all of your RSVPs to official and unofficial events at SXSW.

Harvest Playback, March 2nd Edition

Another week has come and gone here at Harvest. You thought time tracking couldn’t get any easier? On Tuesday, we took things to a whole new level by kicking off our Harvest Everywhere endeavors with the launch of Harvest for Mac. In addition, we’re also excited about two new integrations: ScrumDo and ZenCash.

Twitter was abuzz this week with a lot of excitement about Harvest for Mac. Here are just a few of the notably excited customers:

@awelfle – @harvest Especially with the new Mac App — I’ve been super accurate with being able to use hotkeys!

@peaker – The new @harvest desktop time tracker for Mac is super handy. Forgetting to stop the timer is so yesterday.

@chrismackintosh – Man I love the new Harvest timer on Mac: getharvest.com/mac *LOVE

@jensimmons – I’m loving the new @harvest app for the Mac. No more keeping a tab in my browser for timers. Toolbar reminds me I’m billing. It is faster.

@sahadeva Finally time tracking software that I will actually use: getharvest.com/mac (nav bar widget is awesome).

Otherwise, things went normally. We designed, we developed. And of course, we shared some valuable things with each other through Co-op and elsewhere:

Until next time!

Harvest Playback, February 24th Edition

Just like that and we’re two months into 2012 (which I’m still referring to as the new year — is it time to stop that?). This past week, we released the new password section in user profiles, and we’re just about done with a brand new, interactive projects section. It’s a little behind schedule; here’s a great analogy on Quora that might help explain why that might be (we should mention that we’ve made it past Santa Barbara and we’re just a few miles away from LA proper – but you know, the traffic can be bad on Route 1). We’re also getting ready to release two exciting projects, both are done on our end, and just waiting for some feedback from others. One is the new and amazing Harvest widget for Zendesk. The other project looks something like this:

Harvest for Mac

As usual, a round up of things Harvesters shared on Co-op and elsewhere:

That wraps up another productive and fun week at Harvest. Enjoy the weekend!

Harvest Playback, February 17 edition

Welcome to our weekly peek behind the curtain with Harvest Playback!

This week found the team a little under the weather, with Harvesters both local and remote falling victim to seasonal maladies of one sort or another. In hopes of making everyone feel a little better (sick or not) I made some cookies that went over pretty well. After being accused of “just trying to fatten everyone up,” I decided to take the healthier route and brought in some home-made kale chips on Wedensday. Don’t forget, folks. Eat more kale.

We spent the week gearing up to roll out the next phase of our new user profile page – coming next week! Additionally, Joschka made his first deploy as a Harvester. Check out the work he did on our updated Careers page (and see if you can find the secret link!).

Now for the fun stuff:

  • This week’s Harvest Rdio Playlist is focused on the family.
  • Linked from our #workbetter series on Twitter, we spent a little time thinking about manifestos of all sorts…
  • We’re stunned and amazed by the rise of Jeremy Lin as Linsanity takes over New York City.
  • Samara brought us more cuteness than we could stand.
  • Television we enjoy is often the subject of lunchtime conversation here at HQ, and in addition to the current obsession with Downton Abbey, we’ve started watching (and loving!) Sherlock. And we can hardly wait for the return of Mad Men on March 25…
  • Quick support note: Harvest will be closed this upcoming Monday, February 20 for Washington’s Birthday/Family Day. We’ll be back in action Tuesday after spending a little time honoring GW or just spending it with our families. See you next week!
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