Where we’re going…

We’re officially in live beta, and no longer just testing with our staff. Exciting times, and we’re really looking forward to hearing back from you all. At this point, we’re working hard to get the application for Endeavor Entrepreneur candidates installed world-wide, and squash a couple bugs that have wandered in. If you’d like to test - please contact me via twitter, or just go to the site and chat away (I’m on the other end of that line!)

A couple things learned over the last couple weeks:

  • Because there is sensitive information on our site, we need to be extra clear to communicate exactly what information will be shared within Endeavor. (Thankfully we outsource our information security to Salesforce and Amazon, so we don’t have too much to worry about.) We’ll be updating our site in the coming weeks to have more information on those fronts.
  • People like intro videos. When asking what Endeavor Access is for, most people frame their question as “Do you guys have some sort of intro video or something I could watch?” As much as I would like to have a site that stands on its own, this may make sense. Sidenote: with the death of text by way of emijo, and photo, are we on a path to convert back into a visual-character based language a la Chinese? In any case, who am I to blow against the wind; look for a video before too long.

Can’t wait to share more with you all in the coming weeks and months. Here’s to hoping we can continue to grow at 40% per month!

… we’re planning to overhaul our site and roll out some exciting functionality. As we’re still in staff beta, it may take a little while for these changes to be rolled out, but we’re excited about them nonetheless, and would love to share.

Keep in mind, these are mockups - some complete, some not, not screenshots, so the final version will differ somewhat from this.

More to come later this week!

Our new entrepreneur layout:

Our new search page:

We are doing it for Endeavor Access. Because it is just a child. Maybe a baby. But when he grow, he will care us like we cared him.

We’re getting close to a beta launch. Exciting times.

We’re getting close to a beta launch. Exciting times.

… make light work.

Among the stories to tell about Endeavor Access over the last month, the most exciting, and in my opinion, the most promising is the birth of a budding community to support the project. Just over three weeks ago, Alvarenga put our codebase on github so we could work with a volunteer, David an experienced programmer from Seattle. David has since restructured and added to our code, improving our navbar while separating files to support access for additional volunteers. Beyond grateful, I was inspired by him to see if we can turn this project from a platform built by Endeavor staff to one built and supported by the larger Endeavor community. It will no doubt take both time and commitment, but it appears we have, at the very least, proof of concept. Over the last two weeks, we’ve started to add volunteers to our community, and will hope to feature their work here in the coming weeks.

In sum, thank you David, I hope you are a harbinger of what is to come as Endeavor Access grows. If you, reader, would like to get involved, please email me: peter (dot) olivier (at) endeavor.org, I look forward to hearing from you. We’re looking for help on all ends (front - angular.js - and back - PHP) so don’t hesitate.

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launch coming soon

We’re closing in our beta launch, which means a couple things worthy of note are nearing completion:

Privacy:

  • We want people to feel comfortable. Entrepreneurs and mentors will be able to edit what information other network members can see about them.

  • We respect the privacy of the business that work with us. Metrics information will be default private, to prevent the undue sharing of important information.

Visibility:

  • Appropriate access is key. Finding out the right information about a company or individual before you meet them can save time and enrich conversation. We’re establishing a system so information can be shared with the people closest with you at the user’s discretion.

Sync:

  • We want network members to add information to their profiles: their areas of expertise, industry and geographic knowledge, etc. In order to manage this information, we are currently coding a syncing system that will allow staff to intermediate and approve incoming data. Should be done in the coming weeks.

Launch:

  • Once we have privacy, visibility, and sync systems operational we’ll be ready to launch our beta. It should be soon, but we’ll say “May” to be safe. Thanks to the beta testers who have signed up, we’re looking forward to hearing from you.

"It sometimes is hard, but possible and rewarding when done."

- Milton Alvarenga

When we last left you, we were set to kick off our attempts to write directly to salesforce from Endeavor Access. After extraordinary feats of programming by Alvarenga, I’m delighted to say that we can now write directly to Salesforce using their API and a little magic. So where are we in the process now?

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Step 1: Read from Salesforce and write to our front end

Check.

This turned out to be harder than we had anticipated, but it works well now. Exciting stuff, but just the tip of the iceberg.


Step 2: Write from our front end to Salesforce

Check.

While we’ve been able to make this work for a little while now, only over the last few days have we been able to make it write in practice - directly from our user interface, not via code. Knowing we can write directly to Salesforce is represents a huge step for Endeavor Access. It enables nearly everything that we want to do; from relevant metrics from candidates and mentors to collecting applications from potential Endeavor Entrepreneurs. 

However, allowing the user to edit our database directly is dangerous - what if they were do delete valuable information by mistake? Without a copy of our information, it would be complicated to track and repair deleted information. As platform moderators, we should be able to intermediate - decide which information gets written to Salesforce, and which doesn’t. 

In sum, we have to build a database. Additionally, we have to have a way for staff to filter changes made by users. Have a look at a mock up of the control panel below. It’s not built yet, but we’ll be started on it soon.

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Steps 3 and 4: Write to and read from our server 

Check.

In order to write to our database, we have to first write to our server. We’ve been able to do that for the last couple weeks. So - we can save information to your cache, information will save as long as you don’t sign out. When you sign off, we lose all that data. 

Steps 5 and 6: Write from our server to our database and read from our database

Three-Quarters Check.

In order to sign into our system using LinkedIn, or give access to someone, Alvarenga wrote up a database to save this information. So, in one sense yes - we can write from our front end, through are server, and to our database. However, we haven’t yet closed the loop to write from our database to Salesforce, so we’re still writing direct from the front-end to Salesforce for the time being. 

In sum, we know how to do this, but we would need to code out a bit more before we can use it confidently.

Steps 7 and 8: Write from our database to Salesforce and from Salesforce to our database.

No Check.

We’re not here yet. We’re working on visibility settings, and then this - so it should be coming soon!

Exciting times ahead - when we close the loop and begin to write through our database, we’ll launch beta. We’ll reach out when that happens!

Two quick shout outs:

Thanks to Alvarenga who is battling on his own, and making admirable progress.

Still looking for design interns - more information here

More to come soon!

We started our second sprint on January 2nd.

In roughly two weeks - until the 18th - we planned to create a login system, LinkedIn OAuth sign on, emailing systems (to recover passwords and set up key-based logins), database to hold login information, and a test write to Salesforce.

Coming up on the deadline, it looks like we’ll be batting around 70% - which is about right. In review (with clipped shots from the site, misspellings and all):

Login and Emailing system: They’re not pretty - but they work!

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OAuth and Database: It’s up! We’re now able to pull from LinkedIn and write to a database. We’ll be using this same database to write to Salesforce as soon as we’re able.

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Development Environment and Test Environment:

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We’re looking for more help! In hopes of bringing on a few volunteers to help out with the site, we’ve created a development environment so we can share and test code without disrupting the production environment. If you’d like to volunteer, click here for the description.

Over the next two days, we’ll be finished up the above work, pushing the updates to production, and hoping to establish a way to connect user profiles in salesforce, with users in our database.

Next sprint: Write to Salesforce, and proper visibility settings.

"If you wanna a better day, make it!"

- Milton Alvarenga