I’ve decided to implement printable reports across my webapps. The first step was finding a good way to generate pdf files from Python and then integrating that with Django. I chose reportlab because it is pretty slick and integrates with Django for pdf views.
On Ubuntu this was extremely simple. I activated my virtualenv and:
pip install reportlab
Unfortunately this didn’t work for me on OS X 10.5. I received an error:
ld: in /Developer/SDKs/MacOSX10.4u.sdk/usr/local/lib/libstdc++.6.dylib, file is not of required architecture for architecture ppc
I couldn’t find anyone else on Google with this specific problem but a few people with related issues turned me on to the solution. First, you don’t really want to build the ppc architecture stuff. Second, you should try to compile with the libstdc++.X.dylib that you have in /usr/lib. You can do all of this by downloading reportlab and running:
tar xzvf reportlab-tar.tar.gz
ARCHFLAGS='-arch i386' LDFLAGS="-L. -L/usr/lib/" python setup.py install
Joy! Now that I’ve got things installed I can knock out these printable reports easily.
I’ve been down on Whitetail Census lately as it has been a real struggle to generate traffic and interest. I’m opening myself to alternative ideas for products, but I plan to be extremely careful about vetting market interest and verifying the ability to connect with the market online. I do plan to continue with Whitetail Census and Whitetail Scout as I have been. I even have plans for a new angle on the whole enterprise.
I’m thinking to provide a service that includes the features in Whitetail Scout and Whitetail Census combined with a small twist. The survey features would be de-emphasized and instead I will provide a way to organize trail camera photos where they are automatically tagged and organized for you. I had planned to add uploading photos of harvested deer as a Scout feature in the future. These two features should dovetail together nicely.
I removed myself from pursuing the big QDMA conference this year for several reasons. Most of all, I don’t feel that the traction and interest I’ve generated in the product warrants that kind of expense. If the interest level picks up I can change course and plan to attend future conferences and exhibit at some of them. I think Whitetail Census is harder to understand than I previously anticipated. I need to improve my understanding of what to communicate to people to convey the value or understand what adjustments need to be made for a better Unique Value Proposition.
I decided to attend MicroConf in Las Vegas as a way to network and improve my skills in building Whitetail Software. I think it’s a great opportunity to learn, meet new people, and up my own motivation. The ups and downs of trying to build products from nothing are well documented elsewhere, but the reality of it is much harder to deal with when you live it out. I sometimes find myself giving obvious advice to the TechZing guys when they discuss where their projects are. Implementing many of those same ideas is much more difficult when you have your own emotion, blood, sweat, and tears tied up in it. I find that reconnecting with other entrepreneurs in person, audio, video, or text can really help get the motivation to persevere back up.