Monday, 9 September 2013

Aldi's Expressi Coffee Machine and Flavours

After doing a bit of Googling it does seem that there is a lot of information about the Aldi Expressi Coffee machine but not that much about the flavour pods.

I thought I'd pop some of our initial comments here about what we have found after about a month's of usage.

Firstly about the machine... it's great in producing very consistent coffee. Coffee snobs may laugh at it but it produces consistently good coffee often much better than some of the cafes around.

We're very wussy in our coffee drinking habits and tend to like:
Instant = Nescafe Gold Blend or Moccona Vanilla
Ground Coffee = Illy Medium Roast or Gloria Jeans flavoured coffee (Vanilla or Hazelnut)
We have our coffees with milk so YMMV.  When I'm out I tend to go for a Soy Mocha...

So... the flavours we like the best are:
Perugia (strength 5) - smooth with no bitter aftertaste
Tauro (strength 5) - another smooth one
Milano (strength 10) -- very smooth and not as strong as the number seems to indicate.  Does have a sweetness to the taste.

Actually not really sure what the numbers mean as the 10 wasn't that different to the 5

Light Hot Chocolate has been used to make Mochas with the coffee pods we don't like as much...
The coffee pod flavours that fit into this category (don't like as much) are:
Florenzi Lungo (3)
Valleta (5)

I've bought one of the strong coffee sampler packs so we'll go through that to taste some of the stronger ones.  It'd be good if I can catch more of those sampler ones otherwise my cupboard will be filled with 'to be used' pods.  Hmmm.  Maybe I'll Oddswop them!

Friday, 30 August 2013

We're alive!

Social media and eDMs are all happening next week.  But I'm excited... as www.oddswop.com.au is alive!

Andre, Dave and myself celebrated today over lunch after a Product brainstorming session around our communities model.  There's more at the Oddstart blog as well.

Saturday, 13 July 2013

Founder Institute Reflections

As a final assignment we're meant to write a paragraph about our experience with Founder Institute.  A paragraph... that'd be hard as there is so much to say.  I could have just put something on LinkedIn or commented on a blog (hmmm I already did that!) or commented on a Quora thread but decided to put some of my reflections down before I forgot it all.

This was my second go at FI.  Last semester I pulled out after suffering the really tough first week but realised that due to personal circumstances wouldn't be able to continue that semester.  I still had a burning desire to get Oddswop up and running with as much help and knowledge I could so I reapplied after doing a snap poll with James (FoodOrbit) and Neil (Slidefish) who both graduated from the Spring 2012 class.

The first week I was smart and had some idea of what was to come so left quickly from the pub that first night so I could prepare.  It was amazing so many of us made it through the first week.  I actually expected a few more drop outs!

From there it was head down working a full time job and working on Oddswop and doing FI.  It was very tough but through it all I learned to pitch and be a lot less nervous in front of people.  Learned not to rote learn the pitch.  Learned how to use some tools better.  And just had a great time meeting and talking to the mentors, contacts and my fellow students.  I also learned that no one loved marketplaces.  Oh and Adeo is really tough.  If there is one piece of advice I would give... it's to NOT do office hours with Adeo in the morning before the Mentor review!  He's tough not in a mean sort of way.  But it really made me think about not even turning up on the night of the Mentor review... But I had prepared my pitch and i thought I'd go down fighting.  And down I almost went!  Although I presented the pitch well it was all about the Idea that night... and since no one likes a marketplace... I got 2s across the board :(  I did get good scores for the presentation but it still meant I got a 'special' assignment.  (My advice to anyone is to avoid special assignments at all cost!)

I spent the weekend getting responses to a 15 question survey by begging facebook friends, linkedin contacts, email contacts and paid for survey respondents via google adwords, buying traffic to aytm, buying atym responses, mechanical turk and other means.  It was tough.  By the end of the weekend I got the numbers I needed (1000) but it was touch and go for a while there.

After that things got a bit easier although there was still the next Mentor Review night which was again an elimination round.  But it was around progress.  And one thing that I had been doing was progressing Oddswop.

I had a stint as President where I had to (I thought) facilitate our twice weekly meetings -- and got a shlacking when we didn't get our Legal documents done correctly (since when did I have to check all of that as President?  Anyway... we got through that although I still lost a team member from that...)

Overall it was a great experience.  I met lots of people who I wouldn't normally get access to (and now I feel I can just pick up the phone or drop someone an email), got some fantastic advice which has helped Oddswop get to where it is, have a network of grads whom I can turn to for help and managed to learn along the way!

Early on my husband asked me why I needed to do this and my friends asked me about the futility of some of the tasks.  I now look upon the experience fondly like the Karate Kid had to when he was told to wipe on and wipe off.  Some of the tasks seem trivial and some of the tasks seem pointless.  But at the end of it there is value in all that we went through and did.  I still call the program Survivor for Wantrepreneurs but at least this Wantrepreneur is now an almost to be launched Entrepreneur!

Graduated from Founder Institute (Sydney Autumn 2013)

I graduated on Tuesday night with 7 other graduates from Founder Institute.

A number of mentors were there at the Blue Chilli offices including our directors Ben and Tom and
Peter Cooper
Garry Visontay
Daniel Ringrose (aka Simon Baker)
Adam Benson
Sebastien Eckersley-Maslin
Ari Klinger

We also had the great interns Richard and Luke there jotting down all our pledges.

Yikes my memory isn't that good and now I can't remember who else was there that evening.  It was also nice to see some of the grads from the previous semester there (Neil and Jeremy and I think Jake was there too).

But a huge congratulations to all my fellow graduates:
Alex with Insydr
Dave with SuperPick
Javier with Acento
Paul with Wine Badger
Sarah with Powerd8
Tom with Agile Weather
Vincent with CarProfilez
Yvonne (me!) with Oddswop


Ah a photo of the grads, directors, interns and mentors (phew I didn't forget anyone)

Sunday, 19 May 2013

Re Starting up

I've been busy and head down with a lot of things recently and it's hard to keep a track of it all.  The biggest thing is that I've started down the path again in starting up a start up.
It's been a fascinating process and I had a bit of a false start last year when I joined Founder Institute (fi.co) and then dropped out for a number of reasons but essentially it was the wrong time.  I've joined again and in it's 3rd season in Sydney I'm hoping to stick to the end.  I've likened it to Survivor for Wantraprenuers to friends.  This semester we're now down to 12 which is a 50% drop off rate since the beginning.  Something like that anyway!  I'm not counting as I've been too busy with the assignments, building the actual business and still working.
The new start up is a marketplace... much to the dismay of many of the mentors who make up the foundation of Founder Institute.  And worse it's a marketplace trying to take on the likes of Gumtree, eBay and craiglist amongst the lesser known classifieds sites which spot the globe.
I've managed to convince Andre from 73Robots to help me build Oddswop and he's been an absolute gun.  (Seriously if you want someone who knows what they are doing, helps you think through a problem and solution and is easy to deal with you can't really go wrong with contacting them.)
So what's been happening with Oddswop?  There has been a fair amount of activity including:

  • Appointed 73Robots January 2013
  • Changed name to Oddswop (was Schtoof)
  • Registered oddswop.com 
  • Registered Twitter oddswop
  • Started Founder Institute again March 2013
  • Organised for an explainer video to be created
  • Setup a sign up page via LaunchRock
  • Bought oddswap.com after getting some advice from Garry Visiontay [I haven't repointed the site yet... adding to to do list now!]
  • Surveyed over 1000 people for an assignment for Founder Institute about selling online
  • incorporated 1 May 2013 (Oddswop Pty Ltd)
  • Registered oddswop.com.au
  • Setup bank account and Paypal account
And there is still a heap to come considering I want to launch the MVP in July!