Today I’m happy to announce that we have a new design of Ambrósio up and running!
It’s hard to imagine that the project started over 6 months ago, that apart from the original newsletter there is a website, that there are over 150 people actively reading and that the visual aesthetic as of today does not suck! This is a small side project and It’s encouraging to see that the short amount of time we put each week into is compounding and we are somehow heading towards having the thing that we hoped for at the start of the project.
Apart from that I’d like to highlight that today is a great time to be a maker of things. Today is inexpensive to write content on your blog that smoothly reaches thousands of people, today you can sell your music or products online without needing to have an intermediary/label/retailer/middleman, today you can directly talk to your fan base through social networks and today you can use software that leverages your creativity to create things faster/better/cheaper. As time passes, the only barrier that is standing between a finished product and an idea is just us.
It was this new wave of possibilities that allowed us to start Ambrósio without having to write a single line of code. Mailchimp allowed us to, in an instant, start publishing content weekly to a group of interested people. Though for us it was important to spend time developing our website (which took quite some effort), it can even be argued that we could have achieved a lot by simply putting together accounts on Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest and reviews on Foursquare, Zomato and Yelp and focusing solely on producing content. Basically, nowadays there are all sorts of tools that allow creators to prototype ideas and to focus on the important aspects of their products while abstracting the cumbersome ones (billing, distribution, software development, etc), and this is simply amazing.
Asides from that I was (and still am) scared by the fact that this “space” is so crowded. I mean everybody is running blogs / newsletters/ Facebook pages to recommend places to eat, and it is really hard to bring something relevant and interesting to the table. Often I wonder if there is any point in spending time for a side project in this field, specially keeping in mind that there are also behemoths in this space like Yelp, Foursquare and Zomato. I don’t have a clear answer, but I believe that our motivation lies more on the fact that we have an opinion of how the ideal product should be like, we did not see anything that relied in the same beliefs and we just decided to try to build it and see where that would lead us. It honestly feels quite empowering to have this opportunity, to turn a world view, an opinion, a way to look at the world, and to use your skills to turn it into reality – as said previously, exciting times.
Looking forward, apart from the frequent small tweaks and improvements, we hope to add search to the site so that users can have the ability to query the site to get suggestions of places to eat without having to scroll through multiple pages of content. It should not be super complex but we just want to make sure that search is done in a way which is suitable to the use case (“getting a fast suggestion of a place to eat suitable to a certain occasion”) instead of a simple search box.
Hope you like the new design!