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Manual Scaling (42floors.com)
45 points by jaf12duke on April 23, 2013 | hide | past | favorite | 3 comments

We have a product for TV stations that helps them take social media (instagram, fb, twitter text and images) and show it as a part of their broadcasts. One of the most difficult parts is getting the custom design from the station into our system, because there's a huge learning hurdle if the station designer has to learn our software. So rather than build software that will a) be shitty at first, and b) create new roadblocks, we instead chose a different route which is described here: Manual scaling.

They send us a PSD, since they'd already use photoshop to create the look. We then manually convert it into our system.

It sucks because it's definitely going to become a weak point of scaling out our system, but till we hit that weak point, we keep going. We've slowly started to build out the design system just to make our lives simpler, and we imagine outsourcing this task to other people outside our company, which means hopefully once we expose it to users, the interface will be simple enough.

Just wanted to add our perspective of this. I think a lot of people don't realize what you can do by hand. The only reason why I thought of doing this is because of Aardvark.


I happened to have been working for Justin.TV and was lucky enough to record that. Otherwise, I bet I'd have been going down the "build it all first!" route.

All the other videos: http://lanyrd.com/coverage/?domain=justin.tv&page=2&...

The obvious thing that is being missed is that manual 'scaling' would most probably result in higher quality data. I would consider this critical for data sensitive businesses.

One of my clients I do some consultation work for from time to time actually prefer the manual process. It allows them finer grained control to better manage the quality of data/advertisements because the majority of what they do involves graphic art. They have effectively turned manual scaling into a competitive advantage.

I sincerely doubt they will always prefer this route - but at the moment it seems like the best approach (until all their clients are computer savvy and solely work with artists and not try to make a flyer or the like themselves with Microsoft Paint).

A great point not mentioned here is that if you've hit the ceiling where manual scaling no longer works...that's a good thing! That probably means you have enough resources due to successful hustling to devote to making things more efficient.

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