Step 3: Charge a couple of bucks per month for it and lose money for the first year but that's okay as long as we break even we will make money eventually right? I mean that's what investors want us to do right?
fyi they don't need to power cycle your machine to remove it from the data center (if there is physical access); there's a battery backup that clips onto the power prongs while it's still 3/4 in the socket.
This article looks fairly accurate (for what I understand of the SF market) Things are a fair bit cheaper/easier in Portland. I do actually own a food truck in Portland (as well as a software company).
We made a profit on about three different days last year. The other 300 were not profitable :( It would have helped a lot if we had family members working for chips and hugs; paying staff is a huge cost particularly if you want quality gourmet-style food and hard-working employees (we have mostly 5-star yelp reviews)
Before our pod landlord decided to shut down abruptly, combined with our chef/my girlfriend getting diagnosed with brain tumors, it was costing about $3k/month (net loss) however that's the awful wet northwest winters driving people away from outdoor pods. Once the warmer weather starts back up again and we find a new pod, we should be in the black, but the business model I'm working on involves a lot of carts with a central kitchen, in clusters in a few cities. If anyone wants to chat about investing, let me know :)
We got started for about $20k total including the 'truck' which is actually a trailer that is stationary.
but the business model I'm working on involves a lot of carts with a central kitchen, in clusters in a few cities.
As someone who knows an awful lot about the food truck industry in multiple cities across the US, please, please do not proceed with this idea. Food trucks are not an economy of scale. They are boutique mom & pop businesses.
I am sorry to hear about the troubles with your truck, but I am sure that you can optimize operations to become profitable on most days.
I commented on the article to explain that Portland is pretty different due to the differences between 'trucks' and 'carts.' Obviously a cheaper trailer without high fuel costs makes getting started a little easier, and I suspect our permits are a bit cheaper as well. All that equals more carts out there competing for business.
The interesting thing that I've heard about here in Portland is that at the bigger pods, landlord tenant contracts include agreements not to allow potential competitors to lease, include restrictions on style of food, i.e. landlord not allowed to lease to a second Thai cart on the same lot.
The food in the article and your food seem quite involved and niche (Thai, vegan, Nordic). Does a cart like Potato Champion do better because the food is easier to produce and everybody likes French fries?
Even Potato Champion serves some niche foods though, with Poutine and their fancy ketchups/aiolis. I think you're probably right, though, in that Potato Champion seems to have hit the sweet spot between niche/broad appeal in their market.
I don't know much about the business, but it seems like all the food trucks in my area in Colorado are niche foods. Occasionally there are events when food trucks show up at local parks, and there is a wide variety. There is usually several types of ethnic food, a truck or two with food sourced from a local organic farm, and a truck from a local brewery. It seems like food trucks appeal to the type of person who shops at Whole Foods or Trader Joes. In fact I think I remember seeing a truck serving food from peru or brazil, when Mexican food would be less niche. Because Colorado has a bunch of immigrants from Central America and has a number of Mexican restaurants.
Man, contests like this seem like a bad idea for everyone involved. Solicit bids, take 2 million dollars and get a prototype/demonstration of capability from your top 4-8 options. Review the submitted work and communication each contractor provided, select the one that you feel the most comfortable with and just pay them to make the damn thing.
* The replacement product will, as a part of the overall VistA EHR, deliver privacy, security, data integrity, patient accessibility, interoperability and other services required by federal law, regulations and VA policy. Many of these services are delivered by other components of VistA.
* VA intends to replace the current MSP with a scheduling product which is a standards-based, modular, extensible and scalable, certified as compliant and fully interoperable with the production version of VistA now held by the Open Source Electronic Health Record Agent (OSEHRA), http://www.osehra.org/.
So the app won't have to replace everything...and it may get away with interfacing with some of the more easily interoperable aspects of the system. The main goal behind the contest is "To encourage development of systems that help Veterans schedule appointments to receive care from the Veterans Health Administration and to reduce risks in the future procurement and deployment of those systems"...which is vague enough to include a range of ancillary software services. And I doubt the federal contractors who likely receive much bigger amounts to maintain legacy systems would want the VA to install a system that makes them obsolete.
And on a more subjective note, large sums of money have been awarded to other government ChallengePost winner that were essentially proofs of concept and are barely functional today, if ever heavily used.
Elasticsearch is great and magical, but there are a bunch of defaults that you MUST set for it to be useful. I'm surprised github wasn't using these, actually (like allocating the min and max memory to be the same size).
Generally it takes a catastrophic failure under load for you to discover that 'everyone' (everyone else) uses these!
This is old news, but we successfully use https://github.com/freels/table_migrator in production not on heroku. It creates a copy of the table, performs the schema changes, copies the data over, then renames the tables for almost (i.e. 1-2 seconds) no downtime.
Interesting. As you have probably guessed by now, I'm not a Rails developer and therefore did not know this. I was surprised to read about this after your comment and find that Active Record went the lowest common denominator route with this and therefore gave up any native foreign key integrity support.
There is nothing to stop you using foreign key constraints with rails, the activerecord migration api includes methods to create them for the major db adapters and there are plugins to automate the process to some extent. It's not the Rails Way™ because it sacrifices some database-agnosticity, and therefore almost noone does it. People achieve the same behaviour with application-level validations in the model.
I'd wager that a lot of the big professional rails deployments are doing FK constraints though.