Friday Updates: Account Deletion Notifications, Removable Branding, Prophet, Exhalation, Synchronic, and Burpees

Photo by Aniket Bhattacharya

What I’m working on at Preceden

Account deletion notifications

As part of this ongoing data retention project, I’ve reached the stage where I’m handling inactive users who do have a meaningful amount of content in Preceden and therefore need to be notified and given some time so they can log back in and prevent their account from being deleted.

Here’s what the first notification looks like, this one sent 60 days prior to deletion:

This email was inspired by a similar email that Basecamp sends to inactive users:

Basecamp considers inactive to be 1 year and give users 30 days notice to log in before the account is “cancelled” and then an additional 30 before it’s deleted.

For Preceden, I’m considering inactive to be 2 years and giving them 60 days notice before their account is deleted (with an additional reminder 7 days out). I suspect the reason why Basecamp does the cancelation and then the deletion later is a way give users once last chance to return, since they notify them the account has been canceled (but not yet deleted). Preceden doesn’t have a way to soft delete users and their content like this, so for this v1 I went with the simpler route of just saying their account will be deleted at the end of the window. Might iterate on this though, possibly even going down to 1 year like Basecamp.

Removable Branding

Tom in my mastermind group threw out an interesting idea: what if I added Preceden branding to exported timelines on the Free and Student plans, but hid it on the Personal and Professional plans as a way of encouraging more people to upgrade to the higher priced plans. I thought it was a great idea and so knocked that out yesterday.

Here’s what the revised plans look like:

On the Free and Student plans, when users go to export your timeline they will see a notice about the branding:

And their content will include a “Created with Preceden” branding section:

This branding is automatically removed if they upgrade to the Personal or Professional plans.

There are plenty of people who use Preceden for work who only need one historical timeline, so the Student plan has been fine for them functionality wise in the past. Hopefully this branding will nudge some of them over to the Personal plan in the future, driving additional revenue.

What I’m working on at Help Scout

Shipped a project to use Facebook’s Prophet to improve the accuracy of our monthly metrics projections. I’ll likely write up a separate post about this detailing how it works in case anyone else wants to try it in their organization.

Also got some attention on Twitter thanks to a post on some GPT-3 experimentation I did at Help Scout a few months back (hat-tip Mat Patto for the fantastic writeup):

What I’m reading

Exhalation, a collection of short stores by Ted Chiang, who wrote the book that Arrival is based on. My favorite story so far is the first one titled The Merchant and the Alchemist’s Gate, a trippy story about time travel.

What I’m watching

And speaking of time travel…

What I’m exercising to

For a few fee weeks I’ve been rowing 5km four-five nights/week (which almost has me through Better Call Saul). I realized though I needed to incorporate more into my exercise routine than rowing, so have been alternating between 15 minutes of yoga (with Adrienne!) and a short HIIT workout before rowing.

For the HIIT workout, I’ve been just trying to make it through this burpee workout:

It’s 100 jumping jacks followed by 100 burpees, with the burpees being 30 seconds on then 30 seconds rest spread over 10 minutes. I can barely make it through this, with the last set taking almost the full minute and my movements barely being resembling burpees at that point. If you’re looking for a short intense workout, give it a shot.

Adios 👋

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