Kit#12 Dave Child
Where to find Dave online:
Dave, what do you do?
I’m the founder and developer of Readable.io, a suite of tools for analysing and improving your content.
What is your background?
Way, way back in 1994 or so, someone showed me a browser, and “View Source”. I was immediately hooked – the internet was going to change the World, and I wanted in.
From then onwards I spent my free time making little websites and experimenting with this awesome new technology.
Eventually, I found out that people were willing to give me money to do something I’d happily do for free, and so a career was conjured up from nowhere.
I’ve not stopped tinkering, and I’ve been lucky enough to work in almost every part of the life cycle of a web site – from planning, to design, to development, to marketing.
Along the way, I built some tools, and one of those was for analysing the readability of text. That turned out to be quite popular, and after an embarrassingly long time, I realised there was a market there. That was 2015, and since then Readable.io has been my main professional focus.
Your favorite tools to help you with your work?
It’s our primary support tool, and their blog is a font of useful founder knowledge
Just like everyone else, it seems, we use Slack for team communication. It makes that easy.
GSuite is awesome. We use Google docs and Google sheets for all of our company documentation, and the collaborative nature of those apps is astonishing. The rest of the suite is excellent too.
Suggestion Ox is great for getting anonymous cancellation feedback from customers.
We use Drip for our automated marketing workflows, from the first few points of contact after someone tries our software, all the way through to introducing them to key features they haven’t used after signing up.
We use Appear.in for video chats with each other, and for software demos with prospective customers. We are looking at using it for support as well.
Your favorite tools on a personal level?
OK, this is a little self-serving, since ApolloPad is my own project, but it’s also true. I built ApolloPad because nothing else did what I wanted at the time. I wanted an online novel-writing app which got out of my way, included contextual notes (or photos, or videos, etc), and that could produce good quality outputs in various formats. That didn’t exist, so I made it. And now, when I have the time, it’s where I work on the novel I expect will be roundly rejected by a great many publishers one day.
When I’m working, I want to listen to music, but ideally not with lyrics. I get too easily distracted, and I just want decent background music. SST is the answer – orchestral soundtrack music, request-led, rare repeats and a lovely community. It’s also a lot of fun when you realise your productivity jumped just because the Indiana Jones theme started playing.
RSS feeds aren’t dead. I promise. Feedly is great for keeping up with interesting sites and topics.
I’ve been listening to a lot more podcasts recently, usually while cooking or on the train. And player.fm has made that really easy, tracking what I’ve heard and queueing up the next interesting thing to listen to. While I have your attention, I recommend Lexicon Valley if you’re interested in anything to do with language.
I like playing chess, though I don’t seem to get much time for it at the moment. Chess.com is a great site though – lessons, puzzles and a huge army of opponents.
Your absolute favorite tool in one sentence?
It’s podcast subscription done right.