Results from my first annual Slack bot drive for ScriptEd

Last year, I posted an offer to write a Slack bot for any company willing to donate $5000 to ScriptEd, a non-profit I volunteer for. I’m very proud to announce that Kleiner Perkins took up the offer and we just shipped the bot last week.

Here are a couple learnings from the journey:

  1. I’m a four year classroom volunteer for ScriptEd and while I love teaching, I wanted to find another way to contribute. I wanted to test whether I could turn my time and talent into a material donation to them. I also wanted to test whether a company would be more incentivized to participate in such a project knowing that their money would be going to a good cause. I think I successfully validated both of these points.

  2. The initial offer was unclear to many. It made it to the front page of HackerNews which revealed some confusion about the scope and complexity of the Slack bot being offered. I think I could tighten this up next time around.

  3. Kleiner needed a Slack bot but it wasn’t high priority. In fact, it wasn’t on their critical path which was both good and bad. Good because this kind of offer needs time to be internally discussed and vetted. Bad because the entire process took awhile to get going.

  4. Total level of effort: ~12 hours of planning & designing, ~32 hours of devleopment, and ~16 hours of QA, bug fixing, etc = ~60 hours of labor.

This was very much an experiment and I’m glad it concluded successfully. Am I going to do it again? Absolutely. Stay tuned for an announcement in the fall.

Written on April 23, 2018