HFE Drive Post Mortem

This post is WAY overdue, and I’d like to personally apologize for that. I’m going to talk about that later in the Lessons Learned, but first let’s give an overview of the fundraiser! We had a pretty full stream schedule, and I’d like to thank the streamers who volunteered their time to this cause! Check out these fine people on Twitch!

The streaming theme was writing, of course. Lots of games with strong storywriting and world building, plus some more literal interpretations of the theme as well!

All in all, the fundraiser gathered up some fantastic donated PC parts, and a total of $388.77 was raised over the weekend. $250 of that went toward HFE’s PC build, and the remainder was used to pay other volunteers who put in time behind the scenes to make it happen. On that topic, I’d like to give a special shout out to DigiDragon (Twitter: @DigiDragon7) who created an animation for our donation alert. Thank you so much!

After the fundraiser, there were several delays in getting the final build out to HFE. Some were avoidable, some not, but the PC did eventually arrive, and HFE is now successfully streaming using it!

Lessons Learned

New fundraiser, new lessons. This was a smaller target, and we still exceeded it. But ultimately, this fundraiser was plagued by three big problems that we should take care to correct in the future.

Lesson 1: Trust, but Verify

We struck technical issues on one of the donated parts, and a supply issue on another. We are of course very happy and grateful for the donated parts, but we should have taken the extra step to verify the exact part being sent in one case, and for the other we should have taken care to verify when the part would have been available. These two items together ended up delaying the final delivery of the PC by about a month. These weren’t issues caused by donators by any stretch of the imagination, who are wonderful people and incredibly generous. These were shortfalls by me, I should have taken the extra steps before accepting the donations to make sure I was aware of what I was getting into.

Lesson 2: Budget For The Worst Case

At the end of the fundraiser, I ended up having to dip into my own pocket to cover a replacement part. In the future, fundraisers with specific item goals like this should target raising more than what’s needed to complete the project so that mistakes like this can still be absorbed without landing on individuals after the fact. We only budgeted $250 for the PC, which was what was needed to build it the rest of the way… really, we should have budgeted $350-450 so we could have absorbed mistakes. If it isn’t needed, you can always pay your volunteers more. Aim higher.

Lesson 3: Every Part of the Chain Needs Redundancy

The reason this writeup is so late coming is because I personally hit several personal potholes in life. This post mortem isn’t the right place to talk about my problems, so I won’t, but the lesson here is that I had no replacement available for myself. When I was no longer able to work on this project or on wrapping it up, it simply sat in Limbo. This is a problem I need to face and fix, and I need to find someone that can help carry these projects with me. I’m not sure who yet, but it’s something I’ll be looking into over the coming months, to find someone who can cooperatively run these efforts with me.

Final Thoughts

It’s late, it’s overdue, but it arrived. Finishing the project late is always better than failing to finish at all. Please give HFE some love! Check out faer writing, streams, and twitter!



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