Tonight’s post highlight’s some big differences with using local software compared to online, and my transition from providing downloadable options to 100% online.
Anyone running an online bet or trade platform will have different challenges compared to users downloading and operating the software on their own computer.
As an example, if you're using local software running on your PC, then setting up a VPS (virtual private server) is an extra but essential cost in my opinion, especially if planning to leave your downloaded betting software running unattended.
Imagine if your daily profit depended on the software placing a bet and your home computer crashed, or suddenly decided to go to sleep mode not placing the bet and leaving you with a minus.
If you’re running big numbers through the exchange this would be a difficult pill to swallow, and you’ve got no come back at all with the software provider, or with Betfair.
Even running a small stakes betting system for testing purposes, should the software stop you’re going to be annoyed and potentially out of pocket.
Reliability with software, and how it runs when it comes to betting or any type of financial investment is the number one cause of extreme frustration using these tools.
You would be none too impressed obviously should it go tits up and you lose money, so a VPS means your virtual PC will stay running even if your house got hit by a meteorite while you were in the local coffee shop, at work, running a lap, whatever you get up to away from the computer.
Another thing you must consider when running software on your computer, is having to manually update the program. Each download of the software can leave some users on older versions, and as such create havoc with an automated betting process.
This for me was the downfall of the locally ran software we created, the nail in the coffin, because it had to place bets in a certain order and strict criteria for members running these strategies.
Just a quick history back track, automated systems at Exponential Bet began running using downloaded software. They were early access development systems set up to run automated locally on members computers all around the world.
This meant if a bug fix for the software was rolled out it had to be applied across the board to ensure everyone was brought up to speed, relying on users to read the update emails, follow instructions, and be fully up to date when just providing software was an impossible task.
Creating software for people use manually such as Hedger Pro with no betting system attached is tough enough, but when the software comes bundled with the automated betting systems that manage staking and run set and forget, it’s absolute hell on Earth to maintain.
As an example, if you're a user of the software and don't update the program to the latest version you can be left behind, and this can produce software weirdness when it comes to placing bets.
Given this is your hard-earned cash that can be stressful for both you and for me handling the avalanche of emails received.
I've spent a lot of time helping members get started, with the set-up installation and solving system update issues, and this is essential time I had to put in to provide important support.
I have to credit 90% of the members for being understanding, really quite amazing actually. They knew it was a new project and totally unique, but could have been complete arseholes.. The other 10% you are responsible for my beard looking more like father Xmas than when I first started.
It goes without saying that putting members support first is something I had to do, as I committed to the project. Whenever anybody needed any help running the betting software, either the developer (to his credit), or myself would be there solving the problem.
The issue was that given the way things would unravel as explained above with the continual flow of updates, as in we’d need everyone to be on the latest version when a bug fix was introduced, and trying to make sure all members where on this latest version, with all that entailed, ie consumed time, pissed off even the most patient members annoyed at ether having to do another update, which I could understand, or that a bet hadn’t been placed for them (sods law always a winning bet) as a result of missing the most recent update, created an ever spiralling list of jobs which needed out immediate attention. From dusk until dawn…
This is not the reason I got involved with automated betting, and it became a huge drain on resources, my health as I recollect having a detached retina and some other problems, and my frustration at the developer who was responsible for maintaining the software reached boiling point.
It was both of our faults in reality, as we should have realised the complications of producing automated betting software members run on their own computers, and at various locations around the world which added an extra dimension of stress, combined with varying degrees of technical ability we had to do our best to accommodate.
An online automated solution that’s logged into, managed at our end, and members just set stakes and leave to run as they do now with the JV MK2 Betting System and Remote Daily Betting services removes all this madness, and updates dealt with remotely by us, instructions for set up are easy to follow, and that is a truly hands off betting experience as it should be.
With software you download, install, go through the process of adjusting settings on your computer to run it in some case, adjust the resolution to fit you different sized monitor, maintain all the updates, keep your computer turned on running all day long if not using a VPS, so what if your electricity goes off hey ho send a five page email to me having a rant, but if you are using a VSP you have to learn about that as it's not easy, plus it’s an extra expense, and omfg the list goes on and on….
As much as we created it to be as simple as possible in our eyes, everyone has a different ability level with technical software related things. I mean when my Dad asks for help on his computer, calls me up and I’m, advising him over the phone, I can instruct him to open a folder on his desktop, and bless his heart he will ask me whether to right or left click the mouse.
I had to put the time in to help when needed with this project, that's not the point of what I'm writing here, as I know how things can be misconstrued and some of you may be thinking what a dick for moaning about time spent helping people, which is 100% not what I’m saying BTW... What I am saying is, it's a waste of time when things should have been a lot better, and they are now which proves the point.
My energy and resources were depleted dealing with a continual daily barrage of work that was not productive, or ultimately useful for anybody, other than teaching me how not to do it.
The reason I got into this having software take away the manual maintenance aspect, for members of the site and myself, was to have it set up so it could be left to run fully automated, unattended, set and forget.
That was the vision when I agreed to work with the developer who’d approached me in the first place, to create the systems using the software to be ran on auto.
At no stage did I sign up to be an over worked customer support agent, who’s daily role was to fight a losing battle, and be completely knackered every single day doing all the wrong things.
You may have read or heard the ‘Is the Jar Full’ analogy, and if you have you will be nodding your head at this moment possibly so feel free to skip ahead, but for those who haven’t let me explain.
A philosophy professor once stood up before his class with a large empty mayonnaise jar. He filled the jar to the top with large rocks and asked his students if the jar was full.
The students said that yes, the jar was indeed full.
He then added small pebbles to the jar and gave the jar a bit of a shake so the pebbles could disperse themselves among the larger rocks.
Then he asked again, “Is the jar full now?”
The students agreed that the jar was still full.
The professor then poured sand into the jar to fill up any remaining empty space. The students then agreed that the jar was completely full.
The professor went on to explain that the jar represents everything that is in one's life.
The rocks are equivalent to the most important projects and things you have going on, such as spending time with your family and maintaining proper health.
This means that if the pebbles and the sand were lost, the jar would still be full, and your life would still have meaning.
The pebbles represent the things in your life that matter, but that you could live without. The pebbles are certainly things that give your life meaning (such as your job, house, hobbies, and friendships), but they are not critical for you to have a meaningful life.
These things often come and go and are not permanent or essential to your overall well-being.
Finally, the sand represents the remaining filler things in your life, and material possessions.
This could be small things such as watching television, browsing through your favourite social media site, or running errands.
These things don't mean much to your life as a whole and are likely only done to waste time or get small tasks accomplished.
So, what's the big lesson with the rock, pebbles, and sand in a jar story?
The metaphor here is that if you start with putting sand into the jar, you will not have room for rocks or pebbles.
This holds true with the things you let into your life. If you spend all your time on the small and insignificant things, you will run out of room for the things that are important.
In order to have a more effective and efficient life, pay attention to the “rocks,” because they are critical to your long-term well-being.
While you can always find time to work or do chores, it is important to manage the things that really matter first.
The rocks are your priorities, while the other things in your life are represented by pebbles and sand.
In order to stay productive and efficient in your personal and professional life, it's best to have a maximum of five rocks in the jar at any given time.
These rocks may represent a project you want to accomplish, spending time with your loved ones, spending time with your faith, focusing on your education, or maybe mentoring other people. Your top five big rocks need to go into the jar first or else they will never get in at all.
Final Thoughts on the Jar Story…
If you are able to identify the important things in your life ahead of time and set aside the time you need to work on them, then in the long run it is okay to procrastinate a bit on the “pebbles” or the other projects that are not as important.
The jar is still full with five rocks in it, so that is where your focus should lie in order to continue to live a full, happy life without over-obligating yourself.
If you solve the big issues first by putting the rocks in the jar first, the small issues can still fall into place. However, the reverse is not true.
For me personally one of the rocks in my jar was providing an automated betting service that did what it was supposed to do for my members, this is an important thing in my life, it’s a serious goal and not just a job. It contributes to me feeling good about myself, and achieving a life target I’ve set.
This was before I was approached by the developer, as I was already figuring out how to do it with my own third party software, to right back to when I started using Betfair and the penny dropped this newfangled betting exchange could be one day be automated to run my strategies. A what if moment that stuck with me over the years.
The pebbles I could do without in my jar during this period of intense frustration, and they were the problems being caused by trying to achieve the impossible using downloadable software to achieve this goal. The pebbles were the hundreds of emails and issues causing the software to be need updating all the time.
They were important things that I had to deal with affecting members of the site, but work I didn’t need, and things that needed to be removed.
I quite literally had no time for the sand at this time, procrastination was not an option, or to devote time to the other important rocks in my jar being neglected, which led to increasing escalating frustration.
When we get like this it can become such a stress, the little things can flick our last nerve, and everything seems like it’s out of control. It’s not us, it’s the situation.
We all work differently that's a fact, and we each have specific needs and triggers that provide us with that moment of happiness.
It is without doubt the prime motivator for every single human to get up in the morning and do something with a purpose, if we feel happy with the result the seemingly impossible can be achieved.
With me I need to feel like things are moving forward, and I’m not chasing my tail going around in circles. If things are progressing in the right direction, and ideas are becoming a reality, then I'm 100% motivated. I have more energy, I'm fun to be around, and life makes sense.
For my own sanity I had to move on from the downloaded software and look at other options, for the members of the site, and to be completely fair for the health of the developer who was drowning in code.
The constant flow of software updates just to keep things running, and bugs that kept arising where ruining the point of doing it in the first place.
I can genuinely sympathise with the developer who had the best intentions, but he was at this time out of his depth, and if he’s honest with himself now he will know that it was holding back what we set out to achieve.
His methods were not effective for the purpose required, and something needed to happen in order to begin providing automated betting for my members.
This is the reason I moved away from creating my own systems to share with members running locally, away from having to turn on, install, leave running all day, and keep updated as explained.
I'd share files still to run on third party platforms, with a disclaimer attached, but that's it with my commitment to downloaded software running very specific betting or trading strategies fully automated.
The members who joined at that time running this, now can access the new cloud set up, and any lost time during the transition fully covered. If you have not been in touch to activate this and missed any emails inviting you, please do drop me a message.
I know I have about 90% of the original membership of the software now active on Cloud Bet Bot, but some I have been unable to contact, but I’m here whenever you’re ready to start using a superior automated betting experience.
That entire process of setting up and trying to run automated betting on a download, quite literally took up a gigantic slice of my life during 2019, and it was hassle I could have done without. With more of an insight in to the potential hazards we’d encounter along the way possibly things would have been easier, but ultimately the same issues would have occurred, and it was an important learning curve with a good example of starting now getting perfect later.
Moving to online automation instead of downloaded software became a possibility when I was introduced to Nigel Dove from Levelsoftware, and his cloud-based platform capable of remotely placing bets for service providers.
I wanted to cover more about this tonight, but I’ll leave it for my next post.
In my next blog in this series I’ll write about the transition to using the cloud service.
I want to share more about the struggles we’ve had along the way with this from the original concept, and how we got to where we are right now.
The point of this blog series is to give you an insider insight into automated and manual betting, from someone who uses both methods daily, and provides these services for members. I hope you're finding it as interesting as I am finding it free therapy getting it off my chest.
Thanks for reading, I’ll post again tomorrow with part four.