How Tom makes coffee

  1. One part coffee
  2. Five parts sugar. Don’t spare on the sugars.
  3. Chuck in a tea bag.
  4. Add the hot water.
  5. Splash in milk, but not too much. Too much milk ruins it.
  6. Hide some popcorn in there too.
  7. Deliver to James’s desk, as a present. No refunds.
  8. Leg it.

No.

No this isn’t coffee. This tasted evil.

~ James

We’re still here..

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We just realized it has been a long time since we updated the blog! - We’ve all been too busy building awesome i guess. 

I’m sure all 5 of the people that will read this will be screaming at their monitors wondering what’s been going on so here’s a little update.

We’ll start with MyDeals, last time we updated the blog we were getting a modest 40,000 visitors a month to the site, I’m pleased to be able to say that we’ve now increased that number to around 250,000 visitors a month - yay for growth! 

We’ve also been working hard on making the site better, we’ve made massive speed improvements and the search on the site has had a huge revamp too - And yup, we’re still just getting started (I’m pretty sure we’re going to always be just getting started). 

In the next 4 - 6 weeks we’ll be launching some really cool community features that will help all of our users work together to get the best deals, this is something we’re super excited about and we hope everyone else loves it too - oh, and at the same time this goes live we’ll be launching MyDeals in 7 new countries!

You may have also noticed us pop up on techcrunch and a few other tech related sites which was fun. We can’t give too much away on what the big new project is but it’s awesome - It’s really going to help people turn their users into real revenue. 

Everyone at Mindwork Labs is also delighted to be able to welcome everyone from PCL to the company, we’ve been working with the guys there since we launched the company and it was great to strike a deal with them to bring them into the company.

Anyway, there is a quick update - We’ll get round to updating this more often eventually. 

Why we love our CTO

So, recently we’ve been having a few speed issues on our deals website MyDeals.com. We left it to Mike our CTO to figure out why. Here are the emails we got over that night - excuse any strong language - he can be excused for being so awesome at his job.

If your curious about the timings etc, we’ll get Mike to do a blog post on how it all works at some point.

So without any further delay, i give you Mr Mike Smith.

Read More

Mindwork Labs Secures Investment

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London Startup Secures £500,000 investment

New Website Will Offer Targeted, Relevant Discounts Worldwide

Mindwork Labs has landed a £500,000 investment from leading UK entrepreneur Mark Pearson to develop a global deals website and marketing platform. The company has also acquired the domain MyDeals.com for an undisclosed amount from Marchex inc.

Pearson, who made a name for himself with a portfolio of deal websites in the UK, Europe and the U.S., has invested in the company to seed its newest project. 

The partnership will reunite Pearson with Tom Packer - Founder and CEO of Mindwork Labs; the two worked together for several years previously on MyVoucherCodes.co.uk, the UK’s number one website and mobile app for vouchers, deals, discounts and offers and will be hoping for similar success this time round with MyDeals.

The team working on MyDeals.com, which soft launched in June of 2012 in a very basic format, will build on this previous experience and take it one step further taking a more technical approach to providing the most relevant deals. 

Customers have become fatigued by inboxes full of irrelevant offers. MyDeals.com will give each member more control over the deals they see and the notifications they receive, while learning which offers are most desirable to them.

Additionally, the site will detect the member’s geographic location at the country level—with region and city detection to come—so the users can take advantage of offers as they travel without having to visit different websites.

The website will also maintain a highly transparent privacy policy, granting members complete control over what, if any, of their personal information is stored by the website.

Packer said, “We realised that too many websites treat everyone the same, but in reality everyone has different needs. We’re building MyDeals with that in mind - Hence the “My.” We ultimately want it to be a personal experience when you use our site. We’re excited, we know exactly what we need to do to reach that point and now with Marks backing I’m sure we can do that.”

Mindwork Labs are remaining tight lipped about their plans for the future but are insistent that the MyDeals website is just the very start and it will not just be another discount site joining the ranks of 1000’s that currently exist.

Mindwork Labs have now relocated to Pearson’s Tower Bridge office, as Pearson will be taking an active role in the day to day running of the company.

About Mindwork Labs

Mindwork Labs is a small team of dedicated people developing innovative websites and technology. Most of the projects they undertake involve an affiliate marketing element.

More information available at www.mindworklabs.com www.twitter.com/mindworklabs

About Mark Pearson

Pearson is the founder of Markco Media, a global web based marketing and advertising company. In 2011, Pearson received an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, was named one of Growing Business’s Young Guns and made an appearance on Secret Millionaire.

Contact Mindwork Labs

email : press@mindworklabs.com
twitter: http://www.twitter.com/mindworklabs
telephone:  (+44) 0203005341

Progressing Nicely.

So what’s been happening in the Mindwork Labs office lately?

Well, Monday 28th May was a big day for us as we removed our holding page from www.mydeals.com and went ‘live’. It’s only for the search engines though, so don’t expect to see anything pretty, we’re still finalising the design!

When we first removed the covers and unveiled the site, there were some pretty obvious things wrong with the site, largely the search not being so useful, but also other things such as the UK visitors seeing the US site and Google not liking our Sitemap structure.

What was wrong with our search?

At Mindwork Labs, we always want to use the best technology available, sometimes this is proven technology, sometimes it’s stuff others haven’t even tried before. For our vouchers and deals site, MyDeals - we use SOLR.

SOLR, by default doesn’t allow wildcard searching - this means that when searching for ‘Tesc’, you may expect offers for ‘Tesco’ to show up. Well, this wasn’t happening for us, so we had to change it to use the ‘edismax’ defType. This is configured in the solrconfig.xml with this line, ‘<str name=”defType”>edismax</str>’. There are many other options to configure what fields you wish to search by, and how to rank - but in essence that’s all we had to change. In addition to some tweaks and cosmetic changes, our search is now much better than it was on launch day.

Why were UK visitors seeing the US site?

We actually knew this would happen, but it’s simply down to the fact that our offer site is targetted at the US audience by default; so if you did not have a current session or any cookies intact, then we showed the US site. All we did to rectify this was to create a simple Location API, which we pass an IP address to. This API returns the country code and city (where possible), and from this we can set the session so that the user sees the relevant country. For more information of obtaining this data you can visit MaxMind, as they are the ones which provide this data for us.

What about Google? Why didn’t they like your sitemap?

In Google Webmaster Tools, we have multiple sites; mydeals.com/uk, mydeals.com/us, mydeals.com/ca, etc. This meant Googlebot was trying to access a sitemap location in the subdirectories (the countries). A simple mod_rewrite rule in Apache sorted that one.

We’re constantly encountering exciting challenges and problems and we’re having a great time solving them. Where possible we will try to blog about them, just so you know what we’re up to. If you want more information on a topic, please comment below and we will try and expand further.

If you’re interested in joining the Mindwork Labs team, check out our Careers page or send us your CV to careers@mindworklabs.com

p.s I said we’re just finalising the design, well here it is:

Sneak Preview

The Mindwork Labs Team!

Tumblr working!

We’ve done a lot more than just setup Tumblr; we’ve been very very busy! Follow us to find out more about what we’ve setup and any problems we’ve encountered.

More to follow!