Bye Twitter

"Twitter, you're dead to me."
“Twitter, you’re dead to me.”

I have another post in draft that I’m working on, but I needed to get this out of the way pronto.

I was with twitter for quite sometime, but realized that they’re not really here for me. They’re here to make money off of selling my data to advertisers. That’s cool. That’s their biz and I can’t blame them for trying to make a buck. I run my own business, I know how that goes.

However, I don’t like it nor the way they treat 3rd party developers. Therefore, I signed up for App.Net, which is an alternative to twitter that you pay for. The purpose of paying is so App.net knows who its serving: you – the user, not them – the advertisers. I like the idea, so I paid for it awhile back while it was prelaunching. Thing is, I never gave up the twitter.

Shame on me.

Continue reading “Bye Twitter”

3 Things I Live For

Sidenote: Faith and family come before the three things below. That should go without saying, but figured I should say it regardless. You can read up the details on faith and family in this post over on my spiritual blog, if you’re into that sorta thing.

My biz card with a quote I wrote
My biz card with a quote I wrote

Our Time Is Short, So Have Fun

I’m not sure what got me thinking on this tangent. It could’ve been my daily analysis of life. It could’ve been me contemplating what to do professionally. Regardless, for some reason, I started to boil down what makes me happy as a person.

For those of you that have met me in person, and hopefully for those of you that just met me via this blog, it’s probably obvious that I’m a simple person with simple pleasures. While I often cloud my life with drama, stress and desires for false happiness (via some new gadget), there’s basically just 3 things that make me happy:

  1. Sharing a good meal
  2. Getting lost in the written word
  3. Learning to solve a new problem

Continue reading “3 Things I Live For”

Montage: A Proven HTML5 Framework for App Development

Today, I’ll explain why Montage is great for app development. I’ll also touch briefly on Ninja, the HTML5 Authoring tool, and Screening, the automated testing tool. It’s the existence of these two tools that allow me to throw up the word “Proven” in this post’s title. (Also, if you haven’t yet, don’t forget to read yesterday’s post about why Montage is a great solution for Flex developers looking to join the HTML5 world.)

A year ago, I was given a preview by the Motorola Mobility team behind all this great stuff. During that meeting, many things struck my core:

  1. Caliber of the dev team working at Motorola Mobility
  2. Thought process that went into the framework design
  3. Amount of effort/support put into the project
  4. Supporting tools to aid the app developer
  5. Experience from building those tools in Montage

As you’ll see, it was the combination of all these things that softened my hardened heart against the HTML5 technology I was wary of. I was completely surprised at that meeting. I expected something different and thought I’d walk away thinking Motorola didn’t get it. Instead, my experience was quite the opposite. Continue reading “Montage: A Proven HTML5 Framework for App Development”

Montage: What Flex Developers Need in a HTML5 Solution

Montage Logo
HTML5 Framework by Motorola Mobility

Just like Flex, only HTML5

Montage is a HTML5 application framework released by Motorola-Mobility. It is released under the BSD license and the source is available on github. I first encountered Montage almost a year ago, but was sworn to secrecy at that time. Now, recall, this was before Adobe announced the end of Flex. Once Adobe announced they were giving up on Flex, I wanted to shout from the rooftops about Montage. I even asked the Montage team for permission to hint at something to help calm the Flex Dev masses, but was asked not to, so I didn’t. Well, Montage was finally released publicly today, so now it’s time to share my thoughts and impressions. Continue reading “Montage: What Flex Developers Need in a HTML5 Solution”

Conference Time

I don’t get to travel to many conferences much these days. When I was helping run 360Conferences, we were always going to them because we were running them. 🙂 However, I find myself traveling less nowadays. April will be the exception though, I’ll be going to 3 conferences that I’m sure will be great!

First off, there is DevConnect, a conference dedicated to the future of the web: video and mobile. This one day show will take place on April 2 in NYC. I’m slowly becoming a pure mobile convert. Other than programming and blogging, everything I do on a computer I do on my iPhone. My iPhone is not only my primary internet connection, but it’s also my primary camera (for stills and videos). All of this points me to the fact that mobile is the future and desktop will be for the few heavy lifting tasks we rarely do. I’ll even go out on a limb and say someday, I’ll probably blog and program on my mobile device even.

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Helping Change the System

I’ve spent a longtime thinking about this post. Is it perfect? No. Is this the way I live my life? Not fully…yet. Is it something I’m gearing towards? A bit more each day. Is it something I hope happens? For the sake of my kids and grandkids, yes.

Much like a legal document, let’s define something at the start to ensure we’re on the same page. When I use the word System (note the capital “S”) in this article, I’m referring to mass media and big business. I’ll leave the topics of Wall Street and our government for some other (far distant) day.

The only way to bring down the System is by depriving it of life. Yes, this could be achieved by violent actions, but I’m not a violent kind of guy. Instead, I’m thinking of something that will bring about the same effect, but will use positivity and humanity to starve the system of the money it needs to survive. Because more than anything, the System craves one thing and one thing alone: money.

And who is going to bring about this change? Why you and I, of course. For if not us, then who?

Continue reading “Helping Change the System”

Features vs Products, Sell vs Grow, Corporations vs Startups

Let’s Talk Business

I talk about business with a lot of people. The concepts behind a business: the whys, the hows, the wheres and the whats. One thing that has always boggled my mind is exit strategies. Some companies are clearly built to be flipped (i.e. sold early on), while others are intended to be around for a long time.

In an interview with Dropbox CEO, it was brought to light that Steve Jobs wanted to buy the online storage company. Steve told them, “You don’t have a product, you have a feature.” Clearly, the team at Dropbox disagrees, but that got me thinking.

Build to Sell or Build to Grow?

Up until fairly recently, I didn’t understand people who built to flip. Yet, at 360Conferences, I really did want a bigger media company to buy us. I wasn’t building a company to flip, I just thought that while we were good at doing conferences, we’d be better applying our mentality inside a bigger media company with the resources to fund wild ideas we dreamt up. John was definitely more of the “I want to do 360 for life,” which is why I sold out my half to him.
Continue reading “Features vs Products, Sell vs Grow, Corporations vs Startups”

Solitude via Friends

Sometimes you read something that resounds within you so deeply, that you want to leap to your feet and utter loudly, “Yes, exactly!” It doesn’t happen to me very often, but it did today. I was reading “Solitude and Leadership” by William Deresiewicz. Here’s the part that roused my soul:

So solitude can mean introspection, it can mean the concentration of focused work, and it can mean sustained reading. All of these help you to know yourself better. But there’s one more thing I’m going to include as a form of solitude, and it will seem counterintuitive: friendship. Of course friendship is the opposite of solitude; it means being with other people. But I’m talking about one kind of friendship in particular, the deep friendship of intimate conversation. Long, uninterrupted talk with one other person. Not Skyping with three people and texting with two others at the same time while you hang out in a friend’s room listening to music and studying. That’s what Emerson meant when he said that “the soul environs itself with friends, that it may enter into a grander self-acquaintance or solitude.”

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Don’t Be Another Mobile Game Company

[This post is one I wrote on the Area 161 blog. I normally don’t cross post, but this one really resonates deep within me, so I’m sharing it here as well.]

What We Are

As we’re trying to get our first game out the door, I came to a realization. It was something that Smiley already knew and understood. I sorta understood it also, but semantically I was just a little bit off base. You see, this is how I saw ourselves:

An iOS game company pushing the boundaries of device interaction.

Which is cool and fine sounding. It pretty much explains what we’re thinking about the company – right now. It also covers what the company will be doing for the next few years. Then it hit me though, that really doesn’t explain us quite right. I thought about it and really, this is what we are:

A game company that leverages new ways of device interaction, which currently designs exclusively for iOS.

Note the subtle difference. They both say the same thing, but the latter is more closer to reality.
Continue reading “Don’t Be Another Mobile Game Company”

You Can’t Plan a Business, You Can Only Show Up

To date, I’ve had about a handful of entrepreneurial activities. Looking back, I realized something: You can’t plan a business.  I know that sounds pretty counter-intuitive, but I’ll be honest, the more I think about it, the more it makes sense. At least for me.

Don't get stuck on Planning and never hit Implementing
Don't get stuck on Planning and never hit Implementation

Don’t believe me? Alright, well, let’s take a walk down memory lane and let’s survey the land to see what happened.  NOTE: I’ve had way more ideas than this, but these are the ones that I put more than a few days or weeks into.

Idea #1 – Restaurant Paging/Seating Software

I wrote a fat business plan. I did market analysis. I had a team in place and a product being built. Then I had a personal incident happen that left a bad taste in my mouth on the idea. Regardless though, I spent a few years on the idea and nothing happened. I had a great plan, but never had a product, not even a beta product. I almost became the software arm of one of my would-be competitors, though that fell through at the last-minute because they didn’t understand software.

Takeaway: You can have a great product idea, business plan and market analysis yet still not go to market with a product. In which case, what was the point of all the planning?

Continue reading “You Can’t Plan a Business, You Can Only Show Up”