I am pleased to report that the DemoCamp in San Diego on Wednesday, March 28th was a big success. Everything went well. The audience was really interested and asked lots of good questions. I interacted with lots of friendly tech people, including a member of the Firefox team. What was really great was that my Dad and his wife and my sister Tracy and her two boys were there, so it was particularly gratifying to do well with family watching.
On the downside there was no follow-up res ponces from the demo. It may be that we need to work harder to provide handouts and also to take names and contact information at these events. On the other hand at this point I am really looking for self motivated people to partner with to help develop this technology into a commercial product, so perhaps if they can not motivate themselves to contact me after the event, than perhaps they are not the right person for the job anyway.
In any case my philosophy is to keep talking and work on building the momentum and over time we will attract the kind of talent we need to be successful. I do think that like compound interest that at some point we will reach a tipping point and that momentum will become self feeding.
2. Future Demos
DemoCamp Portland (http://barcamp.org/DemoCampPortland1)
I am pleased to report that our new developer Alan is working out very well. I have met with him several times to get him up to speed. We are taking the opportunity to perform code cleanups and to port the server side (in addition to the client side) over to MS Windows. In addition to his significant programming ability Alan also has an interest in entrepreneurialism and business, so I think he is going to be a tremendous asset to the success of NewIO.
Our previous programmer Steve who did so much good work for the project has recently taken a full time programming position that pays benefits. I am happy for him and his wife, as they really need this, but I am sad to report that as much as he likes the project, he does not have the energy to both work his job and work on the project. I
offered him the opportunity to continue in a reduced role, but he declined. On the other hand he just contributed a fabulous new demo today, so who knows? Maybe he will not be able to resist us.
Alan recently talked to a potential NewIO customer. The customer mentioned that they believed Microsoft was working diligently on a secret competitive technology, so we eagerly await any announcement to see if this is correct, and to evaluate the possible competition.
There are a couple interesting aspects of this possibility. For one thing, Microsoft receives huge amounts of money for selling software for each computer. NewIO is a direct challenge to that business model. For Microsoft to risk stabbing its own cash cow would be a very gutsy move on their part. On the other hand they are not stupid. Perhaps they can see the writing on the wall?
The other thing is that even if they come up with a direct competitor to NewIO they usually only support their own operating system. So the door still might be open for NewIO since our strategy is to support all computers in a vendor neutral way which might be a decisive advantage.
However until we have specific information all of the above is mere speculation. However I am very aware that we probably have a limited window of opportunity to be successful.
After I submitted my in depth outline the editor of the series expressed excitement about the book, however I did not hear from the publisher's rep. I wrote and she replied that I would hear from a reviewer and also a contact proposal would be forthcoming within a week. Alas, this was 2 weeks ago, and I have not heard anything. I wrote back again to her Friday, so hopefully I will hear from her again within a day or two.
There are three main focuses in software development at the moment:
1. Windows Server - We need this to help make the code clean and portable and also to allow Alan to be productive since his background is in Windows programming and all of the application programming is on the server. This should help make the project attractive to the huge mass of other Windows programmers out there.
2. Widgets - Steve was working on using native widgets in the client code. This was proving to be complicated and difficult. Our focus will probably turn to creating our own widgets by drawing them and reacting to events on the server (server side widgets).
3. Apple OSX client. We would like to cover all of the major consumer platforms. However currently we have no programming expertise for OSX. We have been careful to pick third party libraries that work with OSX to make this possible. We are keeping an eye out in particular for someone who maybe be a good fit to take care of this need. We may need to hire someone for this, or I may give it a shot myself when I have more time.
We raised about $11, 800 for the project all from close relatives of mine. Almost all of it was used to pay Steve for 4 months worth of work. I think we got a good deal. This money (and then some out of my own pocket) is now gone. Several have expressed interest in investing more money, but at this time we have no direct need for it and I want to accept as little money as possible and bootstrap as much as possible.
I am keeping a list in my head of who is interested in case the need arises in the future. Possible future uses would be business or marketing expenses, or perhaps to fund an OSX developer.
The next business step will be to incorporate at a Limited Liability Company (LLC). I have a lawyer in mind who will do this and other work for a flat fee of $1500. I am holding off at this time to resolve a personal matter with the IRS first to avoid complications. I expect to have this resolved within 3 months.
As usual if anyone has an questions or comments feel free to contact me.