My side projects tended to cycle pretty quickly, as I would pick up a new framework, language, game engine, breathing technique, try it for a few weeks, and flit on to the next thing. I had a full-time job doing .NET web stuff, so that wasn’t a big deal. :)
I did write a novel planning app back in the day, called (cleverly) NovelPlanner. It’s a Windows desktop app, .NET 2.0. I’d love to someday add a bunch of features and make it awesome and useful, maybe rewrite for Adobe AIR. I want to add a novel writing part that integrates awesomely with the planning piece, and all sorts of other cool things. Right now, though, is what it is — index card replacement, basically.
Anyway, wrote and released, and starting selling copies! Not many copies, true, but I still sell a couple a month. Learned a lot about software development, and going from nothing to website + selling was a huge learning experience.
Main lesson: Writing it is the easy part. ;)
In 2008 I started playing with Ruby on Rails, and started writing Coupley, a private, life-tracking/journaling web app for couples. I worked on that for over a year in bits and pieces of spare time, ruthlessly focusing on functionality over flash to get it done. Finished v1, learned a lot about subscription handling, RoR, deployment, and tons of other stuff. Launched at the end of December 2009.
I’ve done some initial marketing, and I think Coupley has potential, as it expands and grows more couple-focused features. Right now I’m still competing against blogging software, and I’d rather move from journal-focus to life-tracking focus, and make it easy and useful for planning trips and stuff like that.
I’m about to ‘pre-launch’ Photographerblue, a site that makes it reallyreally easy for people to find wedding and portrait photographers. Think Sortfolio, just for photographers.
It’s in RoR, again, and I’m way better at it this time :). I’m going to use Spreedly, which (so far, using test account) I’ve loved the ease and simplicity of, and PayPal Payments Pro.
I’ve been working on this full time for about 3 weeks now. A post is coming soon detailing how I went start to finish in < 30 days. :)
I think the site's got a lot of potential, and I've got lots of different markets in mind where I think I can apply the basic concepts. I want to launch the basic photographer signup part, then once I have X-hundred photographers, launch the consumer facing side and start marketing.
So as you can see, I have 3 products out there; NovelPlanner and Coupley aren’t being actively marketed at this point; I want to focus on Photoblue, since it’s got, I think, the most immediate revenue potential, and that’s very important to me right now ;).
As a one-developer company, I think focus is warranted in this case; I’d love to, and I plan to, build both NovelPlanner and Coupley into prettier, faster, easier, better things than they are, but I don’t have time to do that and work on Photoblue.
Wish me luck! I need Photoblue to succeed, and have basically 4 months to make it happen.