Day 40

Back on the horse, as they say. I’ve missed a few days, but I’m back. I’m still at that 80% on those apps I mentioned, weird how time passes and you don’t seem to get much done. But, I have had some movement. I’ve picked up a few more potential clients, nothing solid yet, but I’ve got a couple more bids out there.

I had an idea for a simple app about two weeks ago, and I’ve been spending all my time on that. I really like this idea and I’m about a day or two out of submitting it to the app store. I’ll explain what it is again in a few days, once it’s submitted. It’s simple, but I think it could have some potential, we will see.

I worked out a deal with a design firm, we are going to trade code for art. I have a project to do a fruit ninja clone that teaches kids how to do multiplication. It needs some quality art and so I knew that I would need help on it. I have been doing some contract work for a firm that does websites, print advertising, etc. They are wanting to get into doing apps and so they have hired me to write some code for them on a couple projects. Just simple stuff so far, but I approached them for a trade deal where they’ll do the art for my games and I can continue to do the code for their projects. So, that’s in progress, once I get some art back from them, we’ll be able to take a look at releasing that game.

I went ahead and put together a project for an outsourcing gig on elance. I have had this idea for a twitter application that makes it easier to build and maintain lists for like a year and a half. It’s something that would require some serious work and I haven’t been willing to dedicate myself to it, because I’m just not sure if there’s a market for it. So, I put up this project and I got a couple of interested contractors contacting me. The thing was that as I thought more about it, I realized that the twitter API doesn’t have what I need to support the project. One thing I’d want is the ability to search bios on twitter, well there’s no api method for that. There used to be a 3rd party that was doing that, but they seem to have moved on and let it go. There were a couple of other things I would have needed that weren’t available or it would have been very inefficient to get to the information (it would have required hundreds of api calls to supply information for a single query.) So, I canceled the elance bidding, that is on hold for the time being. If anyone out there has any ideas about how to search twitter bios efficiently, let me know. I would love a good way to deal with lists on twitter. The way it is now, it’s just too much work to maintain a list. Flipboard users would love it.

I’m debating on what to do next with my outsourcing. I don’t have another idea that I feel like I can just hand over and have someone else complete it. All my current ideas are going to require some experimentation and interaction during the design process. My thinking is that with an outsourcing company, you want to be able to hand over as complete and detailed a design as possible.

I think that it might work to outsource pieces. I have used a lot of open source controls from in my apps. (If you are a cocoa coder you should know about this site.) It’s really great to be able to just drop in a feature without having to write the whole thing yourself. So, I have a couple of ideas for pieces of an app. I have an elance request up now for a treeview control, like what does (just one of the visualizations) that I want for a couple of things, (a geneaology app, a text visualization app, etc). I am excited to see if I can get some things that would take me a couple weeks to figure out, but that someone else with experience in that area might be able to knock out in a couple of days. I’ll report my progress on that.

I am excited about a new idea this week (I’m excited about new ideas about every week, it’s probably one thing that keeps me from getting things done). I started using some of the tools at There are some great text visualization tools there. I am thinking about an app that would let you download a book from project gutenberg and then put it through some of the visualizations, similar to what they have there. I’m not sure it would be super useful, but I think an app like that would be really fun and interesting to play with. I’ll have to put that one on the back burner for a couple weeks while I get what I’m currently working on finished.

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