So, this question hit Quora recently: Is anyone blogging their early stage experiences creating a niche webapp/product? Of course Fogbeam Labs are blogging our experiences, but - to be honest - we've all been so busy lately that there hasn't been much time for blogging. We've been too "heads down" grinding away.
But, we know our adoring fans want more (you fans always do!) and we aim to please. So, here's some juicy stuff from the past week or so:
Phil (that's me) spent some time chatting with the VP of Sales from a former employer of his, soliciting advice on sales, marketing and general "stuff". It was an enlightening conversation, but the biggest takeaway was probably the urgency to drop the "screwpile" name for the Open Source product suite. Honestly, we all knew it was a bad name (and I take credit for it), but had put off changing it because A. this stuff had been renamed once already, and we didn't want to seem too flakey, and B. we didn't really have a good replacement in mind. So we'd just been drifting along, keeping that on the mental backburner. But the conversation with Matt really emphasized the point, and we're now working on a new name.
Sarah and Phil met at Beyu Cafe in Durham last week (that's one of our favorite hacking spots, drop by and say hi sometime if you see us there) and made some good progress on Quoddy - our Open Source Social Network for the Enterprise (aka "Facebook for the Enterprise, but better").
Sarah is driving some major UI improvements through, and Phil is working on our "User Stream Filtering" feature which will give the user more fine-grained control over what appears in their feed.
Unfortunately, Phil is now distracted by working on an initiative related to the upcoming CED Tech Venture Conference and hasn't had much time to code this week. And tonight he started working on the NC IDEA grant application.
Robert, meanwhile, has been hacking on a bug related to sending JMS messages, and on getting the codebase moved over to Grails2.
So, dear Reader, as we end this post, Phil is sitting in bed in beautiful Chicago, IL (doing some consulting there by day to pay the bills), writing a blog post, and the others are back in NC, holding down the fort there. Phil will be lucky to get 6 or 7 hours of sleep tonight, but there's no rest for the wicked (or startup founders).
Next time, we'll talk about more fun stuff, like the secret initiative for the CED event (it won't be secret by then), marketing plan(s), more about the projects themselves, and whatever else we can think of. Stay tuned, you do *not* want to miss this stuff. As we keep doing this, and find our voice a little, it'll get even more real, personal, gritty and, well, downright addictive.