Tag Archives: EffectiveUI

Looking Forward, Looking Back

It’s been an interesting year. More so than normal years. It’s also the end of a decade, so I’ve got some thoughts on that too. Fair warning. This is a longy.

Decade first:

in 2000 I worked for a company that was basically an IT Staffing firm that decided to get into software. I worked internally on a web app that would (in their terms) revolutionize staffing. I bailed, they failed, it was 2000, that happened a lot to a lot of people and companies.

I spent most of the 2000′s as a programmer, first doing ColdFusion, then moving to Flex. It never occurred to me to try out M$ tools, or any other. I liked Macromedia (Now Adobe) offerings and stuck with them.

I was my own boss several times as an Indie contractor, and was a cube monkey several times. Each (except one) was a good experience, a ton of fun, and formed lasting personal and business friendships.

I bought my first house in Perris CA, and my second in Riverside CA. Both were awesome in their own ways, despite being an hour or more from where I worked.

Most importantly, I met my wife Nicole.

We met thru a mutual friend whom I used to work with years past, and she was currently working with (Props to Scott Dunn for the intr0)

We moved to Denver. We were supposed to move a few months after meeting. Before I proposed, even. She had an opportunity to come out to Denver, and I had no major ties to CA. That opportunity dried up, and re-emerged 6 months later, and here we are.

We bought a house in Highlands Ranch, before we realized what Highlands Ranch was. 2 years after that, we moved to downtown Denver.

I started a conference that was supposed to be a one off, just for kicks event. It’s grown to be 3 distinct events, a few one off events around the world here and there, and my full time job (more in 2009)

2009

I’ve gone full time, totally dependent on 360|Conferences for income, lost a business partner, brought Nicole into the business, learned how to use Quickbooks, stopped writing code, just to name the big ones.

Going full time with the conference business wasn’t part of the plan, not in 2009 anyway. I was at EffectiveUI as the Community Evangelist, sadly a position, not enough of the company was on board with. When i left, I decided, well if the conferences are going to support me ever, they might as well start now. Since taking the job at EUI, i had stopped writing code, well I wrote a little, building small apps for internal/sales use, but by and large, i had stopped being a full time developer.

So I jumped. Eyes wide open.

All in all it’s been what I expected, stressful, awesome, a struggle, the best decision (Next to marrying Nicole) I’ve ever made.

Tom leaving was a shock in many ways, though I suspected we wouldn’t stay partners thru 2010, I just wasn’t sure how it would come down.

Our approaches to business are too different. When we’re “on”, we’re “ON” a totally creative innovative powerhouse. When we’re “off”, we’re “OFF” sadly we were off more than on.

After dealing with the shock and other feelings associated with going from partnership to “just me” basically, i had to learn to use quickbooks. That ain’t fun. I’m fairly comfortable with book keeping but quickbooks is a kludge IMHO. But oh well it’s what we’ve got. I’ve paid a book keeper to clean the books up, then I’ll take 100% ownership of that.

What am I looking at for 2010?

360|iDev will over take 360|Flex as my biggest event. Short of Adobe being more supportive of it’s third party developer eco system that is. If they figure out how to make third party developers thrive on their platforms, 360|Flex will grow. 360|Flex will and does rock, but there’s a distinct lack of love for third party tools built on and around Flex. That will be HUGE.

Apple may not give them love, but they at least don’t hinder their third parties.

360|Mobile, which was the ill-fated InsideMobile will grow and become it’s own thing. I’ll keep it small, but the non apple mobile space is hot, and quite frankly exciting, I can’t wait to see what’s going on there.

360|Whisperings will reach critical mass. Of the small amount of content on the site right now, it all sells monthly. A few purchased only, but something. The day I write checks to the authors, will be a huge day for me!

I’ll have a reliable, livable income coming from conferences/events. The business will reach an as yet unattained level of stability.

I’ll spend more time with Nicole, we’ll do more fun things, travel more, and enjoy life and each other’s company even more than we already do.

I really want to see The Flex Show grow. jeff and I love doing the show, and I want to see more the Flex Community get involved.

i’d like to do some more Denver community stuff. Ignite Denver is going strong, and I hope 2010 sees it grow and become a staple of the community. I really want to see something eventwise around literacy. A Festival of Books, something.

I build community, organize events, and rock!

Yesterday, April 13th was my last day at EUI.

It wasn’t a bad break up at all, or anything like that. Anthony and I had several conversations about my role at the company and how best I fit with the company’s needs and goals.

We agreed, that right now, it wasn’t the right fit. Not for a lack of interest in community on EUI’s part or anything like that, it just wasn’t the right time.

So now what?

Well for a limited window of time I’m putting all my effort into 360|Conferences. Tom and I alternate on who has the bandwidth and time to put a full time effort into the conferences, it’s my turn again.

I’m also working on the next Ignite Denver, so that’s a pleasant distraction, but pretty much, for as long as I can, I’m back to being totally dedicated to 360|Conferences, Corp.

After that?

Well I dunno. If I can’t get 360|Conferences to a FT gig level in short order I’ll be looking for companies that want help organizing kick ass community driven events, and interacting with their communities. I’ll be looking to consult, share what I know, etc. Got a question, project, etc? Reach out, I’ll see what I can do to help :)

EffectiveUI Does Android change the game for Apple?

With Tmobile announcing the G1 yesterday, and Android SDK 1 hitting the streets as well. I’m wondering what Android means to Apple.

I’ll admit I wasn’t onboard with Android, and am still not sold, but I have to admit, watching the video, and reading some of the live blogs from the event yesterday, the G1 is compelling.

The UI might be a bit too unstructured, it looks like you can drop an icon any old place you choose, but I’m guessing you can auto arrange too. But the overall experience seems solid. Compass street view, push Gmail? Hotness!

There’s an app store too.

Based on the pics of the app market on Giz, I have to say, Blech.

I’m the first to jump on the apple-bash-wagon for their app store process. I think their choke hold is hurting the market. I think their ambiguous rules, and Refusal to allow any competition with existing Apple apps, will stifle innovation in the short and long run. There’s only so many flash light apps we need. Hopefully 11 is it.

I think the solution lies in the middle. Google has said, there’s NO restrictions, which means the number of CRapps, will be in the thousands. While I’m sure that those apps will be voted down over time, etc. The odds of fining an app that you want go down just as rapidly as CRapps are added.

While Apple shouldn’t be so black box, and draconian, google might want to implement even just a few basic controls, before the market is swamped.

From Giz:

There’s a good side to the open no-limits, no-approval nature of the system: developers can publish anything they want. No prohibitions and controls means that developers will be able to access any part of the hardware, allowing software that is not allowed in the iPhone App Store, like tethering. On the other side, this may also bring bad things to the user end, since it opens the door to potential problems and conflicts that may affect the stability of the Android cellphone.

Unfortunately that’s Apple’s stated reason for their draconian practices, Steve doesn’t think we should have the ability to crash or brick our phones with 3rd party apps. Supposedly Apple vets apps for this. Still, it also allows Apple to block the apps they simply don’t like. Booo

EffectiveUI R&D Project: Surface Music

Now that the cat is out of the bag, it’s time to show off a cool R&D Project we’re working on!

Jordan Snyder and Drew McLean are working on a cool Surface music synth app, that interacts with objects on the surface. By using the object tags, provided by Microsoft, you can place something on the surface, and a menu expands around it to interact with the music.

The idea is that each object can represent an instrument, or something like that, twisting the object increases the volume, each slice (in the pics) would be a button you could interact with, or a slider, etc.

Jordan and Drew are working hard on this, the next time there’s pics to post, it should have a much improved UI, and I’ll try to grab some video.

The surface is only kinda impressive. Before I started with EUI, I took a look (sshhh) and it was kinda cool, though not as responsive as I’d like from something like that. Andy tried to show me the piano app, and it didn’t respond to him at all. I’ll grant that Andy is kinda a tiny guy, so maybe the Surface didn’t know he was there, :) but still.

The pond app, is pretty cool, but that’s a pretty expensive fake koy pond. Not to mention heavy.

I do think the Surface, opens some really cool doors. Having now sold my left kidney for an iPhone, I’m a huge fan of multi-touch UI, and gestures, and such. It really does open up computing to a whole new level. I find myself constantly wishing my mouse could do what finger do on an iPhone.

Stay tuned for more cool Surface stuff from us, this is only the beginning!

Wanna work on the Surface? Build iPhone apps? Let us know.

EffectiveUI R&D Project, Android Comic reader

I had no idea people were reading comics online! I knew Marvel had their eComic thing going on for the last year or so, but didn’t think anyone was using it. Or cared.

Who knew that there was another alternative, that’s existed for who knows how long, the CBZ and the CBR.

Essentially they’re zip and rar files with a different extension, that comic reader apps know how to unpack.

I got turned onto this scene at 360|Flex San Jose, and found an app for the mac called, Jomic. It’s not an easy experience but certainly interesting to read comics on my laptop on long flights.

So my point (other than wanting an excuse to post my Domo Halloween pic) was to say I heard about a really kick ass Android R&D project we’re working on here. With today’s Tmobile announcement, Android is officially leaving the vaporware space and hitting the mainstream.

Android has (or might have, or will have) some cool potential, and we’re making sure we’ve got that knowledge when the train leaves the station. We set up an R&D project, and the team on it, decided to create an android comic reader. It takes the comic archive files from an SD card (An emulated one at the moment) unpacks and handles all the images. Totally a proof of concept, and purely research, but how cool!

It allows navigation by touch screen, and nav buttons, so that no matter what kind of android phone it is, you can navigate it.

I asked josh, one of the developers working on this project, what his thoughts on Android were,

“Android dev for me so far has been a breath of fresh air after doing as3 for so long.  I’ve missed java.  The xml based layout is nice and has obvious similarities with mxml, but has a long ways to go until it
catches up with the quality and power of that present in flex.
However, the android team has done a lot to even improve that aspect during the beta.  I have also come to appreciate that Android is basically a mini version of linux, so that also makes a lot of the aspects of how the phone will operate fairly intuitive.”

I asked what the hardest part of developing this app has been so far,

“The hardest part so far with our application has been the relatively
small heap size restriction (16MB).  One high res image alone can
easily bring our app crashing up against that limit.  But it’s still
manageable for the most part, and we’re figuring out ways in which we
can optimize our data caching to work around that restriction.”

Gizmodo has a video demo of the G1, which looks like it’s running some things that aren’t currently in the SDK. Wonder if there will be ‘flavors’ of Android that are carrier specific?

The G1 becomes available October 22nd. The video shows some pretty compelling features, it’ll be interesting to see how Android changes/improves the iPhone market, assming Apple pays attention.

*Watchmen is a trademark of DC Comics

Wanna work on cool and compelling Android apps? iPhone apps? Let us know

EffectiveUI Finalist for CSIA DEMOgala

UPDATE (9/16): We just found out, we’re in. w00t!

We found out last night that we’re a finalist for CSIA DEMOgala 2008!

Out of 160 company’s, 25 have been selected as finalists. One of which is us! We showed them some still under development stuff, that we’re very proud of.Out of those 25, 20 will be selected to show off their products at DEMOgala. Fingers crossed!

We should find out some time today, whether we’re in or not.

From the website, “Join your fellow Colorado Technology leaders and professionals at the 2008 – 4th annual - DEMOgala Showcase and Innovation Conference of more than 100 speakers on 25 different panels and keynote panels to hear the newest trends in everything from mobile applications, online gaming, travel and the net, video’s effect on web commerce, social networking, corporate use of  Second Life for brand awareness, innovation and music, how mashups are expanding markets, new trends in finance, healthcare and green technology; and how national CEOs have raised millions by creating new markets through disruptive technologies.

I hadn’t heard of CSIA prior to joining EUI, and now that I’ve checked out the site, and got to sit in on our demo, it’s definitely a cool organization, and a major asset to the Colorado Technology scene. I’m looking forward to hearing more about DEMOgala, and our participation!

Patrick Hansen, the undiscovered EUI blogger

Patrick Hansen, User Experience Designer, has a blog that isn’t on the existing EUI blog list.

According to Juan and Andy Patrick is the undisputed ‘Grill Ninja’, “Making the best burgers EVER”

I’ve yet to enjoy Patrick’s burgers, but I have been able to enjoy his blog. The default channel, is ‘design’, but take a look at the others, the links are in the top right. Patricks HI picks look incredible.

if you’re a designer, check it out, if you’re not, check it out anyways, he’d do it for you!

If you haven’t checked out the blogs of the rest of the EUI team, you’re missing out, take a look, at the blog tab for some of them, for those that aren’t listed I’ll highlight them here.