My time spent developing my passion project hasn’t been continuous since the time I first started working on it. The first iteration lasted about a month and was a mad rush to cobble something together to mark the momentous “milestone” of 100 blog posts. I then spent the next couple months experimenting with Silverlight managing to replicate and extend the base feature set out to a point where I felt I was making progress. I then went on a 6 week hiatus from developing Geon to work on The Plan which, whilst making me a decent sized profit, never turned out to be the ticket to freedom I had hoped it would be. After taking a month off after that and coming back to look at Geon I couldn’t help but think that I was going about things in all the wrong ways, and came up with a completely new design.
This, I’ve found, is a common trend for me. Unless I continually work on a project I’ll always end up questioning the idea until I end up wondering what the point of doing it in the first place was. Initially this was quite good as whilst the first few iterations of Geon showed solid progress they were in all honesty horrid applications. However it was devastating for overall progress as the paradigm shifts I underwent during these times of developmental absence meant that the new vision was wholly incompatible with the old and I could see no way other than starting anew to get them back in line again. This is why the first2 iterations didn’t have any form of user logins and the third was such a horrible process that I don’t blame anyone for signing up for it.
I had thought that short breaks were immune to this idea as I had often taken a weekend or two off when a family event called or I was starting to feel burned out. However I hadn’t had the chance to do much work on Lobaco over the past 2 weeks thanks to me being otherwise occupied and those little tendrils of other worldly perspective started to creep in. Maybe it was the booze fueled weekend where I had a list of 5 other potentially marketable ideas or maybe it was just me pining for another break but suddenly I felt like there was so many other things I should be doing than pursuing my almost 2 year old idea. I let myself think that I could take part of the weekend off to work on one of those ideas but for some reason I just kept working on Lobaco.
I’m not sure if it was my persistence or hitting the submit on my application to Y-Combinator that did it but instead of pursuing those ideas that had tempted me all week long I just fired up Xcode and started plugging away. Whilst not my most productive weekend ever I did manage to tick off 2 more features for the iPhone client, leaving about 3 to go before my deadline of the end of March. I think the combination of a solid code base (that has all those rudimentary things done so I don’t have to spend time researching them) and almost half a year of iOS development under my belt is enough to keep the momentum going, making sure I don’t give up on this version until it reaches 1.0.
I used to think that time away from coding was just as valuable as time spent in code but that doesn’t seem to be holding as true as it used to be. Sure my first breaks led to radical changes in my vision for the end product (and is responsible for the Lobaco that exists today) but once you hit that sweet spot time away can be quite destructive, especially if you’re as prone as I am to distraction by new ideas. Thankfully the last 6 months of momentum aren’t lost on me and 2 weeks away wasn’t enough to distract me from my end goal. It would have been to easy to start procrastinating again without realizing it.
Those of you in the know would’ve heard me yabbering about “The Plan” for a while now, like for about 3 months or something. It’s totally cool and I’ve been wanting to tell everyone about it but the time never felt right. I mean, it’s kind of embarassing what with me being such a manly man and all, but I’ve spent too long in the closet on this one so it’s time to let the pony cat out of the bag and let you all in on my big secret. But it’s like totally wicked cool and I know all of you out there are like the most awesome guys ever so here it goes.
That’s right, I’m a pony tamer.
Maybe its the country boy in me but I’ve always had a soft spot for our diminutive horse wannabes. I mean check this guy out, all cool and stuff with his flowing mane, riding through a field of little yellow flowers. I’d love to like brush him for hours on end and we’d talk about girls and rainbows and stickers. He’d totally understand me to because we’re like, kindred spirits or something. Then I would try to ride him and he’d probably fall over because ponies aren’t meant for riding, but I’d still try anyway.
I started my pony tamer training back in December when I became fed up with my day job as an IT contractor and found myself longing for the untamed freedom that being a pony tamer brings you. I found myself a local club to join and instantly made like 100 friends. They were mean to me at first because I didn’t have a MySpace account but I think we got over that after I told them how much I loved ponies and we traded some scrunchies.
Some people tell me that you can’t be a pony tamer because ponies are already tame. Well think again, I mean just look at how wild these guys get:
You wouldn’t believe how long it took me to get SnickerDoodle and Pumpkin Eyes out of that bail of hay, they were totally into eating it. I was telling them over and over “You can’t have all the hay, the other ponies need hay to.” and then I said that they’d get fat and one of them kicked me. It didn’t hurt though and I know Snicker Doodle didn’t mean it, but I still had to cry it out in the corn field before going back and apologizing.
So there you have it guys, the big secret revealed. I’m happy to answer any questions you might have about ponies, pony taming or anything else. Boy does it feel good to get that load off my chest.
Now where did I put my brush set, Pumpkin eyes will be getting restless right about now.