Spring ’08 Status Update

My professional life now revolves around a sometimes dizzying 6 axes:

  • Maintenance & support of the current ViEmu products, with frequent new minor releases.
  • Maintenance & support of Codekana, with occasional new releases.
  • Defining & overseeing the development of the new “NGEDIT Customer Portal”, done by a local programmer in Python, hopefully for release before the summer.
  • Defining & overseeing the development of ViEmu 3.0 features, done by a very good C++ programmer in Mexico D.F., hopefully for release in a few months time.
  • Ensuring the ongoing development of the Kimua project, a new project and company I’ve set up with a good friend of mine, for which we’ve hired two great programmers. Getting all jazzed up with J2ME Java and Python these days. Gaining some new insights from reading code in these languages (fortunately I’m not doing any of the coding here at all!).
  • Researching the technology that constitutes the base of the kodumi text editor (codename: ngedit), and also the base of Codekana 2. This research has been basically a pen and paper endeavor for the past three years. In the last few weeks, I’ve reached the point where it is basically ready to start actually coding. Not bad for a development project.

With so many open fronts, it’s sometimes a challenge just to prioritize the different needs and focus on one of them to work on. From the above, I also hope you’ll understand my unfortunately infrequent blogging.

Hiring external help for development poses its own challenges, but it’s the only meaningful road looking towards the future. Revenues are not high enough to hire permanent help, but investing my savings into my own projects is the only sensible thing to do (even if a bit scary!). No loans yet, but it’s not out of the radar. Although getting investors is a very real possibility, I’m finding I value my full independence more and more every day. The Kimua project is already set up with a partner and with a development team, so it’s not like I’m alone all day any more.

The moment I have a solid product that appeals to a larger audience, blogging will become very important as a vehicle to spread out the word. This blog will move to another URL with a better branding strategy and a nicer look. I recently thought about dedicating a full week to blogging, writing a handful of interesting essays, etc… But it just doesn’t make sense if it’s just a one-week effort and I don’t post again in months. I won’t start doing this unless I find a way to keep a sustained effort. I’ve decided it just doesn’t make sense to invest much in this now that I have so much work and that the main products I offer appeal only to 1% of programmers out there. Codekana will probably fill this gap, but it will only really shine after I reach a more functional 2.0 version. Hopefully by the end of the year everything will be clearer, and I’ll have the resources to invest into a personal communication strategy, something which I will really enjoy doing given the right context.

One other option would be to write shorter posts requiring less effort, but I think it just doesn’t make sense. I follow and enjoy blogs that always have something in for me, either insightful or entertaining (or both in the best cases), even if they update only occasionally, so I think I should focus on providing that the day I really make blogging a central part of my efforts. And this takes real work.

BTW, for some reason the FeedBurner subscriber count widget on the sidebar has been showing “17 readers” for the past couple of months. I know from the http logs that I still have the 250 or so subscribers that FeedBurner used to faithfully account for, but their count is now broken. Maybe they don’t like me any more?

8 Responses to “Spring ’08 Status Update”

  1. Colin Says:

    I know that you are supposed to keep a continuous stream of posts flowing to drive traffic but remember that being sporadic never hurt Joel too much 😉

  2. J Says:

    Thanks Colin. Indeed, I think having a steady high value of your posts is more important that having a steady frequency of posting. But some balance is needed, and I do think one can only focus energy in one major thing at a time – and I find that keeping a blog is a major task for me!

  3. Max Ischenko Says:

    It’s awesome you can accomplish anything at all with so many different projects going on. I’ve been there and it could be really hard. Good luck!

  4. Muhammad Haggag Says:

    Good luck with your newly-hired and newly-partnered devs. I for one am really happy to hear that. I really admired the 2 products I’ve used from you so far (ViEmu and Codekana), and I was a bit frustrated that you were at your 1-man limit in terms of productivity.

    Here’s hoping Codekana 2.0 crushes the competition 🙂

  5. J Says:

    Max, it often makes it slower, but it’s very satisfying and ensures I’m always active!

    Thanks so much Muhammad. I hope the current measures I’m applying will allow me world domination later this year or on 2009 at the latest 🙂

  6. Ben T Says:

    I’m always eager to hear updates on how your various endeavors are going. Best of luck in your next steps!

  7. Jaico Says:

    Hey Jon,

    Amazing work!
    Hehe, I don’t know how you manage to do all that things at the same time.

    All the best,


  8. J Says:

    Thanks Jaime. With so many things at once, the solution is easy: everything goes a (little) bit slower 🙂


    – Jon

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