Two Years Running

June 22nd, 2007

This Sunday will mark the two year anniversary of Red Sweater Blog. I find it hard to believe it’s been such a long time, and yet such a short time, since I started writing here. With over 360 posts so far, I guess I’m averaging about one every two days. Not bad, for a busy programmer!

This run would not have been possible without MarsEdit, the application that makes writing for the web palatable to Mac users. Little did I know a year ago that the application I love so much would be my product a year later. To paraphrase the Remington shaver guy, “I liked it so much, I bought the source code!”

The past year has also been exciting outside of my programmer life. I got married! We’re almost 2 months into our fabulous marriage, now.

In January I responded to what seemed to be a bunk software acquisition deal by challenging developers to sell me their product. I had an amazing response when over 30 people made me separate offers. The application I ended up buying is now marketed as Black Ink, and is the premier desktop crossword-solving application. (Note: MarsEdit didn’t happen until a bit later, and was unrelated to that original challenge.)

Late last year I was engrossed by the sad story of James Kim, who died in the Oregon wilderness after the rest of his family was rescued. His memory is a recurring reminder to value family and friends while we have the pleasure of their company.

The sad news was offset somewhat by the uplifting charitable software sales I took part in. Mike Zornek’s Child’s Play Day helped raise over $10,000 for a charity that helps kids in hospitals have a bit of fun. Jason Harris followed-up with a Holiday Cocoa Duel, which raised over $2300 for a variety of charities, chosen by the participants.

October marked the first iteration of C4, where I met dozens of amazing developers for the first time. I also had the pleasure of meeting John Gruber, whose HIG Is Dead talk had such an immediate impression on me, that I went straight home from the conference and redesigned FlexTime.

That redesign of FlexTime came only a few short months after it was first released. An idea that started brewing while I was developing complex AppleScripts to cue my yoga practice, I worked on it off-and-on for a couple years before finally releasing it in August, 2006. The application was met with a mixture of applause and confusion, which I think is a fairly good omen for an unusual new application. I’m looking forward to getting a chance to refocus my efforts on expanding its functionality over the next year.

Incidentally, this marks the end of my first “real year” of trying to be an indie software developer. That is, producing and selling software directly to the public. I had been selling shareware for several years, but never focusing so intently on it. Shortly before the release of FlexTime I gave myself permission to cut back on consulting and pursue a full-time career in developing my own products. I’ve taken an unusual path to get here, but I’m glad I took the chances I did. I wrote quite a bit about this last year in The Road Less Traveled, written in concert with Paul Kafasis of Rogue Amoeba.

This summary of the past year’s posts is only the tip of the iceberg. If you like what you read here on the blog, but are a fairly new subscriber, you might find some interesting stuff digging through the archives.

As always, thanks for reading! This would be extremely boring and ungratifying if I were writing these words to myself, only to be pondered in the lonely solitude of my office. Your comments and feedback (often more inspired than my own writing) make all the difference.

7 Responses to “Two Years Running”

  1. Christopher Humphries Says:

    Thanks for your blog.

    It has been very helpful to me, for the insight and opinions of an education Mac programmer, something I am still trying to reach.

    Hopefully following your example, I’ll go indie someday :)

  2. Jan Says:

    Daniel,
    keep it up! Your journey is inspiring and your writings about it are most interesting.

    Cheers,
    Jan

  3. Justin Miller Says:

    Congrats. It’s been great reading!

  4. Thomas Kuriakose Says:

    Congratulations Daniel, I have been reading your blog regularly now for the last couple of months and i look forward to a new post every morning. I find a strange sense of inspiration and programmer camaraderie reading your blog. So Thanks!

  5. Andy Kim Says:

    Congrats Daniel! I look forward to the next two.

  6. Justin Anderson Says:

    Congratulations!

  7. Manton Reece Says:

    Congrats on 2 years, and good luck with the next two. I’m always impressed with the consistency and quality of your posts.

    Enjoyed meeting you and hanging out at WWDC. Seeya at C4!

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