It is not everyday that a person commits to ingenuity, cleverness to a persona that may not exist. Committing to this façade requires resourcefulness, creativity, imagination and commitment.
Contrary to the advice of most failed internet start-ups, I’ve decided to take the senseless path of entrepreneurship in the hopes of one thing; finding myself. Years ago, while in college as a freshman, my only year studying computer science, I was told by my roommate that I could never succumb anything remotely close to a programmer. Whether this was an evil jinx or a foretold prediction, one thing was true, I never did.
Not that I couldn’t, I was just perplexed by the idea of sitting in front of a computer screen and continuously looking into nothing but matrix of words and numbers. My creativity was too strong to allow me the luxury of taking programming as a career path, may I also add, having no access to a personal computer didn’t help either.
Having a mind that equals in the functionality of both analytical left and creative right had turned me into a jack-of-all-trades. I can tell you that being that “jack” has brought forth some major disadvantages. I seldom finish anything in its entirety. I always get the tendency to sidetrack with new ideas. When I start on a project, I dream of all the wonderful things that I will bring to whatever it is I’m working on, but the end result always seemed to end up being different than the one I envisioned. And that necessarily did not mean better.
Only recently have I’ve been able to control myself. This I can say has become very difficult thing to do. Even though I keep being bombarded with new “shiny” ideas, I am forcing myself to focus on a few that I may be able to contribute fully. This self-adherent method of focus has shown great results. For once in my life, I’m on a path of enlightenment.
In order to share this little odyssey of mine, per my commitment in post “I want @monocat to be filthy rich!”, I will be recording my progress of designing a social networking platform for a site in mind. I believe this would not only be fun to use, but rather very useful. You are welcome to follow it under “Live Project” category.
My interests in internet and love of entrepreneurship has led me to take onto this momentous task, that I know, not only will I enjoy building, but also will find it to be very rewarding.
So why are you doing this?
I want to be able to look back one day and reminisce my little adventure. This project will be based on the methodology of Lean Start-up with major bootstrapping. The daily or weekly posts that I will share will not only cover programming codes, but also insights of start-up entrepreneurship.
My goal is to share my struggles and adapt the teachings and the lessons learned of the few internet “celebrities” so you may be inspired to follow your dream. Having strong ambition to succeed, I believe I could definitely tackle this task.
Why not use an available open-source social platform?
I did look into few platforms and the closest I got was using WordPress MU and utilizing the BuddyPress plug-in, but few factors were missing. Instead of struggling with the code that I am unfamiliar with, I decided to build it from scratch.
What skills do you possess?
Why are you using Ruby on Rails?
After much research, the language-based syntax of Ruby and the strength of Ruby on Rails platform community seem to fit better for my needs. Let me know if I’m fooling myself.
Will you share the code?
That is a question I brought up at Lean Startup Circle Google Group and got some interesting feedback. I welcome you sharing your point of view and licensing suggestions. Due to complex legality issues, for now I will just post snippets of my code and even share great ruby gems and informative sites that I come across for your benefit.
I’m guessing you will need help?
That, my friend, is true. Thankfully there are tons of people on the internet who have posted snippets of RoR codes that I will definitely utilize. Of course, I welcome you to participate and share some insights to whatever problem that I may be tackling on my little odyssey.
A little disclaimer: For now the code will be treated as proprietary software. I may release it later depending on circumstance. If you are not comfortable sharing your code, please at least attach a licensing term of your choice so I may know how to implement it.
Who will host your application?
Hosting, as it seems, is a totally different ball game when it comes to Ruby on Rails. Unlike php, deploying RoR that requires scalability and flexibility is little more taunting than expected. Plus, since this little app is a social networking platform, cloud hosting is definitely the way to go.
Having said that, I’m looking to partner up with a reliable hosting company who can act as my surrogate. Currently, I’m testing Aptana. Their GUI based editing application and deployment interface will tremendously reduce my time. Other sites I’m looking into are, Heroku, Engine Yard, RightScale and Webbynode
If you represent one of the hosting companies listed above and are in a charitable mood, please get in touch. My current brand projects have depleted my resources. I could definitely use a surrogate during the development phase.
If you’re intrigued by this post or are looking forward to experience an entrepreneur’s journey in the new jungle of intermingled society of business, tech politics, and social media, then I welcome you to follow me.
“Obi-Wan Kenobi; you’re my only hope.” – Princess Leia, Star Wars
Let the odyssey begin.