It was a wonderfully busy year. Today I had a few moments to sit down and look back.
Prior to reading you may want to read about the first year of BinaryAge.
TotalFinder with Tabs!
I found out that really the tabs is what people want. And later I realized they are also willing to pay for it. This is my site’s traffic after publishing the article TotalFinder with Tabs on Jan 11:
Transpond acquired by Webtrends
Maybe you remember I was working on TotalFinder on the side. My day-job was a web-development for Transpond. We were building “The Wizard” product which allows non-programmers to create applications from pre-defined templates and publish them on Facebook, microsites or mobile devices.
Transpond was a VC-backed startup based in San Francisco. Luckily enough we were acquired by great folks at Webtrends in August 2010. It was a nice validation of the concept of a web-based app builder, but for me it was the right time to leave and start working in BinaryAge fulltime.
TotalFinder’s glorious launch
During September I prepared version 1.0 and launched it on September 27th. It was a huge success. I wish every product to have such a great revenue curve during the launch. See the shape:
I couldn’t have wished for a better launch. People love the product and most prior beta users purchased a license on day #1 or shortly after.
The only problem which comes with a success is a support burden. With tons of emails landing in my inbox I had to move from an active coding role to become an emailing machine. Luckily enough I found nice people who were helping me with the overload. Roman did some programming and implemented Folders On Top and Cut&Paste. Lorenzo and Sebastian helped with user support. And many other folks helped with translations, graphics and other random tasks. Thank you very much!
I’m a free man, finally!
Good news! I’ve earned enough money to support myself for at least one year of future development.
It is hard to describe my feelings using words. Launching a first profitable product on the side was like finding The Atlantean Sword and beating wild dogs that were chasing me.
Did he say “Chrome”? That cannot be a coincidence. The Chromium creators are my helping gods ;)
What’s next in 2011?
TotalFinder is my product number one. I’m aware that it is not perfect and still has a beta quality to it. It is good enough to be usable, but it has plenty of bugs and compatibility/performance issues. Besides improving it I will continue to spend time doing good user support. Maybe I will ask for more help from other folks but still I feel that it is important to stay in touch with my users although it may slow down the pace of development. If something hurts my users, it must hurt me in my inbox. This year I will turn TotalFinder into a great polished product which makes you happy.
I have also some ideas for new Mac apps and web services. I will be actively looking for reliable well-rounded programmers to outsource it. I have already started with one guy. We’ve been building TotalTranslate - a simple system-wide utility for translating texts available on a keyboard shortcut. I was planning it for Mac App Store launch, but unfortunately we didn’t make it on time. Anyway, if you are an entrepreneurial hacker who wants to build an awesome stuff with me, please drop me a line.
I’m a big fan of open-source projects and I’d like to help fund more of them and help the ecosystem. I have one charitable project in my mind. I won’t tell you any details at this point because it is really in early stage and it depends on other people more than myself.
Also I’m planning to move to San Francisco in the second half of the year.
Prague was great, but it is time to move to some place where the luck is happening to hackers.
Watch video Optimizing for happiness on Justin.tv
At this point I want to thank two great companies which helped me tremendously in 2010. GitHub and FastSpring. Seriously friends, they have been changing hackers’ lives.
Thanks for your support and I wish you all the best in the new year.