Review 2016 / Direction 2017
This is the time where I look back on the past year, and adjust the direction on the future:
On the company level, the major projects have been:
- Consulting at DBC, helping with building the open platform. This has been the major source of income.
- Build a functional mobile HTML5/App prototype targeting the public libraries, and went to the libraries to gauge whether it would be possible to sell it, and which improvements would be needed. This market turned out to be somewhat in a stand-still due to decision makers awaiting the result of a coming natioal public tender in this area.
- Started building an app for FM-Tools. Unfortunately the project turned out to be much larger than expected, due unclear scope and complications with the backend/data model. Ending up cancelling the project, as the amount of work needed was more than the budget available. This costed me months of work without any pay, as I generally work with a full delivery/satisfaction or money back approach. Important lesson was to manage my risks better in the future, i.e. through more clearly defined projects, and shorter sprints / smaller deliveries.
- Some collaboration with other developers, including getting them into projects I was involved in.
- Improved my infrastructure, including tools for rapid ClojureScript HTML5/App development by building several experimental prototypes. Also made progress on touch language idea/project.
- Formed a temporary consortium with SocialSquare, and made a bid on the public tender about library app, - which we unfortunately lost to larger company with more experience with working with public projects.
For many years (even before I started an independent company), I have pushing for better mobile app for the public libraries. With my effort this year, I feel that now I have pushed more than enough energy into that direction.
On the personal level, the major things this year (beyond the professional stuff) have been:
- the time with my son
- begun daily exercising
- better habit management and work flow
- getting to know Berlin better (also potential for professional projects later on)
- my home ok again, after almost a year with a mess due to upgrading of the heating system
To sum the past year up into a single concept, it would be that is has: strengthened the foundation.
I plan to pivot the company a bit, with less focus on the library sector. Instead my current plan is:
- build a web-based environment for rapid development of small HTML5/apps - both for own use and especially for teaching.
- get back into teaching, and begin to make talks and workshops again (both for marketing purposes, and also as a product).
Building small apps/prototypes, and the infrastructure for doing this effectively, is a very satisfactory process. I also intend to focus more on Berlin as a secondary base for potential projects.