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Touchgram_Andy · 1d ago

Mozilla Builder's Open Lab - I applied to the "Startup Studio" version but was kicked down to OpenLab like many others. It's not really a funding opportunity so much as a chance at mentorship and more connections to people in certain spaces. It's relevant to Touchgram's changing how people communicate but not for many startups.

Touchgram_Andy · 2d ago

I do my roadmap as a simple Markdown document, committed alongside my source code. That way I automatically have a version of it matching the view of the code at the time. I can copy and past items from the Markdown preview to update the website.

Touchgram_Andy · 4d ago

Seriously, I cannot emphasise too much the need especially for solo founders to be working with a combination of version control and an issue tracker. Using a simple, free issue tracker like the one in BitBucket means you can trivially link code changes to the relevant issue with just a comment when you commit code, like Fixes #570

The more you have to juggle in your startup, especially as code gets more complex, or your personal life clashes, the more you need an easy way to trace things.

Future-you will thank you.

Touchgram_Andy · 4d ago

I don't do "sprints" but I do group things into coherent milestones. (I have painful tales of a toxic sprint-oriented workplace that require whiskey and a friendly environment to tell.) summarises those milestones. As things get further out, there are going to be sub-releases (1.3 is already broken into at least two).

Touchgram_Andy · 7d ago

I've given up on recruiting people to work with me until the product has a lot more traction, because I'm not a 20-something with a big pool of friends who might give up part of their life to chase a shared dream. (That may sound like a cynical dig at such people - it's absolutely not. It's just a recognition that much of startup culture and the teams are vital thinking of VCs assumes that context.)

I'm working on a sufficiently complex product that, even at my utter sharpest, it would be impossible to keep the entire codebase and all design issues in my head. On top of that, as a solo founder, all the marketing, content writing, biz dev... is on me.

So, I manage by dumping stuff from my brain. I have detailed issue tracker logs of all the minor and epic upcoming work plus the tiny number of bugs. I have separate project management (Zoho Projects) for all planned articles and other admin activities. If I think of something, it either gets done immediately or written down and forgotten.

So, right now, there are probably over 500 tasks recorded in different issue trackers or in Projects.

Something vital is the way things are grouped - I can quickly find something specific to do if I feel like doing some design work, writing an article, doing research or coding in one of 4 distinct domains. That allows me to get variety based on mood and fatigue levels.

Touchgram_Andy · 7d ago

Wasted months of design and dev work on an aspect of the product (Private Messaging) that had some user appeal but was a major distraction from the core. Once I realised this and started pruning, out of desperation to ship something I was able to finish v1.0. 18 months later have still not returned to the moth-balled stuff.

Touchgram_Andy · 8d ago

As I hit #34 last week and have been rejected a couple of times in previous months, this is distinctly relevant. I know my video probably needs an update as it's an old 1 min from when I applied to YC last year (although everything I say in it is still true). I'm expecting to be reviewed again some time fairly soon, provided I maintain a decent standing (there's only 21 non-Pioneers above me).

You say "we" so I"m guessing you're not a solo founder like me? Do you have any thoughts on why you may have been rejected?

Touchgram_Andy · 8d ago

Giving you more creative power in Apple Messages: create multi-page interactive messages with sound & visual effects, responding to touch

Older iterations, In order:

World's first interactive messaging platform - build multi-page messages that react to any touches you define, for the creative in us all

A better creative message experience. Make multi-page messages that react to touches & gestures with sound & visual effects inside iMessage

Messaging to connect better with friends & family by sending interactive experiences. Inside iMessage, make pages react to touch

Messaging to connect better with friends & family by sending interactive experiences. Within iMessage, can have pages react to varied touch

Messaging to connect better with friends & family by sending interactive experiences driven by touch & composed from sounds, images & text

Connect better with friends & family by sending interactive experiences driven by touch & composed from sounds, images & text, in iMessage

A better way to connect by sending interactive experiences driven by touch & composed from sounds, images & text, in iMessage

Creative tool for interactive messages. Giving people a new way to connect by making simple, touch-based multi-page iMessage experiences

A better way to connect by sending interactive experiences driven by touch & composed from sounds, images & text, in iMessage

A better way to connect by sending interactive experiences driven by touch & composed from sounds, images & text, in iMessage

Better connections by interactive messaging, crafting full touch experiences

Better connections by interactive messaging, crafting full touch experiences, including a new take on Memes

World's first way to create interactive messages, that respond to different kinds of touch with sound and visual effects. Now in iMessage

Touchgram_Andy · 13d ago

I've been a professional programmer for nearly 40 years so have seen a lot of the growth of open source from its academic origin where everything was naturally shared (early Unix days) to how corporate licensing kicked in and then the open source movement became a counter-culture.

For your group idea, sharing source or any other digital goods is just something you are licensing with various IP constraints.

The key question, as I've been reminded a few times is simple: what is the value proposition for the other party, vs their risk?

Remember that most people have some kind of bucket representing their amount of mental effort they will put into things - often we have to deliver a clear perceived value that is surprisingly large, to get them to commit some of that reserve. Anyone who is sincere about a relationship going into it has to consider the time and energy they have available to live up to commitments in future. What is their exposure if they want to get out of it?

These kind of social/psych issues often prevent individuals getting involved in open (or shared) source projects.

For organisations (not just companies) there is also the liability exposure. If they are delivering any kind of good or service that relies on this shared source and something goes wrong, how are they protected?

For example, I know one vendor who had to develop their own libraries for processing Unicode conversion and sorting of characters (non-trivial) because the available libraries violated some of their down-stream contracts with clients.

Touchgram_Andy · 13d ago

I don't think I've seen malpractice other than a couple of instances that come to mind in the JavaScript or Node space. There was the famous left-pad dumy-spit described well by

I don't think you quite understand how open source works - the open bit is the key. Once released under an open license, you can't stop stuff propagating.

Nothing stops you having a private agreement to share source with other companies. Back when I was doing my C++ dev tools, I sent source code out to licensees because C++ didn't have binary library compatibility. It was common for OO frameworks to ship with source code included - Apple's Cocoa was the first time I encountered a framework that lacked source.

I'm just not sure what you're trying to accomplish here. If you have people who want you to share source for various reasons, then sure go ahead and put some stuff on github. I'd be careful about the Contributor Agreement as you get to define what is expected and good behaviour. Also, if they are pushing you to provide the source, push them to provide the community support people who will jump in and help moderate if things get rowdy. Maybe make it a condition that each company maintains a designated contact who is involved in the open source.