Nearly 4 years ago I had founded a software company that sold text message marketing software to small businesses. It was the first time I had an iPhone which was a company phone. I loved the iPhone but what intrigued me the most was how many apps I had to download or scroll through to achieve my daily tasks as a founder, product manager, salesman, fundraiser and account manager. This fundamental issue I perceived as a problem and began investigating possible solutions. I finally found the solution, API’s, or Application Programming Interfaces, a utility offered by many web apps that allows your app to interact with the other app. So the idea started out as small, one web app/mobile app where you could literally access ALL of the online utilities you use on a daily basis. Simple enough. I wrote a forty page business plan and didn’t touch it for a year. Why did I go back to this idea? What intrigued me? I had a new job and I was experiencing the same problems, just as an employee. I decided to act.
I spent nearly three months conducting research in the UCF Library, scouring through patents and books on Data Mining before I finally designed what is referred to as a Technical Assessment. When I was done I realized this wasn’t just another aggregator. This is where life experience kicked in. I was the kind of kid who wanted to be everything when I grew up and believe me, I tried it all. The SMS company was the fourth company I had unsuccessfully started before turning 21. My question: how could I leverage all the data on the Internet about me, and about my goals, to give me a higher probability of success. The product had taken a giant leap forward.
I then decided to give up looking for a technical co-founder and learned how to program myself, picking PHP/MySQL on a LAMP stack, the same technology Facebook uses. I built a prototype in three months, put together a demo video and sent it to every professor in the UCF Computer Science department? Do you know how many responses I got back? O.
I then went to Silicon Valley where the general response was that the idea was not yet technologically possible and would require nearly $30 million in funding to make it so. The product, as of yet, is still private as I am developing it with three other programers, one in Bangladesh, one in New Dehli and one in Hawaii. We expect to launch sometime in 2014.
The reason for the “anecdote” is that the problems that each article discusses relates strongly to the aforementioned story. Some of the articles are right, some are wrong, but what is most shocking is the lack of solutions presented in any of the articles. It is my opinion if you are going to write an “opinion piece”, which all of this are, you need to present a solution to the problem.
Well, you just read mine.