March 29, 2016
For any of you reading this, it’s no secret that I’ve been pretty radio-silent for the last couple of years. The truth is, things have been busy. 2013 turned into a bit of a rollercoaster ride, and things have been racing ever since. This month, I finally got around to updating my site with new work and a complete rebuild. With that, I figured I’d give an explanation as to what I’ve been up to all this time, because I know it’s been keeping all of you up at night.
The majority of this rollercoaster ride is due to EventBoard. Back in 2013, Ender Labs existed as a iOS and web app development shop. We had a few great apps like Onyx and Track 8 (no longer available). We also did some great work in conjunction with other agencies around Salt Lake City. While all of this was going on, we had a product called EventBoard. What was then simply a conference room display on the iPad, it was a product built for B2B customers. While we worked on other consumer-facing apps, EventBoard continued to gain significant traction and attract a client list that would make anyone look twice. Around the middle of 2013, we took a hard look at the business, and under the leadership of Shaun Ritchie, decided to take the big leap and put all of our efforts into EventBoard.
This decision had big effects on how things were running. Rather than focusing on chasing consumer products to cover the bottom line, we started seeking venture capital to build the product up as fast as possible. That’s what really carried things away. Trips to San Francisco to meet with our business customers, pitches to investors, and focusing on building new features capitalized all of our time. We were a lean startup of five people supporting a product being used by hundreds of the best tech companies in the world. I even got to be the front-line of customer support with our first landline sitting on my desk. It has truly been a whirlwind of hard work, and I’m convinced that Zach, Donald, Adam, and myself had no idea what we were getting ourselves into.
All of that work paid off. Today, EventBoard is one of the many thriving startups that is breathing new air into the SLC tech scene. It is backed by Google Ventures and several other fantastic VC firms, has thousands of happy customers, and employs over 60 talented people – I no longer need a phone on my desk. We’ve pushed the product to not only include room displays, but productivity tools and insights that help people to collaborate in their workplace. It’s been a wild ride, but we’re just getting started.
Obviously, with EventBoard taking off, there hasn’t been too much room for freelance work in my spare time. I still do jobs from time to time, and I’m currently accepting new projects for anyone who is interested. Much of my freelance work over the past couple of years has been for Aisle and SmartGo, two clients that I’ve loved working with.
Then, at the very bottom of the list, are my personal projects. Obviously there hasn’t been much time for things like this, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been working on anything. There are two projects that I’m particularly fond of and that I’d love to finally wrap up.
After writing iPhone Blueprints, I thought I’d never want to write a book again. It’s a grueling process from start to finish. But about a year later, I started feeling an itch for something new. I’d been thinking about what creativity is made out of. I thought, if you could figure that out, you’d be able to actually control your creativity and to also stop creative blocks from happening. That might not seem very important, but to a creative person who usually doesn’t know when or where their next idea will come, it makes all the difference. Out of that thinking emerged “The Hammer.” It’s a book that breaks creativity into three parts: ideas, emotion, and technique. It’s nowhere near completion, but I’ve written a fair chunk already. It’s a project that I love, but just haven’t had the time or resources to full invest in yet.
Untitled Mac App
Another big project that I’ve been playing close to the chest is a new Mac app. I won’t say too much about it, but it focuses on writing and composition. For a while, I managed to sweet talk Donald Hays into building it with me, but the project didn’t ever reach a 1.0. He was nice enough to let me have all of the code so far. So if you’re a mac developer who has some free time and you’re interested in working on something with me, drop me a line and we can talk the details.
And that’s the end of the list. Pretty exciting, right? Well, now you’ll at least be able to finally get some sleep tonight.