Everyone of us dreams with this success stories: self-made, luck-stricken, hard working average Joe –or Jane– that once in a while hits the jackpot of a very successful application that makes him rich overnight (and still doing his –or her– dishes).
Certainly, I do not know what it takes, but to be honest with you, odds are against me in every front, so place your bets anywhere else. I mean it. Not kidding or being overly modest. I consider myself a good enough professional. I enjoy what I do and I possess a certain degree of passion. It just seems that I do not have it.
I will illustrate with a small anecdote. Of course, I do not imply that had I did differently I would be swimming in gold, or that the guy that actually did it is (I hope he is not, for the sake of my own sanity)
I have been attending to conferences for 4 years. The technological landscape has changed substantially, but something has remained constant: my desire to be prepared and organized. I would meticulously prepare my schedule in advance and load it onto my handheld device of the season.
My first experience was a bit nightmarish: the conference site would not offer the chance to export the session to a calendar application, so I had to enter by hand all information regarding titles, abstract, location and speaker on appointment items in Outlook and sync it with my PDA (Windows Mobile at that time). I might have lost a couple of afternoons doing so. It looked kind of cool, but to tell you the truth I was reverting back to good old printed program with an circle surrounding the session title.
Subsequent experiences improved as conferences realized that people might want to be prepared and offered a way to export session as iCal items. That improved the process but I only had to tweak it to have it displayed in a sensible way.
This year, broken the chains of Outlook and Windows I went “into the cloud” and prepared everything in Google Calendar. Did it improve the process? Hardly. And again, the problem of changes of agenda and my own schedule being useless manifested themselves,
The process is dead simple: have an overview of the sessions, pick the ones you are interested in and consult your schedule multiple times to figure out which room are you heading onto. And yet I wasted my own time 4 years in a row. Did I ever think of making my life easier with an application that did the job for me? Not a single one. What do you think I am? A programmer? So you can imagine my absolute face of utter disbelief and I guess you could hear the “SPLASH! But… of course!” when I saw all people checking their schedule in a app for the conference that did exactly what I wasted my time doing.
Its name is Oktaset, the front-end runs on multiple platforms (iOS, Android and Windows Phone) and supported this year’s NDC and the Tech-Ed.
I had the business case but I did not have the vision. They did. And they executed brilliantly. Shame on me. But when your brain does not click, it does not click.