25 July 2008

Ideas That Will Never Make Me Rich

I got obsessed with the idea that I could come up with something huge. I felt I could be the one to produce the next big thing. But as time has passed and brain-ache has set in, I've come to the conclusion that I simply don't have the necessary time, resources, and inspiration. I got close though.

A good friend of mine told me that the best way to find inspiration for a new and unthought of idea is to take two very unique and disparate concepts and form a path between them. In essence, this path would be the genius idea that has never been thought of before... and what will ultimately make you rich... supposedly.

Therefore I've sort of given up. I found that the last idea I formulated had already been realised (if only a matter of weeks before). I was annoyed because I thought "noone will have done this yet," but at the same time I figured that I only missed the boat by a few weeks... which is not bad for a first attempt!

I'm not just rambling on about my failed attempts to fly... I do have a point. I think it's this: as a result of all this thought and conceding failure, I've realised that it's best to start by improving. Now that I think about it, some of the best inventions are really only improvements on previous inventions; not entirely new concepts.

I've recently taken on a new role with a local web design and development studio. They have some interesting projects on the go and quite a few upcoming. I'm already involved in two or three. I'm really enjoying being part of a team of young developers. It's quite refreshing. I'm looking forward to helping them bring some new offerings to market. Whilst my position is as a PHP Developer, m main aims are to improve processes, increase productivity, and diversify the projects we work on (even though they are already quite diverse!)

I guess my biggest aim is to increase productivity. At first glance this may seem like an easy step as there are many obvious areas that can be tackled. From my [developers] point of view, I am finding that poor coding and a lack of standards (even agreed standards in the team) are a major hinderance to productivity.

This is what my main project is focussing on. It's taken me a little over 18 months to work out what the purpose is. My memorised tech spec has ballooned out of all proportion in between times. I've considered rewrites and porting to frameworks, but in the end I figure I can keep going with what I have.

Simply put I am aiming to build the definitive software production package for web design & development teams. Is it an application, a framework, a toolset? No. I think it's really a platform. It's a complete application on it's own. It has a simple roll-out like many modern web-based applications. It's highly customisable and configurable. It's very modular. Beautifully written code (if I dare to say so). You might just think it's another content management system, but in actual fact it is so much more.

My greatest vision for it is that it can be used by a team of designers and developers to develop new bespoke applications with little to no effort. For increased enhancements, a deep API coupled with a simple installation method will provide all that is needed for deep use of the core system. For the designer, a 99% code-free skinning system will allow easy installation and manipulation of designs. A full CSS-friendly codebase supported by cascade hints will allow for instant debugging of design flaws.

There's a long way to go with this at the moment as I am working on it alone in what little spare time I have. I'm keen to get a 1.0 version live as soon as possible. I feel like this is a game-changer. It could speed up development cycles, make a lot of people's jobs easier, improve client happiness and even improve the end-user experience.

I just want to plug it in to everywhere! I know that if the core is written well, the harder stuff will be easier and others will plug in what they need.

This weeks links:

www.pimpthatsnack.com // www.wilkesdesign.com // www.csscookie.com

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