The Idea Dude


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Lessons learnt from writing freeware

As you may have gathered from my previous post, we had a bit of spare time between clients and wrote a midi to Smule ocarina score converter / translator.

There's something quite liberating about doing freeware. Liberating because you're free from any expectation about value for money, perceived quality of work, irate customers etc.

Here are some observations in no particular order of importance:

  • If you give generously to a community, they reciprocate in wonderful ways.
  • Following on the previous point, they go out of their way to help make your application even better.
  • As you can imagine, finding a collection of midi files that tested every aspect is pretty impossible and too time consuming. I've had great feedback that resulted in bug fixes I don't think I would have found.
  • Not to mention a couple of neat features that were suggested. The people will tell you how they want to use the app which often flows beyond your own perception of usage.
  • There's definitely a great satisfaction knowing that even something this small helped a few people do something that they will never have done otherwise. In this case, create new music with a terrific instrument.

On that last point, I think of all my years in management, it isn't my achievements that I reflect upon. My legacy should be about the lives of the people I influenced and how I inspired them to reach beyond their own expectations. Strong, focused communities whether it is in a home, building or a country can achieve much more than any one individual. It is not so much of the 'wisdom of the crowds' mentality because I could probably point to many instances where the crowd was swayed and hopelessly wrong.

It is about the power of the collective. The success of evolution is dependent on the number of different paths tested and the number of people testing.


Anonymous Anonymous said...


A real win-win situation if I've ever heard of one!

I love your philosophy:

"My legacy should be about the lives of the people I influenced and how I inspired them to reach beyond their own expectations."

That's a lofty goal, and attaining it will truly be one of the greatest accomplishments a person could ever hope to achieve in this life.

I also believe that music is one of the most meaningful influences one can bring into the lives of others.


1:46 PM  
Blogger The Idea Dude said...

Hi Jeanne

It's a lofty goal for sure! but as you say, absolutely worth aspiring to.


3:41 PM  

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