Today is the first day of a new chapter in my life.
I’ve just travelled from Adelaide to Sydney and am about to take a leap of faith. I’m about to bet all my money and 3 months of my life on my own skills and ideas.
I’m an entrepreneur and web developer. I’m also a photographer and film maker. Because I’m both is one of the reasons I have to make such a leap. Because I need to focus.
The Goal : Create a collaborative community fostering platform built around the concept of Multipath Interactive storytelling.
The Problem : When in the Adelaide Films on the Fly office I am surrounded by people (like Sunny Wu, Amy Campbell and Tim Standing) who are talking about and making films. Mainly short films. This means that I also talk about and make films. I am (well was until very recently) the South Australian chapter co-ordinator for the Zeitgeist Movement. I also worked part time at ANAT, the Australian Network for Art and Technology, as their Technology Officer. All that together means I had no time to program the web platform.
The Solution : I’m in Sydney! I’m maxing out my credit cards, emptying my savings, pulling in lots of favours so that I can get a chair, desk and access to wireless Internet, plus somewhere to sleep for 3 months. The office I’ll be at also has other web development companies there, allowing me to be surrounded by people developing for the web… So I’ll be focused on web development.
I’m armed with a netbook, a laptop, a massage cushion (to relax my back after those long nights programming) and a culmination of 2 years worth of ideas and concepts compiled into a 70 page master design document.
We’ve also got a starting point, an alpha prototype that is almost worth showing to people, hopefully by the end of the week I’ll be posting some more screenshots and video, asking for feedback.
I run Films on the Fly. A small startup company that myself, Sunny Wu and John Willanski created a couple of years ago.
John’s no longer a part of the company as he’s been busy with his own stuff. Sunny does a lot of the video editing and we work together on the ideas generation and filming. Amy Campbell started as an aspiring actress and 3 quarter lawyer that came along to the 2nd Linkr film making workshop. She’s now my girlfriend, the general administrator/organiser and has recently done the directing for The Remainderman.
I have a lot of questions for my future self. The two main ones being :
- Is the world ready for this?
- The other being, Am I ready for this?
The Films on the Fly platform that I want to create can go a lot of different ways and become a lot of different things. It might only work as a WordPress plugin, or it might work best as it’s own platform. Because we are trying to foster multiple collaborative communities, I’m expecting that we’ll need our own platform. The other side of things is that Films on the Fly is also looking to change part of the education, entertainment and economic paradigms. Not easy tasks.
On the flip side. I don’t know if I can do it.
I’ve worked at a service station, in the Air Force Reserves, done 2 years of Uni, spent 3.5 yrs on the Internode helpdesk and 16 months as the Technology Officer at ANAT. I’ve also gone through the MEGA (Mobile Enterprise Growth Alliance) course which taught be about entrepreneurship… and is how the directors first met, and where FotF and Multipath was born, out of what was Kino Portable and the Non-Linear Narrative concept. More recently I also attended most of the Innovate SA Investment Attraction course. I’ve spent the 2 years between MEGA and now learning everything from distributed, scalable computing and various programming techniques, including lean startup and testing-driven-development, through to management using intrinsic motivation, the biological processes of human behaviour and much more.
But… Can I hack it? Will I end up spending all my time watching TV shows and chatting on Facebook, or will I actually create a web platform that customers can not just use, but enjoy, love. A platform that people (almost) can’t live without.