Trick er Treat

Drunk Zombie
Man, I’ve been there buddy!

This Halloween though, I dressed up as a computer nerd that sits in front of his computer all day long stressing about a deadline he can’t possibly meet. Actually this is the first Halloween in a long time that I didn’t dress up and go out on the town. Which is a tad depressing, but the good news is I worked my butt off and got very little accomplished. Now, according to this blog, “time is up” and I am supposed to be launching the Appetizer off into the great wide web world today (wait, did I get that right?). Unfortunately though, if it was to launch now, it would crash before it even left the ground (aka. fall over). How’s that for a trick kids? Enter excuse…

My projected deadline has proven a bit too optimistic. I underestimated the complexity of this application and the amount of time it would take to do some of the cool stuff going on with it. Approximately 200 hours of straight coding has been clocked in already and there’s probably another 50 or so to go. So apologies, but the deadline will need to be pushed back another 28 days. It will be well worth the wait though, I promise you. If you’re paying attention, this means the new target launch date coincides with my 30th birthday. Old Geezer day doesn’t officially happen until 5:24 a.m. though, so the new target launch time is going to be 5:23 a.m. Ha! Young Zack will get the credit for this puppy yet.

So, now that I can breathe again, let me tell you a little about where we’re at with this thing and where we’re headed. Scott (my trusty designer) has been working diligently on the logo and has produced a very nice selection of samples for me to choose from. He’s done a great job helping me figure out what the heck I want, which isn’t easy let me tell you. For the passed couple weeks, we’ve been tossing ideas back and forth and working iteratively towards the final product. We should be finished in the next day or two and ready to show it to you guys.

Once the logo is complete, Scott will start on site design, something we’re both excited to get moving on. The bulk of the back-end should be built this weekend, so I can focus on working with Scott to get the front-end user interface put together. It will be time to start stepping out of geek mode and into creative mode, followed by business mode, followed by (hopefully) R&R mode. The remaining non-backend tasks (that can be disclosed with you good people – hey, I have to keep a few tricks up my sleeve) are as follows:

  • Apply for a trademark on the logo
  • Design and build the user interface
  • Write the final draft of the copy (display messages, about page, FAQ, etc)
  • Select a web host and move stuff over
  • Find a good attorney and discuss legal ramifications
  • Draw up legal documents w/ attorney (terms of agreement and privacy policy)
  • Find a good accountant and setup book-keeping system
  • Get a payment system in place
  • Finish writing my marketing/business plan
  • Get some initial advertisers on board
  • Test, Test, Test

Oh yeah, did I mention register and setup my business? Should probably do that too eh? That’s quickly becoming a higher priority now that the end of the beginning is drawing near. I’ve held off on it to avoid slowing down and killing momentum. Once the application is complete though, it will be time to get the business side of things inline. Fortunately the expenses have been fairly minimal to this point, so write-offs aren’t much of an issue just yet. Once this is built, the next stop for me will be the Small Business Development Center, to find out what they have to offer…free of charge.

Yep, it’s going to be a busy November for yours truly. I’ll keep you updated on my progress provided I don’t become too senile along the way ;).

Happy Halloween Everybody!

Oh, and if you’re in the Portland area, you should go check out the Davis Graveyard. I went the other night and was very impressed with how elaborate it was, definitely worth the trip.




I think you should start gathering a list of interested people together. Why don’t you put up a private beta site and have people enter their email addresses to get updates or to participate?

Zack Jenks

Yep, good suggestion David, thanks! That’s actually the next step and I was talking to my designer about that this morning. It’s something I’ve been wanting to do for awhile now but been waiting until the logo was complete. Once that happens, we’ll have it up and running and hopefully can start building a good contact base.

My current thinking is I won’t have a private beta, or even a beta for that matter, as I feel it’s becoming too much of a cliche of web 2.0 and fairly meaningless. Instead, I plan on testing it thoroughly with friends and family and then just releasing it into the wild.

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