I fall in love with wicked problems and enjoy providing clarity to strategy, design, and engineering by keeping the “main thing the main thing” during a project’s journey.
My first big Software-as-a-Service application experience came when I was doing Freelance Development with my first company. I contracted with a small design firm called Sparkplug out of Portland, Oregon, to build a prototype application called TeamSnap.
I took the paper designs from Sparkplug and built TeamSnap as a sports team management tool. During the project, I convinced Sparkplug to reconsider who manages a sports team. While they thought it would be run by a team manager or a team parent, the actual customer of TeamSnap would most likely be coaches. Coaches were the ones that needed to save time organizing their teams and groups online.
The result was a TeamSnap working prototype, developed as a PHP/MySQL LAMP application that focused on a coach’s perspective of their amateur team. Sparkplug then turned around and sold the prototype to a private investor who turned the application into US$20 million Software-as-a-Service company based in Boulder, Colorado.
The current version of the application still has many of the features I helped create.
The TeamSnap experience taught me how enjoyable developing Software-as-a-Service applications could be. Especially when I could work with others using a whiteboard, butcher-paper sketch pads, and paper-based demos to brainstorm functions, workflows, and features.