Crazy crazy crazy last few weeks

It’s been a crazy last few weeks.

Minh, Simon, and I have been working on our web start-up Guts Up! which has subsequently become part of a much larger venture with Justin (our business development guy) pulling in contacts and lining up all sorts of stuff.

We’re now looking to form a parent company and various subsidiaries with very specific business models (one of them being Guts Up! with a focus on web development). We don’t really like to think about it in those terms though. Essentially, we are a deeply committed team and we want to collaborate with other people when it makes sense. So we’re viewing the parent as a band or record label (but less like The Man) and the subsidiaries as collaborations.

It all feels very exciting and we’re getting an amazing amount of stuff done each day. The lunch-time conversations and camaraderie are fantastic. Perhaps more important is how we resolve problems when they arise. We all want this venture to succeed, so we raise concerns with little reserve and work together to resolve them quickly. It can be a bit emotional at times (since we’re very passionate), but we produce much better outcomes and get to know each other on a deeper level.

I could write more about the last few weeks, but I’ll just list some practical tips:

  1. Work the same hours at the same location
  2. Write about what you are doing while you are doing it
  3. Talk to people (in person, on the phone, or over Skype)
  4. Have some methodology and time-frames (we use Agile)
  5. Share a vision for what you want to be (individually and as a group)
  6. Your gut feeling is right 99% of the time

Some of the above tips may be pretty specific to us (eg. other people may be super-productive even when working remotely), but I would imagine that they would apply to lots of other people.

The relevance of the last tip may be conditional on your having a highly-developed gut. I guess what I was getting at is: don’t work with people or on projects that give you a bad vibe. Assuming that you’re not a judgemental jerk, there’s probably a good reason for the bad vibe.

Web development intrigues me

Minh, Simon, and I are working on a new project to explore web development. Our goal is essentially to become super-proficient with web technology so that we can create exciting web-based media. When we have the skills to efficiently realise our ideas and deliver them to the web, we will have achieved our goal!

If you want to follow what we’re doing, we’ve started a group tumblog for project updates:

To be honest, I never really though much of web development while I was at university. It just didn’t seem hardcore enough (likewise regarding databases). I was all into real-time rendering and computer graphics. I also didn’t really understand the need for XML (Why try to make data human-readable? It’ll always be interpreted by a program right?).

Over the last few years, I’ve become increasingly interested in web technology. I think it’s because of the accessibility and universality of it all. I can access websites from pretty much anywhere, and on a whole bunch of different devices. Nothing to install. Nothing to maintain. On top of that, there is a huge amount of content online. The web is far and away my favourite source of media.

Complimenting my increasing usage of all things online, I’ve seen a marked decline in my consumption of all other forms of media. I don’t watch TV. I don’t buy CDs (I prefer Grooveshark). I dislike buying games on physical media (I don’t want more stuff!). I even dislike installing programs on my computer and portable devices. Just give me a browser and an Internet connection, and I’m happy.

Bearing all that in mind, it feels very natural to want to work in web development. It’s the cutting edge. It’s the future. It’s relevant. Moreover, it’s a fantastic time to be developing for the web: consider HTML5, CSS3, Javascript – and more specifically the Audio, Video, and Canvas elements, and WebGL.

I really enjoyed developing my HTML5 game, “It’s Lonely Being Alive“, and I want to find out what else I can do in a web browser. It’s great to know that I can produce stuff quickly, and easily link it to the rest of the web. I want my media anywhere and at any time, and as a result I only want to produce work that can be delivered in that way.

There’s been a decline in traditional media consumption and massive consolidation in the “AAA” games industry. I’m guessing it’s because online media is dominating consumer interest. I know that most of the time I’d rather browse the web than play games or watch television, and I can’t see that changing.

Bring on the future! Oh wait, it’s already here. 🙂