18 months ago I walked away from the Corbu project that I was part of. Corbu was going to be a bookkeeping app for architects - timekeeping, expense tracking and invoicing.
If you are interested, you can catch up on that journey below.
Just about every six months since then, I have experienced a real need to do something with everything that I learned while working on Corbu.
Six months out I projected all the things that would be needed. Three weeks later the work and cost seemed overwhelming.
When the urge came again after another six months, I talked to a friend who is a programmer. I got a better handle on the tasks and investment required. The idea was less daunting - but still daunting.
What's new this time?
Well, this time around, I was looking at programming languages - how hard could it be? That search was responsible for me stumbling across PaaS. "Platform as a Service". It turns out that there are apps for building apps. No programming required. Now we're talking!
It is early days, but I think I can do this. Better yet, it looks like the investment will be mostly time and experience instead of money.
Here's the plan.
Introduce the whole app over time as modules. There are already dozens of companies offering apps like this. My only differentiation is focusing on the unique needs of architects. Nobody else is doing this because the market is too small, say 15,000 firms. Most companies wouldn't pursue such a tiny market. Thanks to PaaS, I think this is viable for me, retired guy, with less than 1% of that market.
TIME will be the first module for two reasons. 1) Everything else builds on it. 2) Lots of small firms could save a lot of time with a better timekeeping system. This one will be priced similar to a weekly latte habit. Or so my pro forma indicates at this point.
Adding modules later is a bit tricky but it will be a mess if I don't plan for it now.
Bookkeeping is basically a database. If you have ever attempted to set one up, you know how complicated it can get in a hurry. This is a little more forgiving than my last experience, but still complex.
Time frame? Who knows, but I hope to have something ready for testing by Christmas.
Here are several posts that trace my earlier Corbu journey: