I’m David Young, and Cabin Fever Software is my site. There used to be other people involved, but they kind of wandered off for one reason or another.
The overall mission is the same, though: to completely redesign the interface between small business owners and independent software developers. I think we’re natural allies.
Suppose you own a business, and there’s a problem you think software might solve…you’re very interested in this. Which makes you a really good person for an independent software developer to work with! You’ll care about what gets built, and you’ll give feedback.
But. Custom software development costs money. Lots of money.
Unless it doesn’t?
Suppose you could approach a developer, sell him/her/whatever on your idea, and get an enthusiastic partner. You’d get your application developed for free, or for very little money. The developer would get free testing, free evaluation, and probably free business advice. Then the developer would sell the new application to others.
You know what? This actually works really well, if folks are willing to give it a chance. This is exactly how Scarecrow, Cabin Fever’s primary product, came to be.
Actually there were three ideas. But they all sort of dovetailed.
- One guy noticed that his business website was occasionally down. He asked if I could build him something that would monitor this, and notify him. Sure! It was quick and easy to build–just an application he could run on any computer, that would email him when the site was down.
- Another person noticed his website was suddenly serving porn. He wanted to know if I could do anything to prevent that, or at least let him know when the site changed? Well, the first part was really something he’d need to work out with his hosting provider. But the second? Sure! I even re-used some of the code from the solution above. The app I built for this would get a list of files every hour or so, and if there were changes it would alert via email.
- The third question I got was actually about automating Cisco router configuration via templates. It wasn’t a very complicated application to build, although I never really thought I’d sell it successfully–too specialized. But! My customer wanted it to run on a Linux server as a web application, which gave me an excuse to learn how to do that.
These things kind of mixed in my head, and Scarecrow was born. Sort of a Swiss Army knife for owners or developers of small business websites–for those who don’t necessarily have dedicated IT staff.
So–do you have an idea? I’d love to hear about it. Maybe we can do something fun.