Doubt, with screenshots

My good friend and Core Intuition co-host Daniel Jalkut isn’t convinced. After we recorded last week’s podcast, we talked privately about the direction I’m headed in. He’s seen the projects I have in development, but he thinks working on Mac apps is a safer bet than web services. And he works on a blogging app, so if I can’t convince him that the goals I have around microblogging-related tools can be a real business, how am I going to convince the rest of the world?

Earlier this year I gave a talk at CocoaConf about tips I’ve learned to be productive while juggling multiple projects. But as I worked on the talk, it turned out to be about something else. It was about Walt Disney moving from Kansas City to Hollywood. It was about crazy side projects that no one else believed in. It was about Texas Hold ‘Em poker and risking everything for an idea.

The new microblogging app and service I’ve been working on, off and on for the last year, is the most ambitious project I’ve ever attempted. It is difficult to explain and market, it might only resonate with a niche audience, and it is going to increase my hosting costs. So part of me knows that Daniel is right — that the smart business decision is to put it on hold and focus on my Mac apps, which will probably have more predictable revenue.

And yet, this project is also the most meaningful. In the words of Peter Thiel, it could take independent microblogging from zero to one. A new push forward for weblogs, maybe the first in a while. Therefore, I must do it, and I must accept some risk in the process.

Lately I’ve been working on the iPhone version. When you look at these screenshots, it might be tempting to compare it to Twitter. Don’t. Instead, think about how the plumbing fits together: RSS, microblogs, and the open web.

screenshot

I can’t wait to officially announce and ship this. If you’d like to get an email when the beta is ready, sign up on the announcement list.