In 2009 I was living the life of a starving artist and honing my programming skills while working a dead end job. By the fall of 2009 I was quite literally homeless and living outside, but this was by choice. It was just me, my dog, my MacbookPro, and my transient lifestyle. I was aspiring to be a full-time developer but was wandering aimlessly without any real direction. I knew I had a head full of great ideas and the arrogance to make them a reality some day. I dropped out of college years earlier and I knew never wanted to return, and I most certainly didn’t want a job. I didn’t have a resume, and still to this day have never had one.
Then in January 2010, I stumbled upon an opening for a full-time PHP developer position at an agency in my home town. I got the job with ease, and by the end of that year I had started working with a piece of software that would begin a series of events that would change the direction of my entire career. At this point, I still had yet to even release my first piece open sourced software, let alone a commercial product that would generate a decent income. The software that changed everything was ExpressionEngine (EE).
Within a year I had forge many new friendships and relationships with developers all over the world. By 2011 I still had never attended a tech conference, never released any software, and everything I had developed up to that point was never seen by another developer. The agency was bringing in a lot of work, and each project seemed to pick up in difficulty to the point it was really pushing my skills to the limit. I knew I had to step up my game, so I began working on a pet project and released it for free a couple months later. My first product was Google Maps for ExpressionEngine. As with all good things I build, it was built to scratch my own itch and alleviate the pain points of the Google Maps API. And by the end of 2011, I was at Brooklyn EECI meeting all the people I admired and looked up to while learning EE. I am truly grateful to all of the people that encouraged me to take the next step and re-release Google Maps for EE as a commercial offering.
And by January 2012, I released my first commercial product to the wild and made a $1000 my first week. This was the beginning of something new. By December of 2012, I quit my job and went to work on Objective HTML full-time. Since I could remember, even as a child before I even owned a computer, I wanted to build software and release updates to a core set of products. I was obsessed with the concept of versioning and backwards compatibility long before Semantic Versioning came onto the scene. I eventually would release Postmaster and Photo Frame. And as more people bought my software, the most used cases were adapted and I quit focusing on features and more on building open API's. Up until now it's been about balancing doing what I love (building software), and doing what I know is profitable (building websites for clients). Everyone knows the EE landscape is changing, and the platform is definitely due for a major overhaul. Devot:ee even announced they are evolving, and I fully support and applaud their efforts.
So it's time for Objective HTML to make a big change. I believe in my vision, and I love what I have started with Objective HTML, but it's just the beginning. Over the past few years, I have had somewhat of a professional identity crisis. Was I a freelancer? No. Was I building an agency like Focus Lab? No. Was I a product company like Pixel and Tonic? No. Honestly, it's taken me this long to figure out my vision, but today I am extremely proud to reveal something I believe in more than anything I ever have in my life. I believe Objective HTML can build some of the best software in the world, and it's time to put all of our cards on the table. We are all-in with products, and without futher ado I would like to introduce Timeblocker, a delightfully intuitive way for you and your clients to manage their appointments in the cloud.
Believe it or not, Timeblocker started out as an EE module. Some folks even got a chance to see it at EECI in Texas in 2012. But as we developed the old versions, we realized we could never achieve the scale or markets we needed by relying on EE. The cost of support for EE addons and painful core upgrades were really the nail in the coffin. So we scrapped hundreds of hours of work, thousands of dollars in development, and started from scratch. We are still very involved with EE, and our products are still going strong. We have more users now than we have ever had, and literally thousands of sites rely on Objective HTML products every day. We sincerely appreciate every single customer, and we know none of this would be possible without their support. We have some epic plans for Timeblocker, and EE and Craft add-ons are first on our list of platforms we want to be compatible. We have talked to dozens of developers in the EE and Craft communities, and we know there is a strong demand for Timeblocker. So if you want to learn more about Timeblocker and how it can help your business, we strongly encourage you to check it out. You can also read the official release in the Timeblocker blog.