It’s been about 3 weeks since we pitched at Startup Summit. In that time the team has been hard at work overhauling the interface and actually coding the app.
The back end is somewhat complete and the focus this week has been the front end.
Along the way we were hit with some unsexy problems, the kind that you don’t read about in the glossy magazine write ups of startups. We had to replace one of the computers since its AMD CPU wasn’t playing nicely with Visual Studio (VS). The new computer then had to go through the usual Windows install and then VS install. The internet at the office is so slow that I had to bring the computer back home and download VS there. After the new computer was up and running some VS sync problems cropped up between our 2 work computers.
It’s basically third world development problems. I don’t think devs in the US or Singapore have to worry about slow internet or coding on budget machines.
Honestly I thought one could code on just about any computer but modern development these days isn’t like that. These IT problems are minor but annoying and really slow down the workflow of a small team.
We’ve settled on Android Kitkat as our default template OS for the Android version. This is based on the assumption that most Android devices in the Philippines are older models which will most likely be running Kitkat and not Lollipop or Nougat (definitely not Oreo).
Heck, my personal phone is a Moto X which still runs on Kitkat.
To be clear, our ambitions extend beyond the Philippine market. Crowded cities all around the world (eg. in Indonesia, China or South America) are potential markets for AutoConscience. But the Philippines will be our first market so we’re tailoring the app to suit Philippines users. If we do manage to expand overseas the app will evolve along with that change.
The current timeline is to have an internal working Alpha version in a week or 2. By October AutoConscience should be available for download from the Android Playstore.
I’ll leave you with pictures of the new interface and logo. I think they look like quite spiffy.
So the last business I set up an eternity ago (6 years to be precise) is chugging along nicely. It makes money. Guests are, overall, happy. But to be honest, Alcoves has become a little boring for me. Yes I’m extremely grateful that the apartments are renting well and I’ve poured a lot of hard work into the “buffet apartment hotel”. But I’ve been itching for awhile now to launch another crazy idea.
As such, I’ve gathered a small team and together we’re creating an app to help ordinary people fight Manila traffic. We want to build something that is so useful and simple that anyone on the road can use it to improve road conditions.
(Any idea that even attempts to alleviate traffic in Manila is foolhardy so I thought this would be an interesting challenge.)
The app itself is simple – it will allow you to report good and bad driving behavior. We hope that since drivers will be able to receive a lot of feedback, almost in real time, they will be encouraged to do more of the good driving (signalling, using proper lanes, not blocking the intersection) and less of the bad (swerving, smoke belching, not signalling, etc.)
AutoConscience (that’s our app) is still in development but we hope to launch it by October 2017. This early we’ve already gotten some interest – we were one of the finalists at the 2017 Startup Summit Philippines.
This is a new challenge for me – leading a team purely focused on a software product. I taught myself HTML and CSS in the past but do not consider myself a technical founder. So in short the odds are high that this will be a spectacular failure! At the very least it will be exciting.