Thursday, January 17, 2008

Editor widgets and recessions

I did basically nothing yesterday, other than backing up our server (GoDaddy has a required OS update, so we have to reprovision in the near future. Better now than after we launch). But I finished 4 JavaScript widgets in the two days before that, and got the skeleton and structure of the JavaScript game editor in place in the week or so before that. Seems like I always need time to recharge after periods of high productivity. Still not fully recharged, else I wouldn't be writing this blog entry, but I've started working on the code to display widgets when a customizer pane is selected.

I've been watching the turmoil in the financial markets with some interest (perhaps more interest than I should - I oughtta be building the product instead!) I expected this - one of the main reasons I quit my job was that I was in a financial software startup, and it's highly likely that in a financial crisis my job would be toast too. I was completely wrong about the timing though. I figured this would happen in early 2009, after the Beijing Olympics, and we'd have a chance to hit the market and make a big splash before everything went south. But the recession's a year early and the product always takes longer than we expect, so that's not gonna happen.

If the recession's a normal one and lasts for about a year, like 1991 or 1981-1982 recessions, it might be better that things worked out this way. We underestimated the amount of time it'd take to build the product; if the recession had come in 2009, it would've been just as we were getting to market, and then we'd have to support a (hopefully) growing userbase on skimpy revenues. While if we entered recession around last October and start recovering around the summer, we'll be just getting known (hopefully) as the recession abates and then get to expand into the recovery. Same situation that del.icio.us, Flickr, and PlentyOfFish were in, and we all know how it turned out for them...

There're still a lot of variables though, and given our previous track record of predicting the future, I wouldn't bet on them all coming out in our favor. At least I've got plenty of cash; as long as I live at home and my mom doesn't lose her pension, I can keep doing this indefinitely, and even if I were to move out and get roommates, I've still got about 3-4 years saved up.

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