[TSTIL] Snapp

[ This is a part of "The Software That I Love", a series of posts about Software that I created or had a small part in ]

2010 - Snapp

Stephanie's uncle Rob had a small design / marketing agency in Amersfoort, together with Bart. They contacted me to create a web-based "company personality test". A bit like 16 personalities / MBTI but then for companies. I liked the idea and could use the money, so I went ahead and said yes. The basic concept was to get companies back in touch with their core to brand themselves more effectively. E.g. you might discover that your company is a true "pioneer" or "peace keeper". If you're in touch with your personality, it should give you a sort of compass for your actions and for how to communicate more effectively. It was about 12 questions and you had to drag and drop your 3 favorite answers per question. Then you got 1 of 12 different personalities at the end. After the test they could help you create a brand strategy and implement it.

About a year or two later Rob & Bart needed a similar website with a quiz, and they asked if I could create the same thing again. It was using crappy jQuery technology so I wasn't too excited about it. The Dont-Repeat-Yourself mantra kicked in, I had a bit of a feeling that there was a cool tech solution and decided to create an engine and editor for creating quizzes. This turned out to be a really cool engineering challenge. I went a bit wild on my own time and within months you could:

  • create quizzes in diagrams with a drag & drop editor interface
  • embed it on any website
  • see live traffic as people were taking the quiz
  • have persistent data stored in mongodb
  • have non-linear presentations with paths dependent on previous answers
  • have a pub-quiz-like interface for many users

Slowly but surely it was becoming a full-fledged programming language. I experimented with different names, and went through Snap, Snapp, SnapLogic, WebFlow, SurveyMaker. Most of these were taken by similar companies though. Rob & Bart were very impressed and really loved the direction this product was going in. We started talking about creating a company together. I would do tech, and they would find customers and do implementations. However, by the time that it became really serious it was mid 2013. I was very busy with my day job, getting a kid and interviewing at facebook. I couldn't afford to go all-in as we had no funding and I was pretty much living paycheck to paycheck. Besides, the tech at Mendix was a lot more exciting than this.

In conclusion Snapp was just too low on my list of priorities and it slowly died after this. In hindsight there was a lot of potential. I had a great time with my career choices and don't have any regrets, but still I sometimes wonder "what if" about this venture. We'll never know :)

next2011 - newnode.py

previous2009 - SnelTrein


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