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So really, what's the deal?

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I'd like to diverge a bit on the next couple of blog posts here at the Workshop. In the next couple days, I'd like to write a bit more about myself and more importantly, a bit more about where I see Pukka and the Workshop heading next. And I'd of course like your feedback on that -- I hope that's why you're here. This is a two-way street, yo.

So, as you no doubt have noticed, I have decided to charge for the 1.0 release of Pukka. I'd like to explain a bit about where my justification and thought process for this came from. For those of you who just see it as, "guy codes app, guy wants to get paid for work, end of story," that's great; feel free to purchase or to not purchase Pukka as you see fit and thanks for reading this far. The remainder of this post is for the rest of you.

Simply, I started the Code Sorcery Workshop to finally be an entrepreneur. I've had a keen interest in entrepreneurship for nearly a decade now, and an interest in technology much longer than that -- I started coding BASIC in the 1980's at a young age. I started writing and releasing open source software in 1999 and I have been involved in the startup phase of five businesses; in fact, I've never not worked for a small, startup company. At my current position, I spearheaded our open source efforts. Coming from an open source background, it's a personal shift to start charging for software, and it's not a decision I've taken lightly.

I want to work for myself for several reasons. Besides the seemingly obvious, I want to 1) be able to give back to others from my own personal craftsmanship in ways that I see fit, whether it be by the stuff I create or sharing the wealth that I earn; 2) innovate and be involved with new technology at a rapid pace that continues to pique my wide-ranging interests; and 3) live a more balanced life that includes my future wife, my home, and my family. I'm getting married in September and I owe a lot (especially after this past Cocoa-filled weekend) to my fiancée.

As Paul Graham noted in his excellent essay on creating wealth, wealth is the stuff we want, which is not always money, and we live in an unprecedented time for craftsmen who are able to create their own wealth. pre-SXSW prep It's exciting. So far, the Workshop has given me the ability to really pour my efforts into something in as many directions as I really like to: I coded Pukka, I learned CSS, and I cracked open Illustrator for the first time, all in the same month. I took part in some creative guerilla marketing while at SXSW a couple months back. I love to learn and I love to create. Even more, I love it when my work is valuable to others.

If you look at my blogroll, you'll see over 30 Mac developers or products that I admire, nearly all of which I use and have paid for, if they charge. I've easily spent several hundred dollars on Mac shareware and I've only been on the platform for a little over three years (well, I started on an Apple IIe and used some Performas in high school and college, but I've been mostly a Linux/FreeBSD guy -- I don't care too much for that other OS). If I see some software that's useful and if I believe in the concept, the execution, and what I gather the goals of the developer(s) to be, I support it. The Mac has shown me what it has undoubtedly shown you -- that software is art, and Mac users have deeper loyalties than price points.

Specific to Pukka, I'm not sure where del.icio.us, Yahoo!, or "Web 2.0" are headed. I'm not sure if this is the first step towards the semantic web or, as some people have implied, we are in Bubble 2.0. But I am actively reading and thinking about these things, and I recognized an opportunity for my interests and talents to converge with helping move this forward. Whatever it is, it feels right and it feels like the future. My efforts so far don't feel like much, and I've got bigger plans in store. But it's a start, just like I said in my first blog post. And as for the platform, I feel that Apple has produced a product that lays sufficient groundwork for me to accomplish my goals and besides, it ain't hard on the eyes, either.

Long story short -- something that is, or should be, apparent to anyone who gives money to a venture -- paying for my software furthers my goals. I hope that I've outlined them sufficiently above. And I hope that my work here is worth a tradeoff for you to make your life a little easier.

As always, leave a comment or feel free to send me an email. And thanks for reading.

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