Wow, what a great time we had developing our latest iPad app, The Japanese Spinning Lamp .
We were contacted by Andrew Gomez, owner of TCM: Studio, back in May about collaborating on a "great app idea". Now, let me say right off the bat that folks come to me almost everyday with "great app ideas", so it was with some reluctance that I listened to yet another idea - especially one for which I had to sign an NDA prior to having the conversation.
Andrew had a great pitch. Unlike most other pitches, Andrew had a plan and a creative design. I could immediately see exactly what he had envisioned and the market it would capture. I was hooked. Within hours I had a working prototype to show him so that we could be partners.
TCM:Studio is based in Anaheim, California and Mantid Interactive is based in Carmel, Indiana. From the very first meeting it was very clear that we could collaborate effectively. We met often using iChat's audio, video, and screen sharing capabilities. We used Apple's Me service at times to share larger art work, and we used a cloud based Subversion repository called Unfuddle to manage and share the code.
TCM:Studio had very little experience with the software development process, but they sure learned fast. We showed them the "dark underbelly" of OSX when we set up a development environment for them. TCM was not going to be writing any of the code, but we wanted them to be able to do daily builds on their own to see the progress of the app.
The collaboration between Mantid Interactive and TCM:Studio was textbook perfect which no doubt contributed to the success of the project. We very quickly got to the point where we could anticipate each other's needs. That was reflected in the code by making sure that subtle changes could be tweaked on the fly, and TCM:Studio also quickly learned what we needed in their art delivery.
The app turned out great and I was so excited to see my son start to use it every night to help him get to sleep. His room is near my home office. As I work late into the evening, I can hear the soothing music coming from his Japanese Spinning Lamp.