By Scott Meacham
Copyright © 2013, The Oklahoma Publishing Company
An interesting thing happened recently at our Tulsa offices.
It was a Saturday morning. Scores of Oklahomans were focused on football, but when you are trying to start a company, Saturdays are for work.
On this Saturday, the founders of Codesy, a company that’s in our second Immersion Program class, were working on their minimally viable product (MVP).
Codesy’s business model creates an open source marketplace that matches up software developers who are willing to contribute to have bugs in open-source software fixed with coders who want to fix bugs for a price.
MVP, the cornerstone of the Immersion Program, is the idea of developing a minimally viable product in 20 weeks or less to test various hypothesized customer benefits and then tuning that product based on what you learn.
“Working on their minimally viable product” is a bit different for Codesy than for most i2E clients. Usually our clients need to hire application developers (changes can take weeks or months), but since the Codesy entrepreneurs are actually software developers, they can write code for themselves.
The beauty of this is that within the Immersion Program framework Codesy can take what they hear from potential clients and, in days, build that feedback into another version of their prototype.
And so on that sunny autumn Saturday, Codesy came in to code, and here’s where it really got interesting.
The Codesy founders are members of Tulsa Web Devs. This vibrant software IT club of more than 250 coders was founded in 2012 and is sponsored by i2E, Mozilla, and others. Tulsa Web Devs has become an epicenter of activity, having completed two big civic projects for Tulsa’s transit and fire departments.
Codesy had put out the word that they were going to be working on their application all weekend if any of the “Web Devs” were interested.
Throughout that Saturday, more than a dozen members stopped by to help write code. They went to a repository, selected from a list of bugs to fix or function yet to be coded. It was a spontaneous process with people just pitching in where they thought they could help.
Who would have thought that building a software application could be a lot like an old-fashion Oklahoma “barn raising?”
It’s inspiring to see that helping attitude still lives on in Oklahoma’s electronic business world.
Scott Meacham is president and CEO of i2E Inc., a nonprofit corporation that mentors many of the state’s technology-based startup companies. i2E receives state appropriations from the Oklahoma Center for the Advancement of Science and Technology. Contact Meacham at i2E_Comments@i2E.org.
Did You Know? Respondents to the seventh annual Future of Open Source Survey cited quality as the most important factor for OSS adoption.