Nice. I still remember the password to my blog.
Jon Tan’s year’s-end retrospective was a fun read, as was that of my dotcomrade Travis Isaacs, so I figured I’d give it a shot as well. The problem with following in these two fine gents’ footsteps is that I suck at photography, both the “taking the picture” part and the “recognizing that this would be a good time to take a picture” part.
But one thing I apparently don’t suck at is blathering all over Twitter. A quick review of my tweets from 2010 confirmed that I predictably chirped about pretty much all the important (and sooo many unimportant) events of the year.
So, without further ado: my year in tweets, with commentary.
Time to put this project in a headlock. — at Viewzi/Doublewide Labs HQ http://gowal.la/s/6EU— Jared Christensen (@jaredigital) January 4, 2010
The year started out with a frantic race to the finish line with our You+Dallas project, the ongoing redesign of Blinksale and at least 2 other incubating projects. I shipped my best stuff in 2010, and it sure feels swell.
The Tablet may be the one thing Apple has done in the last 10 years that has done absolutely nothing to excite me.— Jared Christensen (@jaredigital) January 5, 2010
Heh. And here’s what I tweeted 3 months later:
Got to play with an iPad for a bit this morning. Keyboard is truly awkward, but everything else is pure awesome.— Jared Christensen (@jaredigital) April 5, 2010
Mmmm, tasty crow! My skepticism turned to curiosity as I started seeing some of the real-world applications of the device. Now, after getting an iPad for Christmas this year, it has already taken up near-permanent residence on my coffee table, serving as a stellar substitute for my laptop or iPhone for many activities. It’s a lot of fun, and holds a lot of possibilities. I can’t wait to see how it will evolve.
Making plans for a backyard transformation. http://flic.kr/p/7A2ENM— Jared Christensen (@jaredigital) February 2, 2010
In late 2009, we tore out a massive, ugly (and massively ugly) 20×30-foot deck left in our backyard by previous owners to make way for something less… hillbilly-ish. This year, we succeeded in putting in a smaller but nicer stone patio, flower & gardening boxes, 4 trees and 6 bushes. These days, there’s nothing more relaxing than sitting outside on a warm day, enjoying the sights, smells and sounds. Time and money well spent.
Had a great time at the Bright Corner reunion shindig, Been a while since I'd seen most those guys. sniff good times…— Jared Christensen (@jaredigital) March 7, 2010
Bright Corner is the little company that brought me to the Dallas area almost six years ago, and I credit my co-workers there for most of my subsequent successes. They are not only my friends, but my mentors. It was great to get most of the old crew back together to reflect on the past, discuss the present and get excited about the future.
1 inch of snow? WORST FIRST DAY OF SPRING EVER.— Jared Christensen (@jaredigital) March 21, 2010
Wait for it…
Seven inches of snow on the ground this morning.— Jared Christensen (@jaredigital) March 21, 2010
I’ve lived in Texas almost my entire life. We get the occasional dusting of snow. Sometimes it even sticks for a few hours. But this? This was pretty extraordinary, especially for March. Unfortunately, I don’t think I could live anywhere that it snows on a regular basis, because after a while I was kind of coming unhinged by the sight of snow. Not a fan, as it turns out.
Redesigning a beloved web app. One that I & thousands of others have used for years. The stress. I feel it.— Jared Christensen (@jaredigital) April 12, 2010
By April, the design for the new Blinksale had been chosen and I was working my way through all the various pages. Having incredible respect for the Firewheel/Alamofire crew (who originally built the app), it was a bit unnerving to be putting my fingerprints all over Blinksale.
Steam for Mac may end my use of Boot Camp for gaming. #yay— Jared Christensen (@jaredigital) May 12, 2010
I’d been gaming from Windows via Boot Camp for years, but as great as Boot Camp is, it’s a real inconvenience to have to load up a different OS just for gaming. Though Steam for Mac has its issues (and a limited Mac games catalog), it is still so great to be able to play most of my games on OS X. Look me up. I’ll give you one guess as to what my Steam handle is.
omg omg omg omg
rdio</a></p>— Jared Christensen (jaredigital) June 5, 2010
I can’t tell you why I never tried a music subscription service before, but for 5 bucks a month, it’s tough to beat Rdio. 2010 was a fantastic year of music for me, and it has much to do with this great music service. I discovered a boatload of both new and old music in what was a sort of mid-year musical renaissance.
Tonight was my third time seeing Imogen Heap perform. It's still not getting old. #brilliant— Jared Christensen (@jaredigital) June 10, 2010
I don’t get out to many shows these days, so I choose wisely. You can’t really go wrong with Imogen Heap. Her charming stage banter is only surpassed by the great music. This show was especially great, as she had a full band along for the ride!
New work: You+Dallas. http://j.mp/bFhpjj— Jared Christensen (@jaredigital) July 1, 2010
You+Dallas launches! It was a rough and tough road, but ultimately an incredibly rewarding experience. I learned so much about managing complexity, design patterns, working with developers, documentation and much, much more. EPIC PROJECT. What a relief it was to ship it.
Whew! A month after You+Dallas launches, Blinksale’s redesign rolls out! Clearly, I’ve been busy. Though this redesign was mostly a reskinning of the app, there was a bit of new visual design thrown in. And, a couple weeks later, Blinksale added brand new functionality the the workflow in the form of estimates.
Do you have video content that you'd like to sell? Would you like said selling to be dead-simple? Hit me up; I have a protip for you.— Jared Christensen (@jaredigital) July 26, 2010
Um, did I even sleep this summer? Between our You+Dallas client work, and work on Blinksale, our scrappy little studio had been developing a cool new way to buy & sell videos online. Monetizer, as it is called, was beta-launched at the end of July and has been enjoying a steady stream of signups and tire-kickers every since.
This phone is friggin gorgeous.— Jared Christensen (@jaredigital) July 29, 2010
iPhone 4: best birthday present ever. It may be the finest piece of industrial and software design I’ve ever seen. Even now, I hold it and feel like I truly am living in the future.
Instagram is great! Makes me wish I hadn't bought Hipstamatic a couple weeks ago.— Jared Christensen (@jaredigital) October 8, 2010
Though there had been other apps with the same or similar functionality, Instagram was the first to craft an experience that felt natural and fun. I had just purchased Hipstamatic and was bemoaning its complexity and rigidity. Instagram was a breath of fresh air, and a great social experience to boot.
Though only released in private beta at this time, Blinksale gets a huge upgrade feature: Blinkpay. A $10 add-on to Blinksale, Blinkpay will initially allow clients to pay invoices with a credit card. The option to pay with electronic check + other related features are rolling out in the next few months.
This has been a huge undertaking. The feature itself touches many parts of Blinksale, and had to be carefully integrated. Working with payment processors was also a huge challenge. The feature seems fairly simple, but you would not believe the plethora of paperwork and minutiae required to make it work. But that’s the point, isn’t it?
Goodbye, Viewzi: http://www.viewzi.com/ :(— Jared Christensen (@jaredigital) December 28, 2010
Though Viewzi was no longer being developed and had been essentially left to drift on the internet seas almost 2 years ago, the site was still available to those who liked using it. But the time came when it no longer made sense to continue supporting the non-trivial costs of keeping the service online, and we pulled the plug. Viewzi was a great idea, and I’ll always remember the time I worked on it fondly.
It is so quitting time.— Jared Christensen (@jaredigital) December 29, 2010
And so ended my last day of full-time employment at Doublewide Labs/Blinksale. It was a fantastic run, and I’m so glad I was able to be a part of such great opportunities. I will still be involved with design and product development to some extent, but not as my full-time gig. Thusly, I am currently looking for work in the Dallas area (or via telecommute). I’m excited for the possibilities!