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Hi I'm Mark, I write code for fun and profit


#1

Hello bootstrappers,

My name is Mark Gidman. I’ve been building web and desktop software for myself and others since 1997. My days are usually spent building products in .Net for companies in the Healthcare and Property & Casualty Insurance industries. At night I write PHP code for fun and to explore whatever product/business idea I happen to be focussed on at the moment.

I spent most of the last 10 years working in various roles with Duck Creek Technologies, an enterprise oriented startup. The company sold to Accenture in 2011. I stayed on for a while but left to do contract based development in early 2013. Since then I’ve been working mostly on healthcare related software.

From a developer skills perspective I tend toward being a generalist, organizing the group and filling in the gaps as needed. My sweet spot is solution architecture and early stage product design/development. I love growing and being part of high performing, cross-functional software teams.

Professionally speaking, I “grew up” on Joel on Software, Thau’s JavaScript Tutorial and everything Eric Sink ever wrote. I come up with new ideas almost non-stop. But, ideas are the easy part, building the business is hard. I’ve lost count of how many things I’ve started and let die somewhere along the way.

Which leads me to my current project…

My current side project is BetaBuddy, what I hope will become the easiest way to run a private beta. I’ve been working on it off and on for the last 6 months or so and expect to launch in early 2015. While I think there is decent potential for income in it I’m viewing it as a learning experience and personal milestone. Even if it never feeds my family, I expect to learn a lot in the process and grow closer to someday building something that will.


#2

Welcome!

Just signed up to the list - interested to see what’s under the hood. Let me know if you need early testers yourself :smile:


#3

Looking at the webpage, I have no idea what it does.

Perhaps some text would help :smile:


#4

Awesome, looking forward to BetaBuddy. I’ve tried some other beta testing platforms in the past and was not happy with them.


#5

Hey @jadb and @mattgreer - Thanks for signing up! I’ll keep you in mind when I’m ready to get things rolling.

@shantnu - Yup, some text would definitely help. I threw that site up in a hurry before a conference earlier this year. I wasn’t worried too much about the content since anyone that signed up probably found out about it from a personal conversation with me.


#6

I’d be interested in understanding what you didn’t like about the other products.

One thing I’ve noticed is that most of the other apps seem to take an all-in-one, comprehensive approach to the whole signup/beta process. They host your landing page. They run your signup list. They hold all the data. They use proprietary, super secret web foo to pick the best signup users to invite to your beta.

I’m taking a different approach with BetaBuddy. I’m hoping to provide an API that fills in the gaps and allows people to manage their email lists and user accounts in whatever way works best for their situation.


#7

I’ve added some more descriptive text to the BetaBuddy splash page.

Feedback welcome.


#8

@cravelight I still have no idea what your product does. Few suggestions:

  1. Put in a few use cases.

  2. Put the text on a light background. I know programmers love white text on dark background, but every non-tech person I’ve talked to (and me) says it gives them a headache.

  3. Assume you are talking to a rubber duck. Start from the beginning. What are you selling again? What pain is it fixing? How does your product help?