I founded Appsembler in 2012 to make it easier to try open source software (OSS). The idea grew out of my observation that OSS was typically not offered in the SaaS model, which meant that it was hard for non-technical people to get started OSS. I also noticed that it was difficult for developers to monetize their software, except by resorting to consultingware. Appsembler solves both problems by providing a marketplace of high quality open source apps that you can try with 1-click.
The company was originally founded in 2010 as DjangoZoom, a PaaS for Django developers, but morphed into Appsembler when it became apparent that building a mono-lingual PaaS was too narrow a market, and the bigger well-funded polyglot PaaS providers would make it a race to the bottom.
Jazkarta, Inc. (www.jazkarta.com)
I founded Jazkarta in 2004 as a web consulting business, specializing in developing websites using Plone, an open source content management system. In addition to building Plone sites, we’re also now building custom web and mobile applications using Django and Pyramid.
Plone is a powerful open source content management system that I’ve been working with since 2002. I’ve found that it’s a very capable tool for building websites, intranets, and other web applications. From 2002-2010, I was quite active in the community, co-organizing sprints, speaking at conferences and served on the Plone Foundation board for three terms.
Some of my Plone related projects which are now inactive.
- Plone4Artists was a project that I started to use Plone to build online artist communities. Out of it grew several Plone add-ons for audio, video, calendaring.
- Plone.tv was a community media portal with audio/video content about Plone. Now we have pyvideo.org.
- Banjo was a tool that leveraged Ian Bicking’s Deliverance for point-n-click theming. It never really matured past the prototype stage. Now we have plone.app.theming!
- Boston Plone Users Group was a local users group that I founded to connect with other Boston-based Plone enthusiasts.
These days I’m doing most of my development in Python and Django, “the web framework for perfectionists with deadlines.” Django is the web framework that powers many popular sites including Instagram, Pinterest, Eventbrite and Disqus. I also founded the Boston Django users group in 2008 which now has over 700 members.
- django-deployer is a generic Deployment tool for Django that supports popular PaaS providers such as Heroku, Dotcloud, Stackato, OpenShift, and Gondor.
- Ourmy lets you enlist an “ourmy” of fans to help promote your campaign and post links to Twitter and Facebook. It was developed at AngelHack. See the code. To be released soon!
- CodeFangs showcases the top open source projects by calculating a software health metric using a variety of sources and displays these projects on a ranked leaderboard. It was developed during the Vampire Hackathon 2012. See the code. Would love to continue working on this if anyone is interested!
- AnytimeEvent – Have you ever missed an event you have really wanted to attend? Have you ever wished you could see a video, read a transcript, or view slides from the event? With AnytimeEvent, you can pay a fraction of the original ticket price to virtually experience the event on your own time See the code. Anytime event was developed at AngelHack in June 2012. See the code.
- PickupConnect automatically calls people who are important to you. Just create an account, type in your friends/family and their phone numbers, and pickupconnect will call you and them randomly or on a schedule that you specify. It was developed at the Boston Startup Weekend in Oct. 2011.
- Valentunes lets you enter your Valentine’s name, his or her specific interests, and unique phrases and descriptions. It then searches lyrics to discover music that uses those words, filters those songs by danceability and other taste factors, and then serves them up so you can listen and hand-pick the final playlist. Used the Musicmatch API for Lyrics, and Twilio API for telephony. Valentunes was developed at Music Hack Day New York in Feb. 2011. See the code.
Music Tech projects
Past projects (now inactive):
- BostonJazz.net : I started the Boston Jazz Meetup group and saw that there wasn’t a good online site for finding out about jazz events, so I started building BostonJazz.net, an online community website for jazz musicians and fans in the Boston area. The goal of the site is to increase awareness of the musicians performing in the Boston jazz scene and encourage more people to go out and hear live music. Tech: Plone and Plone4Artists. The JazzBoston site was launched a few years ago and is a good source for this info.
- Gigblastr was a tool to blast gig information to a bunch of websites all at once, to save the musician time when promoting his/her gigs. Tech: Google App Engine, APIs: Eventful, Facebook, Twitter. Nowadays this is done using ArtistData.
- Valentunes. See above under Django projects.