Squidoo Lenses and plans for future products.

A day or so ago I got an email from Seth Godin which was sent to all Squidoo Lens Masters that had a lens in the top 100 to say that the ranking mechanism was about to change.

Originally Lenses were ranked by total visits since they were created, it was now going to be based on a rolling previous two weeks worth instead. So my RapidWeaver Lens which has been around since the beta days was likely to drop from the top 100, or so I thought.

Well, I’ve just looked at the “Top 100 Most Visited (traffic)” stats and this is what I’ve found:


As you can see, I’ve jumped from position 97 to position 20! Woohoo!

Now, you might be wondering why I have a RapidWeaver lens anyway, what’s that got to do with my current business, selling a desktop reporting tool for FogBugz called CaseDetective?

Apart from being a very happy RapidWeaver user and wanting to support a fellow U.K. based software developer, I’ll let you into a little secret… I had seriously thought about writing some RapidWeaver plugins. Having a RapidWeaver Lens would therefore have been a very good move, allowing me to gain an element of “master-hood” on the subject of RapidWeaver.

I say “had” because I’ve since decided not to take that path, writing plugins for someone else’s software isn’t the way I currently want to go with my business, I already have one “add-on” product in CaseDetective for FogBugz. I’d also have to spend considerable time learning Objective-C and Cocoa when I’m still enjoying discovering the power and new features of the forever evolving REALbasic language on a daily basis.

I must admit that the RapidWeaver plugin ideas I had were pretty darn good, and each was one that I could use myself, so there’s still a chance that I’ll build one or more of them in the future if no-one else does, but I have since come up with plenty of product ideas which I’ll most likely explore before.

All the ideas I have for new products are independent, i.e. they do not need any other software (other than basic OS services), which means they have their own market and are not constrained by the size of another product’s user base. I think this lack of independence in CaseDetective for FogBugz is it’s Achilles Heal, it means CaseDetective is forever tied to the fortunes of FogBugz, or any other bug tracking system that I might port it to. I’m also going to be forever playing catch-up with Fog Creek as they improve FogBugz and add features. I don’t want to be in that position with more than one product, one is enough.

Another benefit of the product ideas I have is that they are all able to be developed in REALbasic, and are largely database based and easily cross-platform, which plays on my strengths and interests.

The only problem, I’m so busy with CaseDetective I don’t have time to develop these ideas anyway! Which further backs up my decision not to create RapidWeaver plugins, I simply don’t have the time to learn the technology just now, even with Aaron Hillegass’s Cocoa: Programming For Mac OS X by my side.

I’m looking forward to a time when I’ll be able to develop some new products and hopefully improve my revenue streams, but at present there is so much I want to add to CaseDetective that I feel it might be some time before I’m able to get anything else to market.

Talking of which, I’d better get back to development, bye for now!

No comments.

  1. Cool, and congrats.

    That helped me understand the sudden shake up in the ranking of some of my lenses. I had a top 100 lens, but it must have slipped down the chart just in time to lock me out of the loop!