It’s been a busy 6 months since I joined Fanzter. Things aren't slowing down, so I thought I’d finally take a second to introduce myself.
Who Am I?
My name is Jon Maddox, I live in Richmond, Va. I'm a software developer that loves building great products. You can find a little more about me here, you can Google me, or follow me at Twitter and GitHub. For now, lets talk about something that's actually interesting....like why I'm at Fanzter and what I'll be doing.
Why Am I Here?
I am currently the VP of Technology and Product Development for Fanzter. I joined Fanzter through the acquisition of my previous company, Mustache, Inc. So why am I here? Well, in all my years of using/playing with/developing technology, I’ve come to have pretty high standards and taste. I know what's good and I know what's not-so-good. In a nutshell, I know what sucks. And the inverse of that, I know what’s awesome -- the work Fanzter is doing is AWESOME. So my role here is to help them finish their current product roadmaps and help invent future products. So while I’ll still be developing, I’ll also be making some pretty crucial decisions on our product roadmaps.
Coolspotters.com was already a really amazing product before I joined the team. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t. But, the beauty of Coolspotters is, that it’s a rooted product that has the ability to scale out in a million different directions. The hardest part is to control those directions. So one thing I’ll be doing is helping to determine which of those directions we actually act on, and in what order. All of those decisions will be based on 3 things:
- Time to Develop / Value - The old ‘low hanging fruit’ plan. Being a small team, we have to pick and choose our next gen features wisely. The last thing we want to do is spend months on a feature that lends nothing to the entire site. It’s important that we we balance how awesome a feature will be for users with the length of time it will take to develop.
- Does it make Coolspotters easier to use? - Coolspotters is a pretty massive site. If time isn’t taken to examine a feature closely, it’d be super easy to junk it up. It’s important to make sure each new feature fits into the flow of Coolspotters easily. Anyone can add feature after feature. But without a clear understanding and fit for that feature, you end up with super bloat. We want to make Coolspotters as user friendly to browse as we can.
- Does it make Coolspotters’ data more expressive? - Coolspotters hosts an enormous amount of data. Awesome data. This has the potential to get you lost pretty easily. It’s important for us that Coolspotters data is understandable and obvious. Any new feature has to improve this usability, not make it more hectic.
During all of this, I’m also working on some pretty awesome internal tools, and a iPhone app here and there, that help the Fanzter family of products become even better. But more on that later…