I love the idea of small tech: businesses run my one or two people that can take on some of the big boys of Silicon Valley and win. The idea of people working on only one thing, earning a living from it and delivering a quality product all at once really appeals to me.
Here’s a few small tech things that I’m currently fascinated with:
A Digital Audio Workstation. One of the best. Developed by Justin Frankel . Does pretty much everything that the more expensive DAWs like Ableton, Logic Pro, etc can do. Is relatively cheap and you can test it indefinitely if you’re happy to put up with a timed nag screen.
Another DAW. See above, although this one works with a variety of payment models to support development: subscription, single payment, timed demo. Alternatively you can download the source code and build it yourself. Plus, it also works on Linux.
Remember delicious? It was the old bookmark storage SaaS. This is what it’s become now. Run by one person who is very active on the social media using their position to make the world a better place. It now runs as a subscription service.
What I like about all of this is that you can license software as open source / free so people can build it themselves, sell the compiled version or have it subscribed to (although I’m not sure how I feel about that yet) and provide a paid service / boltons, plugins to add functionality.
I’ve fallen into the world of podcasting and listening to radio plays whilst on my way to work or running or even chilling in the evening when everybody else has gone to bed. Some of them are excellent. Here’s the ones that I am currently listening to and can recommend:
The Case of Charles Dexter Ward / The Whisperer in Darkness
An awesome remake of some of HP Lovecraft’s greatest works imagined as a couple of paranormal experts falling into an eerie story that covers missing people, cults, Rendlesham Forest, weird buzzing noises, Government agents, memory loss, paranoia, witchcraft, conspiracy, family affairs, Summarian Gods, dead bodies, not quite dead bodies. The usual.
There’s an excellent monologue part way through where a historian explains and ties together a bunch of disparate things into a massive conspiracy theory reminiscent of the 15 minute monologue in JFK by ‘X’.
I’m obsessed by all things basecamp. It’s a great project planning app, they have a unique way of working that they write about. A lot. They have this excellent anarchic spirit of doing things their own damn way. A perfect role model for anybody wanting to start, build and run a good organisation.
The podcast just builds on this and has interesting interviews with different folks and how they work.
Night Vale is a lovely town in the American Desert where you’d love to live. As long as you didn’t mine the Secret Police and don’t look at the hooded figures in the dog park. And it’s a very safe place to live as long as you know how dangerous librarians are and don’t become an intern to the local radio station there where regular broadcasts keep us updated with the latest news (and weather) from this remarkable and lovely little town.