In record time, the Apple Store has accepted our iKan Personal Kanban app. This means that Modus Cooperandi’s first iPhone app is up and ready for sale. That link there tells you about the app itself, but this post is going to discuss how it came to be and why it is significant to me.
You see, the way things get built is changing rapidly. It’s exciting – but it’s also not surprising when it fails. But when it works, it is a beautiful thing.
Here’s what happened.
Over the last eight months, people kept asking me “Where is the Personal Kanban iPhone app?” I usually answered something like, “We just came out with Personal Kanban a few months ago, give me a break!” I was expecting other developers to do the iPhone app, but after a time it became clear no one was going to do it.
After a Seattle Lean Coffee, I found myself talking to Jeremy Lightsmith, Gary Bernhardt and Corey Ladas. We discovered a shared vision for what iKan would look like and how it might evolve. We were all keenly interested in the future of work and lean. Things clicked.
We negotiated a quick equity-for-effort model, designed to evolve with the product. As we move forward, equity stakes in the product will change as groups of us (or others) work on the product. No pain, no bickering.
The next day we had our first pre-alpha of the software. Everyone pitched in with the time they had and the expertise they could bring. Jeremy and Gary doing the coding. Corey and I finalizing the feature set and guiding the release plan. And finally Jeremy and myself getting all the rigmarole with getting Apple certification for the developers, Modus Cooperandi and the app itself.
We set up a dropbox folder where Jeremy and Gary fed versions of iKan to Corey, the beta testers (Thanks Ann and Patty!), and myself. We used a development kanban on Zen to track features, progress and tasks. All in all it was about eight weeks to completion.
Why is this beautiful? It was refreshing to have an idea, come up with the first minimal release for that idea, and just build it. No angels, VCs, loans or legalities. Just four people who wanted to get this thing out and working.
Between this, the Personal Kanban book and the work Modus has been doing with the United Nations, I’m feeling pretty good about the state of collaboration in my world right now.
Again, check out the iKan Personal Kanban app and maybe buy a few.