I am a dreamer and also a builder. The Internet and personal computing define the greatest playground and platform for construction and experimentation in this part of history. Over the last five years, I've turned out a few projects. The dashboard http://donpark.org/dashboard shows important stats from the currently operating projects. The front page of http://donpark.org is a historical list of projects that got significant development. All project ideas starting in 2008 are cataloged on a wiki page http://donpark.org/wiki/projectideas. Code for each project is on http://github.com/donpdonp. What follows is a description of each project, along with some key metrics.
domain registration: 14-Sep-2008
first commit: 7-Sep-2008
stack: rails, couchdb, android
total rewrite: Dec-2011 - Mar-2012
stack: nodejs, rails, couchdb, android
android app installs: 700
position records: 500,000
Many good ideas arise from the convergence of a number of new technologies. The IceCondor name is a pun on an early Yahoo location project called FireEagle. IceCondor is continuous location tracking through cell phones. The technologies involved are all cell phone related. The carriers started providing afforable data everywhere. The hardware in the phones keep getting better - cheaper, more accurate GPS receivers, longer batery life. The open source cell phone operating system Android allowed easy creation of background services that ran continuously - just right for making note of the phone's location every few minutes.
The android app went into the Android Marketplace as soon as the marketplace was open to the public, in the fall of 2008. In spring 2009 Google came out with Google Latitude, which seemed like competition but in actuality had very different features. The app Reliability and battery drain were large concerns. It mostly did what I wanted, to have a record of everywhere I went without having to manage the app in any way.
domain registration: 30-Mar-2009
first commit: 31-Mar-2009
stack: rails, postgresql
users: approx 30 (data lost 2012)
delivery records: less than 100
actual deliveries made: 3
EveryoneDelivers goes back to 2004 but had to wait a few years for implementation. Its inspiration was the poster child of the 1999 bubble, Kozmo. Kozmo had a convenience-store selection of food, etc on a web site that included free delivery in under 30 minutes. It was an amazing example of what the Internet could enable, and how much money a startup can burn through without being profitable.
Kozmo struggled with having its own inventory in addition to its own employees. What if both could be crowdsourced? The other motivation is there aught to be bite-sized work that people can do for money. Something between sitting at home and a 40 or 20 hour/week job. "Odd jobs" or a paper delivery route are older terms for the same thing.
EveryoneDelivers is craigslist for delivery services. Anything that a delivery person could purchase was available, so all the inventory of grocery and convenience stores were available. A person could register themselves and annouce their availability on the site. A huge boost to the functionality of the site was Square - upon delivery at the doorstep, the person receiving the delivery could hand over a visa to the delivery person to be charged.
domain registration: 29-Aug-2009
first commit: 27-Aug-2009
stack: sinatra, couchdb
wifi observations: 23,229 (and counting)
In some ways, wifi position is more reliable and more accurate than GPS positioning. Usually when it counts, too - in dense urban environments where GPS is least reachable, the density of wifi beacons is highest. The closed nature of Skyhook was frustrating - old location information would linger. Google started its own database but it too was difficult to impossible to edit. Inspired by wikipedia and the relative simplicity of crowdsourcing the collection of wifi+location data, Geomena was born. Its a location service that uses creative commons to license the data. Also some browsers allowed their wifi-location-lookup service to be configurable, especially firefox. This allowed for real choice in location data providers. Geomena is setup for anonymous location editing of any access point(AP). It was easy to move my AP location whenever I moved from one house to another, for example.
domain registration: 28-Feb-2012
first commit: 31-Mar-2012
stack: rails, postgresql, wepay
funded projects: 2
Inspired by kickstarter and by y-combinator graduate crowdtilt, everythingfunded is another take on the crowdfunding platform. It is a financial services product. Amazon payments was the payment processor until they denied production approval for a crowdfunding site. I was surprised since Amazon processes kicktstarter donations. After looking around I chose WePay and have been very happy with their service.
I have a hard time coming up with why its different or better than the other crowdfunding platforms. The original idea has yet to be implemented - a fixed price project where every contribution reduces the contributions of the previous contributors. The original use case was a beach house rental.
Financial Calendar (working title)
first commit: 6-Aug-2012
stack: sinatra, postgresql
journal entries: 72
This is a reimplementation of an old idea. Using the calendar as the basis for a financial journal, easily add and remove depoits and withdrawls into an account. The calendar shows the total for each day. Its a great way to budget and do simple what-if tests by adding potential purchases, then seeing what the end of the month looks like. I use this myself and its just enough complexity to be useful.
first commit: 20-Sep-2012
stack: rails, postgresql
This is the most recent exploration into the fascinating world of Bitcoin. There are currency exchange sites located in countries around the world. The most popular exchange is between USD and BTC. I set out to study the variances in these markets to look at buying low in one market and selling high in another market. This financial information site displays the last 8 hours of market data, and the most recent market analysis between five different btc/usd markets. Its analysis says how much total opportunity there is to arbitrage between exchanges, even after exchange fees are taken into account.