Well, yes it has. I still feel like my whole life still didn’t settle enough for me thinking thoughts deep enough so that I could blog about them. And then, I’ve obviously been bitten by the pesky twitter bug, resulting in writing invariantly more, but in 140 character chunks.

So, whassup? Awesome Fontstacks is still going relatively strong, although it is extremely hard to find the necessary time to bring the idea forward. Well, there’s still more than half a year left before to come up with an idea on how to pay the server bills :)

On a similar note, we’ve developed an idea we currently call “Awesome Ideas Inc.”, which right now consists of a small group of awesome people committed to bring one small project to life in each quarter, every time in a rails rumble like fashion. We just (this weekend) finished our first project, which we launched in what I would call silent beta. If you’re interested in checking out a project in a very rough and unfinished state, hit one of us up on the twitters for a link.

The weekend was an interesting experience, because it was the first time we actually tried to force ourselves to work in a rumble like setup with no actual contest going on. Also, we had some organisational issues with people not finding the time to contribute, our lead frontend guy catching the lurgy the week before and also working in a considerably less technically oriented field than the last two times. Nevertheless, Malte with whom we never worked before (but only heard great things about before, of course), not only delivered a great design and visual concept, but also fit the team perfectly. Huge thanks, and massive thumbs up! Also, he contacted his berlin friend Kristina Schneider who, on very short notice, delivered awesome illustrations.

The father of the application idea, Tim Schurig, a long friend of our mindmatters Social Media Expert (just kidding, mate) Florian Siepert, also was great because he not only provided a great idea (ideas alone may be worthless, but that doesn’t mean that you don’t need to come up with them) but also was happily bouncing back and forth with all of us on the concept. He spent most of the weekend together with the equally awesome Klaus-Peter Frahm, preparing scribbles, writing copy and finding an endless stream of project matching puns.

So, on the concept on design side, things went smoothly, but in retrospect, they also went way to slow, or, more aptly put, way to late. For us in the development corner (Always a pleasure to work with: Podio’s very own Florian Munz and mindmatters co-founder and slightly lurgy ridden, but still awesomely awesome Wolfgang Wopperer), this weekend was by far the hardest challenge and we almost completely failed. We were reluctant to start at all, because the concept was, at least for the first hours, still very much in flux, and then we started at the wrong edge, prototyping advanced input controls in javascript. What we should have done, in retrospect, is to start as you would do in any sensible project context: Implementing the core workflow (which is complicated enough, as we found out later, maybe too late) without bells and whistles and then iterate from there. So, we pretty much jammed ourselves for the first 8-12 hours in the project. Of course it was Florian who finally got the message and spent the rest of the time implementing the workflow while I was still drenched in jQuery UI slime. I am still amazed that we managed to actually complete the workflow (only the golden path, I’m afraid, but still…).

What do we take away from it? For me personally it was a wake up call to stick to the process I know that works, namely, sketching out a rough workflow with the simplest techniques possible and then, when the conceptional and design dust settles, iterate on UI/UX from there. Apart from that, I am convinced that we have found an amazing model to work with. What makes this concept great is not only the quick turnaround, enabling us to verify ideas with very little overhead, but also the people, which are all absolutely top notch at what they do, but are also astonishingly low on ego trippin’, which is crucial for such an endeavour – The last thing you want on such a weekend long sprint is two people fighting some ego fight on conflicting ideas.

Rock. On. We’ll keep you posted. For now, it might be a good idea to follow @awesomeideasinc on twitter.