Is it needed?

Does the world need my product? I am about to find out…

I have had ideas bouncing in my head since I started programming. Some of them hairbrained, I’ll admit. But this one keeps bubbling to the top. And its time has come. If I don’t do this, someone else will. In some instances, some already have.

So why write something that someone has already written? Ask the makers of Gimp, Apache, Linux, and if you can find him/her: bitcoin.

What I am proposing is an open sourced piece of middleware that provides connectivity to many of the different bitcoin and altcoin exchanges. I know I need it for my projects, and I think others need it to. So here’s the SWOT:

Situation:

There are many bitcoin and altcoin exchanges out there. The vast majority provide APIs to their service, and a web trading interface. But there is no open source front-end that can connect to them.

Open source is important in this realm, as no one wants to install an application that sends their private keys to their favorite anonymous hacker. Open source software provides a level of trust between the user and the developer.

Weapons:

I know we have some of the pieces, and I believe we have others.

I have been developing software since before many (maybe the majority?) of software developers were born. I know how to develop software. I especially know how to write the middle “ugly” stuff that nobody talks about and the front-end guys laugh and say they don’t need (that is, until their project stalls because their MVP was pieced together with bubble gum and shoestring and no one can unwind and unstick it).

Do I know marketing? No. Can I come up with slick slogans? Not really. But I do know how to write software. And some recent technologies may just make the “selling” of this idea not so burdensome.

Objectives:

I will write the middleware to allow front-ends to connect to multiple bitcoin and altcoin exchanges. I will allow front-ends to connect to this software using a generic front-end (probably the FIX financial protocol). The final product will be open sourced.

Tactics:

I am investigating an existing front-end that is a somewhat abandoned open source project. That will hopefully allow me to test my pieces, and provide an end-to-end software product that people can use.

The pitch:

Okay, there’s my SWOT. Now what? Well, I need to eat. So I need to find people that can back my idea because they want to see the results. I’m thinking a sort of “crowdfunding” or “smart contract” idea.

I know this part is not easy. After all, who wants to pay for a product that will be given away when it is done? But I believe that enough people want this piece that they’ll be willing to fund its development. And the front-end piece may have enough of a community that they would love to see their product put to use and supported once again, and chip in on its advancement.

The next steps:

Over the next several weeks, I will be researching several things, and attempting to put my ducks in a row.

  • Am I sure there’s no other open source project out there that does the same thing?
  • Does the front-end I’m considering have the value I think it does?
  • Is the licensing of the front-end compatible with what I’m trying to do?
  • Is my vision shaded, as I need this product, but everyone else is happy with their proprietary closed-source option?
  • What is the best way to drum up interest in the project, so that I can find eventual users, and they can provide input to its development?
  • What kind of timeframe to get a MVP out? What should be the milestones?
  • Is a smart contract something that should be looked at? What about crowdfunding? I don’t want to waste too much time on administrative tasks. I want to write software!

If you have some input, please do not hesitate to reach out. Find all the ways to contact me by clicking here.