James Adam by James Adam

Some “Exciting” news

While it may not always have been obvious, it’s always been my intention to build a company that strikes a balance between consulting for clients and exploring how to build products and services for ourselves.

Client work is enjoyable and a very useful way to keep our skills sharp, but its not something I planned to do simply for it’s own sake. It is also a means of funding these other pursuits; it’s how we put fuel in the rocket.

Over the past couple of years, challenges inside and outside of Go Free Range have made achieving this balance hard. Not everyone enjoys the kinds of context switching that it requires, or trying to develop orthogonal skills, and it can be tough to make decisions which might impact a client in order to make investments in other kinds of project.

It’s also incredibly hard to maintain focus and momentum without the clear external validation that a client provides. In the past, it’s often been easier to defer work on other goals in favour of that simpler validation, but once repeated a few times, the unfortunate consequence is little progress in other areas.

I still really want to take that rocket out for a spin or two, and so we have decided to change our approach. We are moving the products and non-client projects – Harmonia, Printer, Heylist and a few others – into a new company, with the aim of developing these projects and products further, building sustainable momentum and creating an effective space to prototype new ideas. The single goal of this new company is learning how to effectively explore software in this way.

As developers, I think we can sometimes have a tendency toward pessimism, or even cynicism. This is a useful trait in many situations, particularly when it comes to making promises about what is possible. On the other hand, enthusiasm and optimism are absolutely vital when trying to making anything for yourself; a sort of controlled naïveté, perhaps.

To capture that spirit, and to remind ourselves of its importance, this new company is called “Exciting”.

You can find out more on the new website, and by following @exciting_io on Twitter.

While my focus is shifting, James M and Chris will continue to run Go Free Range, providing the same great service and exemplary technical skills on all existing and future projects.

So, exciting times! See you in the future,

– James A

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