Crowdplace, MVP and Working on 1.1


For the past few months I’ve been working on the iPhone app for [Crowdplace][]. In a nutshell what Crowdplace does is let you save your favorite content into a customized stream of useful information. Whether it is an RSS feed, Facebook posts, pictures, links, etc. is inconsequential…everything is considered content.

You can read more here

I was interested in working with the team for numerous reasons, but two of the biggest ones where:

  1. I got to work with my friend, and former boss from St. Jude, Greg Jordan
  2. Greg used Neo4j for backend storage.


When I took on the project the desktop browser client was much much further along than any iOS efforts. Though there wasn’t a hard “due date” to launch the app, there was a general timeframe. Unfortunately I didn’t have the time to get the app up to a 1:1 feature set with the desktop client during that time. I spent about a week going to through and make some pretty hard descisions about what would stay and what would have to wait. Those on the chopping block included features, as well as, some under the cover solutions. For example, there isn’t really robust caching happening outside of NSURLCache and on disk/memory caching for profile images.

Right now version 1.0 is undergoing testing from a variety of users. What I was able to deliever might be “missing” features, but what it does do it does well. I was able to squeeze in background fetch I spent as much time and effort as I could to make sure that the app was smooth and stable. I would rather release an initial version of an app that is feature limited than something that is clunky and crashes.


While version 1.0 is being tested I’ve already started the 1.1 branch and development is well underway. The first big sprint is syncing and caching using CoreData. Since CoreData will be the caching mechanism I’m having to do quite a bit of refactoring models, callbacks, etc., but I can already see the benefits of these efforts. While my focus for version 1.0 is to provide a stable and easy to use app, I’m even more excited about version 1.1 and the foundation that it will be built on.