My new phrase is “approachable investment” and it takes the place of “lower barriers to entry” as in: “with LAMP as a pre-configured platform, the thought of setting up a web 2.0 company suddenly became an approachable investment.” Which brings me to “Joe’s Goals”, something that a few years back wouldn’t have been an approachable investment. In today’s environment, a few chums can whip together something quite cool to keep track of your bad and good habits. From Joe’s Goals about-us page:
Inspired somewhat by Benjamin Franklin’s 13 Virtues, I built Joe’s Goals to make it stupidly simple to create, track, and share your personal goals. It is a productivity application that is actually easy enough to use.
Notice that in just one paragraph, they’ve summarized a monumental amount of investment, most of which didn’t cost them a dime:
FamFamFam free icon library – professional quality icons and interaction elements
Tango Icon Library – more free icons and buttons
Spiffy Corners – solving the age old dilemma of rounded corners in CSS
MySQL – an enterprise-grade database, free!
WordPress CMS – for their news blog
“In My Pad” theme – to make their wordpress look neato
Looking at the projects listed above, I think it’s easy to assume that literally millions of hours — and even more dollars — have gone into their development. These millions of hours are hours that Joe’s Blog didn’t have to spend when they thought about creating their simple to-do list. Deduct a few million hours from the beginning of a project, and “poof!”, suddenly whipping up a web-app in a weekend becomes a wholly approachable investment.