Whither Three Straight?

By Kevin Packard                        twitter@kevinpackard

I can’t quit you baby.  So I’m gonna put you down for awhile.

I haven’t posted for some time, but not because I’ve abandoned Three Straight.  So what happened?  A couple things.  Like … I left a stable, well-paying Staff Engineering position at Shoretel to work from home and chase some dreams.

But I’m getting ahead of myself.  Here’s how things unfolded.


Opportunity Costs

First, I realized that if I was to keep my full-time job at Shoretel,  it was going to take a year or two to get Three Straight polished and released.  That would be fine, and fun!  But the opportunity costs were high.  Specifically, I wouldn’t be able to finish the other projects on my plate.


Project One

The first project is an iPhone app for TapTapTap that I’ve been developing on and off for some time now.  This project absolutely must come before Three Straight, for many reasons — first and foremost being that I promised John Casasanta that I would finish.  And now that I’ve left ShoreTel, I’ve been able to crank it up.  It’s oh so close to completion.  Very soon, I hope to make the announcement that it’s in the app store.


Project Two

The second project is an overhaul of the venerable OS X application MacRail, a machine-vision system originally called Autovision, with roots back to the late 1970’s.  In 2004, I undertook the arduous task of bringing MacRail to OS X.  Working with another engineer, it took 10 months to complete.  Since then, I’ve done occasional patches and extensions to MacRail, but it is sorely in need of a complete conversion to Cocoa.  I estimate this to take roughly 12 months of full-time work.  Now … it’s not possible to take on the 12 month MacRail project while working full-time at ShoreTel.  Conversely, 12 months of contract work is certainly not worth leaving ShoreTel.  So why did I leave?  Because of the third project … (!)


Project Three

The third project is another app with TapTapTap.  I can’t say anything about it yet (oh okay, it’s an iPad game, but that’s all I’m saying!).  It should be done around the end of this year.  I’m working for an equity stake this time, instead of an hourly contract.  It has a lot of potential, and I’m really excited about it.  Like MacRail, this project is way too big to take on while holding down a full-time job.  The true opportunity cost of staying at ShoreTel is not doing this project.

So, I resigned.  My last day at ShoreTel was January 4 of this year.  On January 7 I started working from home, spending half time on the MacRail contract, and half time working on my TapTapTap projects.  The MacRail contract pays the bills, and if all goes well, the TapTapTap game will hit the app store before the end of the year and start generating revenue.

That’s the plan, Stan.


Yes, but whither Three Straight?

Project Four is Three Straight.  It doesn’t have the same revenue potential as the TapTapTap game, so it must come last.  But believe me – it will happen.  I might even create a Kickstarter Campaign to sell physical game boards.


I couldn’t be happier … 🙂

2 thoughts on “Whither Three Straight?

  1. Glad to hear that you are happy and that you have plenty of worthwhile work to do. You have indeed pursued excellence and I am most pleased and proud of you.

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