The world’s first field guide for smartphones is released.
My Butt Pilot
The story begins with a hike on Mt Tamalpais, looking for birds, my Palm Pilot in my back pocket.
During the dot-bomb of the stock market in 2000, I put limit sell orders on all my stocks, so if they dropped 5%, they all sold. That big drop in the NASDAQ seemed unlikely, but it happened, and all my holdings got sold. While I had big capital gains, at least I saved my bacon. Many didn’t and lost everything. I grew tired of being so focused on money. Being an active stock and options investor was fun, challenging, and sometimes stressful. It takes lots of concentration and discipline. But eventually, it seemed flat and one-dimensional. All people talk about is making more money. There was so much more to life!
One day I was hiking on Mt. Tamalpais, a 2,00-foot mountain overlooking the Pacific Ocean, which rises majestically from the heart of Marin County. I was hiking on Mt. Tam, exploring the birds, when a colorful species I had never seen plopped down on a redwood stump. I whipped my Nat Geo Field Guide to Birds of North America out of my backpack and started flipping pages. When I looked up, the bird was gone. "That’s bird spit," I thought, "these books are too hard to use to make an ID." But. I happened to have a Palm Pilot in my back pocket. This was a predecessor to the iPhone and is known as a Personal Digital Assistant or PDA. It made me wonder would it not cool to have
Winged Explorer Flops
Wing Explorer, the predecessor created for Microsoft Windows Phone, took 18 months to build and fails in the app market.
I wasn’t very imaginative when I tried the iPhone. It seemed clunky to replace the windows phone stylus with your thick fingers. Boy, was I wrong. I decided to convert our windows app to the iPhone, which though tricky, worked great. But it only sold in small numbers at first.
Welcome to the iPhone
Saved by Steve
Steve Jobs enters my life again and puts iBird Plus in the Apple television commercials, "we have an app for that," iBird Plus becomes THE app for birders.
A Trademark War
Expensive lawyers must be hired as a professor claims he owns the iBird name because he used it once in a classroom project.
An Apple Lawsuit
A disgruntled sound recordist does not like the royalty deal we made and sues Apple and me in Federal Court. We eventually settle for a ridiculous amount.
The Future – Photo Sleuth Bird Song Recognizer
This part of the story begins with a hike on Mt Tamalpais, looking for birds.