I propose that we classify software as a living organism.

No, I’m not referring to Ms. Dewey. I am
thinking about software in general.

Let’s see… Someone fathers (or mothers) the code and brings it to
life. They showcase it to the world, either by photos and glimpses
(proprietary software) or by allowing someone else to hold (open
source software). The parents try to correct the mistakes in the
software as early as possible in its childhood. If it’s too late, it
will be too hard to change the child’s attitude. If the child gets
really cranky, then the parents just abandon it. If so, they’re sent
to a foster home, also known as new maintainers of the software.

Maybe I took that metaphor a bit too far.

Let me start again… Think of your iPod or your car, the world around
really doesn’t affect it. Yes, they both need some kind of fuel, but
for the most part, they’re just there and they’ll keep working as long
as they are not damaged. On the other hand, software is very
dependent on the world around it. For one, its usefulness and
purpose keeps changing, and on the other hand, dependencies keep
changing or paradigms keep changing – new kinds of approaches
replace old software. As a corollary, indisciplined or
unintelligent parents lead to similar nature/attitude of
children… And so on.

If someone doesn’t take care of the child, err, maintain the software,
it shrivels up and dies. The software needs to breathe constantly to
be relevant. It needs to be kept alive.

Software should be classified as a living organism.


“Anything that is not managed will deteriorate” — Bob
Parsons

Note: I no longer work with IonLab since Nov 12 of 2009.

One of the many parts in the creation of
ion
was the designing of the look and
feel of the product.

We do very limited direct selling (we sell mostly online) and from
what I’ve seen, people just see the finishing and packaging of the ion
and instantly buy it. My understanding is that based on how the
product looks and feels, we assume that the same level of “attention
to detail” has been maintained even in the internals of the product.
In other words, “if it looks good, the product must work good”. Heck,
we even apply the same logic to boys and girls, we obviously go for
the good looking ones… must be something in the genes.

As I was saying, good look and feel increases the “sellability” of the
product as well as the desire of the customer to buy the product. It
so turned out that we were lucky to arrive at a combination of both
good packaging and a solid product (thanks to Vikram’s electronics
prowess).

We sought help from a friend Diwan
Babu
(of Guru ColorTech) who did some
“amateur” designing for us and it came out really well. He made some
four designs (well, actually three since two are variations of the
same basic design):

ion_blue_vertical
ion_red
ion_blue_horizontal
ion_black

All four were good designs, and we didn’t know how to choose between
them.

My view was that I didn’t like the black one because the long ‘i’
makes it look like ‘j’ and the red one was too bright. I was biased
towards the blue horizontal one, especially because I remembered what
Philip once
said
:

“Light blue is a universally neutral colour in that all other
colours that exist are either offensive or have negative
connotations in some religion, or culture.”

We happened to be sitting in front of a Nike showroom thinking about
what to do, and this crazy idea of asking real people came up (okay, I
admit it was me who suggested it, but catching random people and
talking to them is not my thing, so those two did most of the hard
work). Several people, who tried to walk in to the store, were
bombarded by us asking about which logo they would prefer. Just to
make sure we were doing a proper survey, we changed the order of the
logos (so that they’re not biased towards the one in the center,
etc.), we asked people of different age groups, and so on.

It was a clear decision – the blue (horizontal) logo was going to be
the look of the ion.

After that, we used the blue logo as our basis to create many more
designs such as the posters, the
banner and the final box design:

ion_box_front

It was “too blue” all the way, heh.

This website is now available at both
www.swaroopch.com and
www.swaroopch.info. Officially, my
website is now www.swaroopch.com.

Why? Because the iPhone has a “.com” button on its
keypad
.

Well, there’s another reason too. It’s because the .info domain was
registered a long time ago by a sponsor when I was a student (and I
couldn’t afford it myself), and now I’m not able to convince the
sponsor to transfer the domain name to me. So, as a backup option, I
registered the .com name and both web addresses are now equivalent.

To sum it up, if some day the .info domain is not reachable, try the
.com one.