Thursday, March 24, 2011


iStormApps originated from iStorm and iChalk, two programs we had made years ago around when Gore dueling Bush was the hottest news. Storm here of course derived from brainstorming as the programs were meant to be real-time collaborative tool. And by we, I mean myself and my son Phill Ryu, who was in high school at the time. 

If you are curious about the concept behind iStorm/iChalk, you may look into the cheeky promo videos we made around that time. 

Somehow, the programs (and the concept) made some stir, among progressive educators in particular and yet, failed to take off big time. After all these years, I still muse about why. There are obvious steps we hadn't taken to promote, but the real point of my intrigue is the gap between the fascination the idea itself generated and the fact that people generally prefer less intense approach (such as emails and chats). A consolation would be that, years later, Google came up with a web-based take on the concept, executed it rather brilliantly, but only to fail and fold. (Google Wave)

The iStorm project was more like a "serious" hobby for myself and my son at the time, and we didn't have much marketing knowhow, although my son quickly moved on to develop one for one of his ventures. The US political turmoil at the time wore down everyone, and by the time we made RendezvousPong around 2003, I felt all my entrepreneural energy was drained out. In retrospect, one thing I am amused about is that the avatars I made for that little pong program as a tired political commentary managed to feature many of the big time players-to-be, including an obscure (well, at least to me!) senator named Obama and the senator-to-be, Al Franken. Only if I made such bets on little stocks I own....!

Over the recent few years, many events happened both personal and global. As a result, we all are people different from what we were in the last century, and here I am, working on a cute little App called Honk, to be offered at .99 cents! As a physicist who have fond memory of learning about the spacetime while learning the trade, I find it rather fitting that Honk is also about space and time in its way....

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