The saying goes “ Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery”. This week I was setting up for one of the professional men’s tennis tournaments we cover when I talked to a person .Last year I showed him the prototype of our reporting software and suggested that he help us develop some security reporting software. To make a long story short this year he informed me he had started a software company that now has EMS and Security reporting software.
Where did he get the idea ? I don’t know but I wanted to share how our product came into being. The way it was developed is the reason it is superior to anything on the market or coming to market. When I started writing my book in 2007 I mentioned that I had thought about this project for a long time and we should develop some software to go along with the book. J&B was very enthusiastic at first but the the excitement waned as the project concluded three years later. Before investing anything more into this project they wanted to see how the book sold.
Fair enough I know the software I had in mind will be a great asset to the EMS community. I talked to my friend Mike and we agreed to get some quotes to develop the program independently. This was nearly two years ago and during that time I had to rely on my girl friend to update my face book page and web site because I didn’t know the first thing about computers short of how to check my email.
We located several companies on the internet that advertised they could develop software affordability. One company headquartered in the United States and the other two where over seas in India and China. The cheapest quote we got for the infrastructure was $350,000 and that did not include the User Interface a vital part of any program. To bring this project to market would have cost $700,000 at the cheapest to well over 1 million easily.
Needless to say that was way out of our price range. I was faced with two choices quit or you guessed it write the program myself. I went to Mike and told him the plan.
I said Mike, “ We cant afford those prices”
Mike :” No kidding. What are you going to do ?”
Me, “ I’m going to write the program myself”
Mike:(Laughing hysterically) Bro !, I love you and I’ve seen you do some amazing things, BUT YOU CANT EVEN UPDATE YOUR FACEBOOK PAGE !!!
Me: “ I know , I have some work to do.
So that evening I went to Barnes & Nobles and bought a book , “Programming for Dummies”. I really did not buy that book, but how cool would the story be if I did. I did buy several books and spent a week reading all of them and then trying the code. After a month I was starting to get the hang of it.
I had three modules in mind. I started with what I thought would be the easiest. Boy was I wrong. First I had to learn programming theory then design and build a GUI, Graphic User Interface, for us nerds pronounced”goo-eee”. If that sounds tough it wasn’t the hardest part. After that I had to tackle database management and integration and that still wasn’t the hardest part. The hardest part was translating the formula that Washington Dc, Toronto Canada, and we use to determine adequate staffing levels into a mathematical algorithm.
I dated a mathematical once I should have paid closer attention when she was talking about her PhD thesis and developing algorithm. All jokes aside this software package, website and book are a labor of love. I have developed them for my industry not for money but because I honestly believe we can do better and this will help us achieve the goal of delivering better patient care. .