eHub Interviews Openomy

Posted by Emily Chang on Monday, October 10th, 2005. Filed under: eHub Interviews
Visit Openomy, originally added to eHub on Sep 30, 05.

imageThanks to Ian Sefferman, creator of Openomy for this email interview posted October 9, 2005.

(This interview is available in Japanese thanks to Ryutaro Kamitsu.)

eHub: What is your web application/service about?

Openomy: My service, Openomy, is what I’m calling an “online file system.” It’s online file storage with a major (web 2.0) twist– open APIs. This means developers can get and store user’s files by simply calling the APIs. In another twist, Openomy organizes files and connects users via tags, rather than folders.

eHub: Why did you start this project?

Openomy: I began thinking a lot about an online word processor or office suite and I realized that all of these applications and their users would need some central way of storing and getting at files. That logically progressed into an online file system.

eHub: How much time do you devote to its growth?  Do you have a day job?

Openomy: Currently I’m developing the service on the side while I finish up school at the University of Chicago. Still, I typically manage to spend 2-4 hours a day on Openomy and that number has been growing recently.

eHub: How large is your team and what are your backgrounds?

Openomy: How large is your team and what are your backgrounds?  (If you’re solo, what is your background?)
I’m the only member of the team. I’m a 21 year-old college student studying Computer Science at the University of Chicago. I spent this past summer interning at Amazon.com in Seattle.

eHub: What is your design philosophy?

Openomy: My design philosophy is based on openness. I hope that almost everything I do will be open for everyone to see—my decisions, my work, success, etc. Plus, developers are the key to Openomy and freeing and opening up data is integral to the success of the service.

eHub: What technologies are you currently using?

Openomy: The service is written in C# and the front-end is all ASP.NET right now. However, it runs on Ubuntu linux using Mono. The database is MySQL. The key thing to notice is all that software is open source and free software.

eHub: Where do you see the project heading in the next 6 months?  The next 2 years?

Openomy: Ideally, the project will see enough growth that I can begin to support users and developers on a full-time basis. However, as far as what this will look like, I won’t even begin to take guesses. I’d rather make those decisions just in time.

eHub: What is the greatest challenge to your success?

Openomy: Personally I think the greatest challenge to the success of Openomy is making it easy to use and getting developers to write interesting applications built upon the APIs.

eHub: What is the one thing you need to get to the next phase of the project?

Openomy: Launch! :-) And start to reach out to more developers by listening to their needs and wants.

eHub: Do you have a business model?  If so, what is it?

Openomy: The business model will probably be subscription-based, supporting smaller, free accounts with a little bit of ads. It will be analogous to Flickr’s model.

eHub: If you’re able to disclose this information, how much traffic or usage do you see on an average day?

Openomy: I actually don’t know the exact numbers right now, but in the last week or two there has been a major spike in traffic. I’d guess Openomy is seeing somewhere around one to two thousand visitors a day (and growing).

eHub: What is the one thing you’re most proud of about the project?

Openomy: Nothing yet, Openomy is still vaporware! But when it launches shortly, I’ll be most proud of launching. :)

eHub: How would you describe the shift that’s occurring with the web right now to future generations?

Openomy: I’d describe it simply as the shift of power towards the many, rather than the few.

eHub: What site(s) do you visit everyday other than your own?

Openomy: Well, Rojo is my news aggregator so I almost always have that open—I’m addicted to the blogs I read (including Scoble, Slashdot, 37Signals’ SvN, Seth Godin, TechCrunch, Read/Write Web, eHub, A VC, Evan Williams, and many others). Other than that, you’ll probably catch me at News.com a few times a day along with any interesting links I find that day.

eHub: How many hours of sleep do you get a night?

Openomy: I’m not the stereotypical hacker who works best between the hours of 2 AM and 6 AM. I need my sleep and I almost always fall asleep around 1 AM. So, I tend to get around 6 or 7 hours of sleep a night. Otherwise my work turns incomprehensible quickly.

Thanks to Ian Sefferman, creator of Openomy for this email interview posted October 9, 2005.

(This interview is available in Japanese thanks to Ryutaro Kamitsu.)

Visit Openomy
Originally added to eHub on Sep 30, 05