“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” Theologian, Howard Thurman
It was July, 1997 and I just released my first mobile app, SimpleDB for the PalmPilot. The entire personal digital assistant (pda) market was just several hundred thousand PalmPilots and a dozen mobile apps. This was long before smartphones, Google, the iMac and the dot-com bubble.
The PDA market continued to heat up through 1998 and I lunched Mobile Account Manager, the first password security app for the Palm OS. I also replaced SimpleDB with a new upgraded version, MobileDB. By the end of 1999, I had released a suite of apps including the official Tetris for the PalmPilot under my company, Mobile Generation Software.
Handmark, led by seasoned retail software veterans Augie Grasis and Doug Edwards, came calling during the fall of 2000. I was excited to join forces and tackle the retail PDA software market. Over the next 3 years we became the leader in PDA software at retail, developing and publishing great titles including the original Monopoly, Scrabble, Battleship, Yahtzee as well as The Bible, Oxford dictionary and Rand McNally maps.
In early 2003 we got a sneak peek of the Treo 600 smartphone and realized this device, coupled with the right software and services, could change mobile forever. We began development of Pocket Express, the first smartphone app to deliver real-time news, weather, sports, movie show times, business listings and maps. We launched Express in early 2004 and I believe it changed the trajectory for the mobile software and services industry.
My 15 years in mobile software and 12 at Handmark have been an incredible journey and I appreciate the opportunity I’ve had to work with great people and release outstanding products. That said, I realize that I was most alive during the very early years when we were shaping a new industry.
Today is my last day at Handmark as I set out for a new adventure. I’m excited to tap into my entrepreneurial spirit and create businesses that shape new industries. Initially I plan to focus on hyperlocal, water conservation and the cloud.
Follow me @cassidylackey if you’d like to join me on this adventure.