How and Why I built PresenterMate

The idea was born during my 4th year at the University of Toronto. I was the chair of National Business and Technology Conference, and to engage more outstanding students the team and I were running monthly events focused around business, entrepreneurship, and tech topics. Every time we had an event, somebody had to donate a laptop to be used for that night, we were on a student budget after all. Whenever it was my laptop, it was a pain because my desktop was and is super cluttered with icons, screen shots, folders … you name it, it’s probably on my desktop. I like it this way, keeps everything that I need right infront. But, it’s not the best setup for presentations, as I really don’t want guests and speakers to see my life unfold before their eyes. I had to do something about it!

PresenterMate.com

How I built PresenterMate

One day, a year later, I really wanted to take a break from my other projects, and so instead I decided to finally build this app (okay, Dave Schappell also kicked me in the butt and told me to build it). I had no idea how to program in Objective-C, but it seems like it would be fun to learn. For the next 3 days I spent every waking minute of my time on Google, searching for the answers, learning how Coco works, reading Apple’s guidelines and chatting to folks on IRC channels in order to get some idea. Once I had something concrete to work with, the next couple of days were dedicated to making it work. At the same time, I went out a bought a Bamboo pen & touch, so I could draw my own logo. All-in-all, in about 5-7 days the app was ready to go. After that, it took 60 days for me to submit the app to the App store and have it ready for sale. Yep, for some reason my Xcode wouldn’t connect to iTunes Connect and Apple Support had no idea how to fix it. They just waited for Xcode4 to come out, which fixed the problem and I was able to proceed.

The lesson here is that nothing is impossible. I believe that if you really want something to happen you can make it happen, regardless of how much you know about the topic. Just F* Do It, be persisten, do whatever is necessary, and it will get done.