There is usually a long story behind a successful product. This applies for Merlin and my first visions about it in 2003.
Here is how the drama started.
And this is how it continued.
Was Merlin a project manager? (part three)
…It was decided, we would get someone to write a piece of software just for us. As mentioned before, we were not developers so could not do it on our own. The creation of a first concept was quickly completed. Our own partners and customers helped us on its definition. My intention was to refinance the project through the sale of software licenses to selected customers. I was even thinking, that with a bit of luck, our own license could even be free. Pretty naive…
In 2003 I found on “gebe.net” names and addresses of some Cocoa developers. It was very important to me, that if we are to create new software for Mac OS X, we should use the most modern Apple technology possible. In early 2004 it seemed as if we had found a partner for the development. I was about to give my okay for the start as a late job application came in. This developer was living in Frankfurt. I already had plans to visit Frankfurt for other reasons so I thought it would not harm to check out the new applicant. I could not really judge the quality of his qualifications, I was an informed user but not senior developer.
It was important for me to be able to communicate with him. I wanted to get a feeling about his perception. I needed to find out whether he was motivated enough not only to fulfill my plans, but also to see beyond them, to have a view for the bigger picture and to want to put in his own views and ideas as well. When making decisions on such a scale it always helps to have a “gut feeling”. The first job applicant was very good, but my “connection” to the applicant from Frankfurt was simply better. So, at the last minute, the decision to hire the other developer was revised and Frank Illenberger became freelance developer of Merlin.