By this time, it was April of 2008. I didn’t know where to begin. My web designer, Marianne Guillen of http://www.array-design.com/, put me in touch with a fellow she had worked with before on another project. On her recommendation, I called Jake Carlson of the web development firm Dragon Eye Design. I told him about the project and asked for a quote on the work. He got back to me with a price. In the meantime, a friend suggested that, since I had such limited funds (a.k.a. my personal savings account) I should call a university’s computer science graduate department to see if they had a grad student that could do it for less. I met with a professor at University of Texas at Dallas. He was interested in the project, but could not help me with any students due to their heavy work loads as doctoral candidates. I met with a professor at Southern Methodist University. She was interested in social networks and put me touch with a graduate student who was going to need a summer job anyway.
Even though I had gotten comfortable with working “virtually” with Marianne, I liked the idea that the grad student was located in Dallas. We met and settled on an agreeable price to both of us. He began work on the programming of the site. This was June. I got back to Jake Carlson and told him that I was going to be working with the grad student, but if that didn’t work out I would get back in touch.
As the summer went on, I thought our meetings were productive and that launch of the Snabbo.com website would be by the end of the year. Then on Labor Day, I got a phone call from my programmer. He had just started his Fall Semester of school. He felt that his graduate studies work load would be too much for him to handle along with the programming of Snabbo. He was sincerely apologetic, but believed he should drop out of the project. I cried for two days.
I called Marianne who gave me a friend of hers name who might know someone. I also tried posting on Craigslist.org and got a huge response from programmers who work in India. Their price was right, but I was too worried about quality control and I wanted someone that could be as emotionally-invested in this project as I was.
I called Jake Carlson, again. I had never met him personally since he lived in a different city. I was gun-shy about putting my entire trust in another programmer to finish the project. Jake’s idea was to build Snabbo from scratch instead of cobbling together social network applications that were already available. After a several phone conversations, I began to feel confident about Jake’s grasp of the Snabbo concept and his programming abilities. We signed a contract and he began work at the end of September, 2008.