@benguild: The official homepage of Ben Guild.

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Portfolio of past & current projects

…, 2016-future

Accounts, 2014-2015

Accounts was a simple network for sharing your accounts and usernames that you use for web services selectively with groups of known contacts. The goal for the service was for people to keep in touch using whatever apps from the App Store as they always have, but then to use Accounts as a consistent, reliable, and centralized index of all of the people that they know. Accounts was not only a powerful address book that updated itself, but was designed to keep people in touch and manage their contacts for the longterm.

Accounts screenshots (2014)

Users would receive notifications when someone updated their information, or if there were new apps installed on their devices that could be added to their profile. They would choose who to share their basic contact information and particular accounts with, and wouldn't feel obliged to post any updates or worry about their privacy given that there was no actual user-generated content being shared within the app!

Accounts was discontinued in April 2015, with plans in hand for a successor product.

RocketBro, 2014

RocketBro was an “endless 2D scroller” game for iPhone and iPad that launched into the iOS App Store in 2014. It featured distinct in-game music for each level, beautiful particle effects for stars, clouds, oceans, explosions, and lasers, and crisp, rendered 3D sprite graphics for in-game objects. Gameplay text was localized into both English and Japanese.(日本語)

RocketBro particle blast explosion screenshot (2014)

The player had a single “life” with each play, or up to two lives by unlocking the second “undersea bonus level” with an in-app purchase of $0.99 USD. The game was otherwise free to play, but if the player crashed on the initial “outer space” level after having achieved a certain score/points threshold (from shooting and avoiding flying objects and platforms), they would reach a cutscene of traveling to Earth over the Atlantic Ocean, and either be prompted to pay to continue the game or instantly transported into the second level thereafter if they had already chosen to make that optional purchase. The player could in theory continue playing endlessly for free on the first level by not crashing into platforms and by successfully destroying flying objects, even as the game increased its speed, but the player would then never reach the bonus level or cutscene.

RocketBro “Atlantic Ocean” game cutscene (2014)

RocketBro was available on the App Store and free to download and play through the end of 2015.

  •   Platform(s): iOS

App Map, 2012-2013

App Map displayed the most commonly and actively used apps near you on iPhone or iPad. It tracked live app usage activity, anonymously, world-wide amongst its users.

App Map homepage (2014)

Users who had downloaded App Map participated in an anonymized app usage sharing platform that was great for app discovery. Their true identities were never tied to their locations, and social connections could only see each other's app activity when opted-in.

Mobile17, 2005-2012

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  • Acquisition: ●●●●

Launched the “Mobile17” platform in 2005. It served tens of millions of mobile-content downloads, and millions more smartphone users of its apps on iPhone, Android, and Windows Phone.

Mobile17 homepage (2012)

Mobile17 was a mobile-content tool enabling the simultaneous creation and editing of personalized cellphone ‘ringtones’ using any original full song found on the user's computer as a music-source. (via iTunes, MP3s, iPod, etc.) Editing of songs into ringtones took place primarily via its website and was assisted by crowd-sourced statistics/voting of which parts of the songs sound best. Ringtones could also be created offline on smart-phones using its iPhone and Android apps, and data was transmitted back to the website via a centralized API. In late 2011, a native Windows Phone application was co-developed with Microsoft to enable its users to sync ringtones from the Mobile17 website directly to their handset, without any complex downloading or additional installation.

Mobile17 song page (2012)

The site either hosted a file for download, or delivered content directly to the user's handset upon creation. The company was acquired in 2012.

I Like B-Sides, 2009-2012

  • Traction: ●●●●●
  • Success: ●●●●●
  • Acquisition: (n/a)

Took from concept to reality in just three days.

I Like B-Sides homepage (2012)

The site offered suggestions of songs that are similar to ones that you enjoy, by artists you are familiar with, and not currently present in your music collection. Accomplished by mathematically analyzing your listening habits and comparing them with online sales rankings of a selection of artists to find missing or previously unenjoyed (but similar) tracks.

I Like B-Sides match page (2012)

The project's website was released to extremely positive reviews that same week. It cost virtually nothing to run by relying on Amazon Web Services and other cloud offerings for scaling and stability.

Dubspace, 2009-2010

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  • Acquisition: (n/a)

Modified and tuned Volkswagens with friends for years, and simultaneously launched Dubspace to focus on building a community for vehicles (of all types) and their owners, classified by modification levels and types.

Dubspace car page (2010)

Although the site received great praise from its users, its market was too saturated for organic growth. Later applied its technology and design attributes to Mobile17.

  •   Platform(s): Website

Bitsmash, 2008-2009

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  • Acquisition: (n/a)

Bitsmash was a service that tracked and provided analytics of what people shared on the internet via BitTorrent, a multimedia file-exchange protocol utilizing over 35% of all internet traffic on average, at any given time.

Bitsmash data page (2009)

Bitsmash did not aid in distribution, but instead gave a centralized database of statistics that identified content to likely tangible product matches (such as actual Books or DVDs found for sale on Amazon.com) and could also geographically pinpoint (via Google Maps) where users were spreading content to or from. The site offered Billboard-style charts showing the demand for certain types of media, as well. Closed this project in 2009 to refocus and apply knowledge gained to both Dubspace and Mobile17.

DiggSuggest, 2008

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  • Success: (n/a)
  • Acquisition: (n/a)

Created as a working concept for Digg, a socially-driven news and bookmarking site launched in late-2004. Digg had become one of the internet's most popular websites. DiggSuggest provided a dynamic, personalized mechanism for users to discover news-stories that were not being featured by Digg's own algorithms.

DiggSuggest (2008)

Accomplished by measuring users' interests in keywords and topics from their past bookmarking history. The site was an instant hit and actively discussed in the blogosphere.

Bitoogle / Yotoshi, 2004-2005

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  • Sale: ●●●●●

A simple front-end for Google search, Bitoogle (later renamed to “Yotoshi” before being sold) received a lot of traffic and turned into a profitable side-project (through online advertising) very quickly. — Was purchased from me by an entrepreneur based out of Tokyo, Japan.

Bitoogle homepage (2004)

Being a teenager at the time (with limited resources), I built servers for the site out of older computers and parts that I had around the house. One of the better machines was actually assembled in a Dr. Martin's brand shoebox after I ran out of cases:

Bitoogle's “bootstrapped” servers in 2004

  •   Platform(s): Website

Lan2P, 2003

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  • Acquisition: (n/a)

Wrote this Windows software in 2003 to allow users on a computer network to search and exchange files in a serverless, distributed peer-to-peer network. Each computer connected to one-another and created an instant, encrypted network for sharing of files.

Lan2P main screen (2003)

  •   Platform(s): Windows