Hello everyone, and welcome to the new site, and a new stage of my life, which I lovingly call “Johnny 3.0!”
This site took a lot a solid year of work that spanned nine months, two jobs, two trips to Africa, thousands of (personal) dollars of development, donated hardware and bandwidth and hundreds of hours of slinging code donated by myself and LOTS of volunteers.
We turned the site into a money-making machine. I had subscriptions to feed kids, subscriptions to support our family in Africa and lots of ads and a slick store to fund HFC. The most time-critical money maker was funding our trip to Africa. Because we leave June 15th. For a year, and I’m unemployed. In fact, we didn’t have a single penny raised for our trip. I NEEDED that subscription thing to fly, or we wouldn’t eat. So I cranked out hour after hour getting it to work. I neglected my family, relishing in my unemployment, and eventually I got it to work. In staging. When I flipped the switch and went live, everything crumbled. My server bogged down under the weigh of the FLASH-embedded, subscription-enabled, ad-aware beast I had created. Then the subscription service crapped out, and I threw up my hands. WTF? Then my wife chimed in for like the 13 MILLIONTH time: “Why don’t you just put up a donate button?” So naive. Didn’t she know that you can’t just ask people for money? Didn’t she realize that in the shark-infested waters of the Internet, you need to chum for dollars? You need to give people something for their money or they will blow you off. (I had forgotten that back in 2007, the Hacker community paid for our trip to Uganda).
Enough was enough. I pulled the plug and launched this TOTALLY stripped down version of the site, along with a handy-dandy “support us” button. Within the hour, we received our first donation of several hundred dollars from Rocky. And just like that, I realized my wife had been right all along, and I learned a valuable lesson in faith. I was trying to control our money situation, and I was failing. God had better plans which I could only see when I let go. So welcome. Here’s to letting go.