The crowd gathers

The end of the beginning

by John Pettigrew

Some journeys have a clear destination, whereas others are more about exploration. Yesterday, we celebrated reaching an important milestone for Futureproofs.

I’ve been working on Futureproofs now for over a year and a half, and we’ve been developing the actual application for about 11 months. So it’s great to be able to spend time with friends and colleagues to celebrate what we’ve achieved.

In the past year, we’ve done lots of research to make sure that Futureproofs will solve the genuine problems editors and proofreaders face managing their projects. And we’ve also put a lot of work into creating a tool that’s both highly functional and really easy to use. With several months of beta testing under our belt, we’re confident that we’ve achieved both of these goals.

Completing the first phase of that development means, as I mentioned here last week, that we’re launching Futureproofs formally at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and opening up registration to everyone. Before the madness of the Fair, though, I wanted to have a bit of a celebration for our team, friends and advisors to say a big “Thank you” to them, and to spend some time enjoying ourselves.

Thus it was that Black Sheep Coffee in Camden last night saw a gathering of publishing and technology folk, who shared espresso martinis and wine, and talked of many things (possibly even shoes and ships and sealing wax, cabbages and kings!). My own evening was great – it’s always good to catch up with some of the people who’ve inspired and supported you. And it was also good to be able to publicly thank my wife and family, without whose support none of this would be possible.

Endings are odd things, but fortunately, this one definitely comes with a new beginning attached. For us, the next stage of the journey is all about working alongside the editors, publishers and proofreaders out there to see whether Futureproofs is the answer to some of their problems, getting them onto the system if so, and learning about next set of problems we can solve for them. It’ll be even more exciting than the past year, I’m sure.

About the author

Hat wearer, recovering editor and now CEO & Founder of We Are Futureproofs, John Pettigrew has over 15 years of experience in educational, illustrated and academic publishing, and a history of successful print and digital product development.

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