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Emerald Blog - Notes from the developers at Emerald Sequoia LLC

Emerald Blog

Notes from the developers at Emerald Sequoia LLC

OK, first feedback question:  What’s your favorite watch in Emerald Chronometer?  Submit your answer via the comments (click on the Comments link to the upper right of this post; you’ll have to register the first time you comment but it’s free).

My personal favorite tends to change depending on what I’m working on.  For a while my favorite was Miami, because, odd as it is, the front side can tell you a lot of stuff about what’s going on in the sky (it might be worth a separate posting at some point; you can use it to find planets in the sky and even quickly estimate the phase of the moon).  But Geneva, because of its zillion complications, will probably always be the one I keep coming back to.

– Steve

Current projects

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Just a quick note to update you on what we’re doing at this moment:

  • Our iPad app Emerald Observatory squeaked in under the wire (with 35 minutes to spare!) to make it into the store by iPad launch day (April 3).  That consumed most of our attention for the months of February and March.
  • We’ve been putting the finishing touches on a “world time” watch for Emerald Chronometer, which has a 24-city ring on the front and four 12-hour subdials on the back.  You can customize each of the 28 city locations via the Settings panel (much more quickly than sending it back to the factory for repainting!)

– Steve

EC 3.1 world time watch


Why we code


Emerald Sequoia LLC is the outgrowth of my 20-year friendship with Bill, the other half of the company, and a similarly-long appreciation for Apple products (Bill had one of the first Macs in 1984, and I joined that train in 1989).  When Apple announced the iPhone development kits in early 2008, we decided to have some fun and write an app for it (that was Emerald Chronometer, released the day the App Store opened in July 2008).

In case there was any doubt, we’re not getting rich doing this.  The difficulty of turning an iPhone app into a revenue stream when there are over 150,000 apps competing for users’ attention is well documented elsewhere.  Even on its best day ever Emerald Sequoia made me less money than my average daily income over the past five years from my “real” job (and a more typical day earns the company about $40 before tax, which we split).

So this is a hobby, let’s be clear.  But we’re trying to run it like a company, with professional customer support, solid testing, good development practices, etc., etc.  We have 55 years of development experience between us, and we try to apply all that we’ve learned.  And we’ve put in the hours, as well; typically about 20 hours a week for me over the past 2 years.

And the end result is that it’s been the most satisfying development project I’ve ever worked on, because we’ve gotten to work on a product we use ourselves on a daily basis, and we’ve gotten to control all aspects of that product development ourselves.  And most importantly for me, we’ve gotten to interact directly via email with customers who love the product.  I guess this is something all small business owners are familiar with, but it’s a refreshing change for someone like me who’s previously been at least one level removed from the customer (although, truth be told, that has, at times, been a good thing…).

So thanks for making it all worthwhile. 🙂

– Steve

Welcome to the blog


Thanks for looking in on us.

We’ve created this blog so that we can communicate to our customers; Apple does not provide us with any customer email addresses, so this is the best mechanism we have come up with.

We’re not sure what the volume will be until we get going.  But there will be occasional, perhaps weekly or monthly, posts that

  • let you know what the developers have been doing lately
  • possibly ask for feature or design feedback
  • announce new products or new versions of products

and more sporadically

  • expound philosophically on the experience of being an iPad/iPhone/iPad touch developer.

We welcome feedback of all kinds.  Well, maybe not all kinds; please keep it civil.  🙂

Thanks for participating.

– Steve