If you follow my tweets, you might have noticed that I make a reference from time-to-time to an illusive “side project” :-) About 4 years ago, I started working on an idea for a web-based platform to connect the physical and digital worlds as an application of semantic computing (and no, it’s not augmented reality :-). It has been a side project of mine since then and has helped me learn a lot about many aspects of the Web, Facebook as a platform, building services using Java on Amazon Web Services and later on Azure using .NET, issues related to creating a company (but not growing one, at least not yet), the importance of design and UX, and much much more. Given that I could only dedicate a small portion of my very limited free time, progress has been slow (to put it mildly :-) across all these years.
In August 2009 (wow, it’s been more than 3 years already) I created a company and registered it with the state of Washington: CVOYA, LLC. It was meant to act as a forcing function for moving from the idea and prototypes to something real, to getting things off the ground. I even funded a small contract with the wonderful folks at Plexipixel to do some UX design work. I thought that investing personal capital would force progress. Unfortunately, between a busy social life, finishing the REST in Practice book, working crazy hours for Microsoft, and traveling, progress has been slow. However, there are no regrets though since such is life :-)
Still, the idea that led me to create CVOYA is still very much alive. I have met some wonderful people as a result of the process, I have received great advice, I have learnt from mistakes along the way, and I am very much encouraged by the enthusiasm of all of those who know the details and are keen to being part of the endeavor. More news on this front soon as we are getting close to an incorporation! :-)
With this post, I just wanted to introduce CVOYA, the company.
About the name “CVOYA”
When I started searching for a name for my company, back in 2009, I realized that it was almost impossible to find a term that I liked, or even a combination of terms, which weren’t already registered as a top-level .com domain name. The search was taking a long time. During a combination of a break and search for inspiration from my childhood hero, Carl Sagan, I started watching the first episode of Cosmos: A Personal Voyage.
In the introduction (around 4’40’’ in the video above), Sagan says “We are about to begin a journey to the Cosmos” while he walks with the ocean in the background. The name of my company is a tribute to this moment. The “C” in “CVOYA” comes from the “ocean”, the “sea” (= “C”) while the “VOYA” comes from “voyage.”
The first CVOYA application
Earlier today I blogged about the availability of the Wocket application for Windows 8 devices. The application is not connected in any way with the idea that led me to create CVOYA in the first place. As I explained in a past post, I was merely missing the Pocket functionality from Windows 8 and I also wanted to familiarize myself with WinRT development so I diverged from the original plan for few hours in order to build the app.
CVOYA will continue to be a side, free-time-only activity that hosts all my for-education endeavors. You can find CVOYA on the web at http://cvoya.com.