13 years ago, the mobile device market was very fragmented, dominated mostly by J2ME apps and WAP websites. The internet speed was very very slow, but a good business. To encourage development, mobile operators offered mobile website developers a percentage of what mobile users spent on their websites, so I started creating WAP sites.
The mobile device market had more than 14.000 different devices. To target all of them you had to be creative. I found a device database based on family evolution called wurfl, which was essentially a developer-community created device database in xml with their reported capabilities.
At first I was using Coldfusion (which was faster than ASP, PHP and easier than JSP) to detect the user-agent on the server and condition the served code for each type of device technology, but this was error prone, so as always, I found better way and started writing custom Coldfusion tags which detected the device capability and output the needed code. The resulting format code had much better readability and was easier to maintain. This was my first approach to simplify conditions into “concepts”. I called this framework Creador WAP.
Testing it inside a company
In an interview I had with a mobile developer company, I showed them my framework and bet them i could rise their earnings of mobile traffic by using it easily. They agreed to give me 3% of their earnings for all the developed mobile websites i did for them. For everyone else i was crazy, because that meant i was actually working for only 45 dollars a month. They were a big company with big clients, but not taking advantage of this segment.
Because I could focus on the functionality of each mobile website app instead of the language differences and image resolutions and formats, by using my framework Creador, I was able to quickly create entertaining apps that gain thousands of users in a matter of weeks. I had passed from earning 45 usd a month, to a 1000 usd the second month and 4000 usd by the third month, which was way cool.
Soon it was too cool for the company owners which didn’t like the idea of sharing that 3%, so I stopped working for them and created my own startup called Creador S.A.