It’s getting to be about that time, but since the entire development team of one is working like crazy to reach a nice beta release for The Platform, it seems reasonable to ask for some number of people to take a proactive step, to sign up for The Beta, and then to be invited to try it out first, with the understanding that they might find a bug or two here or there in the process.

The Y-Plexus Platform

FoodTruckYP is where this idea first landed in about 2011 or 2012. I’ve detailed the origin story here on Medium and before that on Tumblr, which is still at http://foodtruckyp.tumblr.com and will continue to live on as long as Tumblr does. …


As this is a project that started and stopped and has now started once again, I have been asked more then once, “When are you going to be finished?” The easy answer for all software projects is “never” but in this case I’ve always been driven by a strong desire to build and launch a working system, rather than a “minimally viable product” that does just enough to get people to sign up.

When my future customers ask, I’ve always described the situation as similar to cooking a dish for a customer. …


Every single time I do anything in the world of mobile vending, whether it’s attending a Food Truck event, going to a farmers’ market, attending a First Friday event here in Las Vegas, or event interacting with various people in social media, I come away with another idea. A classic engineering problem with product development, we love to have functionality. …


I’ve heard this more than once when in product meetings with the Marketing folks, “If we’re slipping the schedule, we have time to add more features, right?” When Engineering and Marketing are two different groups, that’s funny or the beginning of a small war, and more often than one might think the Marketing people get more traction than they should have. Here at FoodTruckYP, we have yours truly in both Marketing and Engineering.

In my Instagram travels I’ve come across so many different kinds of mobile food vendors. No, mobile vendors. Food and drink of course, but more clothing and similar trucks and trailers than I would have thought (I love the idea but they are usually the odd vendor out at food truck events, stuck off to the side and underserved by the event promotion, to be sure). Add to this the Bike category, and then add to that the Boat category of vendor vehicles. And more… mobile vending is everywhere, and while I knew that, I didn’t know that. …


Well we’re coming up on an alpha launch, wherein we’ll see who is excited about my take on a mobile vendor tools platform (heretofore called a “food truck web app” but it isn’t really that anymore). Having been a member of a Credit Union or two since age 7, I’m taking the approach that this project will be in business for its membership, and to be honest I’m hoping we can get some members to agree with that with the minimal monthly subscription we’re aiming for.

A couple of trends I’m seeing now that weren’t so popular back in 2011 when I was stirring these ideas around, include real-time location information, online ordering, and of course the interposed booker or organizer service behind the scenes that has always been common but seems to be exploding. That last one has always been a component of the platform I’m designing so I’ll leave that, and real-time location is really useful if I’m looking for mobile vending right now, but it’s a part of the picture with the other parts missing if I’m visiting a new city tomorrow or having some friends visiting in three days, where real-time location won’t answer my question. …


For as long as I’ve been working on this project there is always that one question that sounds like fingernails on a chalk board: “When is it going to be finished?”

My pat answer is always, “Well, if you cook food you don’t want to give it to someone until it’s finished cooking, right? You don’t give people under-cooked food, I don’t want to launch this project under-cooked either!” But that is a bit of a dodge. While the best chef anywhere is completely unable to re-cook the food after it’s eaten, software is always subject to being tossed back into the pan. …


Humans do two things that make us unique from all other animals; we use
tools and we tell stories. And when you make something, you’re doing
both at once.
— Adam Savage

People who take the plunge and operate a mobile food business, whether it’s a food truck, a cart, a tent, a stand, a bike… it is no easy undertaking, to be sure. Some do it to pay the bills, some do it for their own reasons, but many do it because they have a menu that they would like to share with others, and they can do so in person and all over by facing all of the uphill challenges associated with starting a restaurant business while literally driving their entrepreneurial venture up a hill. …


Back in 2011 I started a mobile application project for bartenders. I called it RegularDB, a mobile-friendly website designed to connect bartenders and anyone in the Service Industry to their regular customers. The name never really caught on (I was very clearly inspired by IMDB), but the idea was sound. Before Facebook Pages came along, this would be a way to connect with customers (and vice versa) without sharing personal details, photos of kids, etc.

The most attractive part of this concept was, I was not going to charge bartenders anything for this. The idea was, if anyone in the service industry (or anyone with a mobile clientele, really) was working some place, whether behind a bar, in a kitchen, cutting hair, doing nails, whatever, their regular customers would likely come and find them. Who doesn’t want to go to a place where at least the working person you’re there to see knows your name? At a time when “hyper local” was a thing, the ability to bring customers to a locality meant nearby businesses were interested in reaching them. The plan was simple, the interest was there. The problem, if any, was that bartenders and others in the service industry didn’t see the value of maintaining yet another connection with yet another tool to their regular customers. …

About

FoodTruckYP

Your favorite spot isn't always right where you left it... https://FoodTruckYP.com/_md

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