In our own lives, we can point to defining moments that have some lasting impact, large and profound. I had such an experience during September 2008 that I am finally able to share publicly and express some pride in for the great accomplishments by a great team working in an extraordinarily short amount of time.
I was asked to direct the creation of the official iPhone application for Barack Obama’s campaign for President of the United States. Obama ’08 for iPhone is now available! The application includes a number of useful features for keeping in touch with the campaign. The one feature I think is the most groundbreaking is ‘Call Friends’, or as I have been referring to it as ‘The Two Minute Volunteer’. Call Friends organizes and prioritizes your contacts by key battleground states, making it easy to reach out. Caller stats are then aggregrated anonymously to a leaderboard within the application displaying key stats such as the number of callers and total calls made.
I have been working with the campaign since mid-August based on a recommendation by my friend Brian Behlendorf, coordinating with Scott Goodstein, External Director of Online, for Obama for America. Early on, I brought in my friend and mobile expert, Jason Grigsby. He was instrumental in helping define the requirements for the project by applying his deep knowledge both in mobile technology and politics for this project.
For me personally, this is exactly the type of work I love doing. I was able to apply my passion for the iPhone to a high-profile client, define a set of requirements, assemble a top-notch team, and deliver a quality product that helps the client to meet its core objectives. In this case, that happens to be the presidential election.
This was a great team. It was a pleasure to work with each of them on this project. Each of the individuals I had the pleasure to work with on this project did a remarkable job in applying their talents to the challenge at hand. Honestly, I hope I can work with this group again in the near future. September 2008 was an intense and highly satisfying month for me, and I believe the same can be said for the team. So, let me introduce the team…
The Obama ’08 for iPhone Team:
Raven Zachary (Project Director)
Jason Grigsby (Project Manager)
Jonathan Wight (Lead iPhone Development)
Lyza Gardner (Server Development, Design)
Aileen Jeffries (Design)
John Keith (Server Development)
Dom Sagolla (QA, Community Development)
Mike Lee (iPhone Development, UI)
Louie Mantia (Design)
Tristan O’Tierney (iPhone Development)
I have linked the above names to our various Twitter accounts.
Some special thanks are in order beyond the core team, as well…
To the family members of the core team – thank for you putting up with unusually long nights and weekends on this project during the sprint, from the moment the first line of code was written and the first screen mock-up was crafted until the application was uploaded to Apple for distribution.
We had a large beta testing group who had a short amount of time to provide feedback. Thank you, testers. We couldn’t have done this without you. You uncovered issues and provided ideas that a small team simply couldn’t do alone. In addition to the great feedback, this team kept the project secret for several weeks while we prepared to launch the application publicly. Considering the high-profile nature of this project, that’s impressive. Thank you for your time, your great ideas, and your secrecy, beta team!
There are others who I would like to thank publicly, but for various reasons cannot be listed here. You know who you are, and I thank you for being a part of this project.
Also, thank you to Danese Cooper and whurley for putting in the referral to Brian Behlendorf. This meant a lot the team and me.
If you haven’t already downloaded Obama ’08 for iPhone, please take this opportunity to do so. Don’t forget – this also works on the iPod touch.
We value your feedback, especially any issues or problems you have with the application itself. Emails can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. The campaign will forward on issues to the team as they come in.
If you intend to leave a comment on this post, I ask that you do not use it as a forum for political debate. This is a professional project that I was proud to lead, and in this case, the project happens to be in support of Barack Obama running for the President of the United States.