Hi, I’m Fletch. Well, Paul Christian is my actual name but I got nicknamed after “Fletcher Christian” of the Mutiny on the Bounty in 1980 and it stuck ever since.
Liveaps.com is the domain name I bought back in 2006 when I went to London to work on a software project. This was in the early days of drag’n’drop web technology and at a time referred to historically as “Web 2.0”. The big change back then was that you could write to a website rather than just read it. This spawned blogging, self-publishing, online interactivity between customers and businesses, and enabled the evolution of social networks.
The project I was involved with was building a website publishing environment where small business owners could login and easily add, move and edit images, text and video – and then just hit a publish button to make their updates live.
I tested the market with the first landing page published on liveaps.com on the 7th February 2007 and it created quite a buzz around London and further afield.
Two years later the software Chief Architect still hadn’t released a full working version of the product, and the project imploded somewhat with the team going separate ways.I then joined a software security project which was ambitious and would have been truly amazing had it got to market. A developer in Brazil had come up with a solution for mobile devices whereby a server would verify the generic ID of say a mobile or tablet and then build a “personality” profile of it based on its use. That made it virtually impossible to clone as the server would record a collision if two like devices appeared to be the same one.
The data being transmitted was also encrypted with various keys pulled at random from around 10 different algorithms which potentially protected against man-in-the-middle attacks – and I saw first hand the random string generator which was really effective and certainly pushing the boundaries of software at the time.
We managed to get a team and some funding built around the developer after getting him to London but it became too much for the guy in the end and he went back to Brazil and into a day job. That was a real shame because I’d been dealing with Samsung in Sydney and local trials were about to start. Oh well – ‘it’ happens as they say, but the good outcome from that is I’m still working with Milos Zorica as we got on well in that team.
The plan is to get Milos out to NZ so that we can finally work under one roof rather than virtually which we’ve done for the last 10 years.
So I came back home with an eye to offering small businesses help with online marketing, and ended up getting involved in running a music venue & bar in Whanganui for two years (as you do sometimes!), while at the same time testing and learning about open source software solutions I could use to support small business web clients in a meaningful and measurable way.
At the end of 2016 I decided to move to Bulls where the constant stream of traffic going past (around 10,000 cars a day) seemed like a good bet for attracting some new business and raising awareness of our .com domain name, along with very reasonable rent for what is essentially now a 2017 tech startup harnessing the power of WordPress, Siberian and Sharetribe to provide an array of online services.
If you’d like to read a more historic business story, then just click here for the online version of my Grandfather’s book he wrote about his business when it turned 21 in 1942.