We’re Engaged!

Join me in welcoming OnCell, LLC, as Time Traveler Tours, LLC's new development partner!

Now some of you might be imagining a group of guys with various color pens lined up in their pocket protectors, repeatedly pushing thick rimmed glasses back up onto the bridges of their noses. Not Team OnCell. These peeps are young, dynamic, hip, creative, and anything but a boys club. They speak the languages of code and user experience design and visual storytelling. They have made it possible for me and Team TTT&T to bring our unique storytelling concept to you on the touchscreen device of your choice. Here are a few members of the OnCell team:

I feel uber positive about our joining forces with Team OnCell. But I’ve learned the hard way over the years just how difficult the choice of development partner can be. So I’m taking it slow this time, courting my "new beau" before we decide to tie the knot.

Here are the criteria I used to guide my choice of hopeful future partner:

1 - Evidence of sound, well-built work and a generous work ethic

The OnCell publishing engine is excellent. It’s everything I had hoped to build, and then some. They made my decision-making process easy by giving me access to the back end of their engine straight away. So in addition to downloading and playing with the apps built on the OnCell platform, I was able to create a small app of my own and really get a feel for the power of their program. I've been back there fiddling around for several months.

It’s very important to know what your future development partner is capable of, and to make certain they know how to code specifically for your project needs. I chose my first partner based on word-of-mouth. He was a very nice guy and he’d built a great resource app for a nurse practitioner friend of mine. But once he got into my project, he realized he was not up for the task. Sadly, he was unwilling to admit this. Instead, he took my money and disappeared off the face of the earth, canceling the email address I had for him and refusing to respond to my messages on LinkedIn. 

2 - An attitude that tech is equal to content

My third partner was great. We had a fun collaboration and he built me a fabulous app. But no sooner had we released BEWARE MADAME LA GUILLOTINE into the App Store than he refused to work with me any further unless I gave him 80% of the business.

He felt his code to be of greater value than my content.
I disagreed. 

The fact is, code is nothing without content, even great code. Team OnCell understands this. Indeed, that’s why they want to work with TTT&T. Our content gives their platform value; it keeps their business alive. We put the chassis on their already humming engine, and add cruise controls and leather seats besides. The more apps we send to the stores from their factory floor, the stronger both our companies will be. It’s a partnership of equality.

3 - Complementary goals

OnCell’s mission is very similar to that of TTT&T: To connect people with the story of a place. They exist in the travel, tourism, and museum sectors, as do we. Like us, they value great storytelling. We are both dedicated to #TurningHistoryOn.

I tested twelve platforms before choosing OnCell. They were all worthy, but only OnCell’s goals were perfectly aligned with ours. Because of this, there is a palpable synergy between the two companies. They are just as excited to work with us we are them. This is very important. A partnership must be just that: it must feel like a collaboration. 

4 - Room for mutually beneficial growth

While the OnCell engine is plenty robust and capable already, there's still room for innovation. Fortunately, that's what the OnCell tech team is all about. They are already working on the programming for an interactive feature we would like to include in our apps in future.

Realizing the ideas we, and their other clients and partners, bring to the table is a win-win-win: it increases the value or their engine, assures us of producing a better and better product over time, and benefits both our future clients.

5 - Longevity

As a company, OnCell is strong. It’s been around as long as there have been smart phones that run apps. The partners have bought up several smaller, similar companies, and like Popeye with his spinach the team gets stronger with every addition. They’ve recently hired on new talent as well. 

These are all very good signs that there is a clear path to the future for TTT&T. This was important to me as the partners of my last development team broke up without any warning on the eve of the launch of our 2015 Kickstarter campaign. This happens all the time in the startup world. Survival is difficult. Even one of the twelve platforms I tested in this latest search, one of my shortlisted three in fact, ceased to exist as I was making my team and I were making our final decision.


Our partnership with OnCell not only allows us to fulfill the promise our Kickstarter campaign, it also provides us with a shiny new up-to-date proof of the TTT&T concept so that we can move into the second half of 2016 better able to obtain clients as well as to a) obtain clients and b) raise further investment capital to kick our little publishing company into high gear.

We are now building the first iteration of IN THE FOOTSTEPS OF GIANTS on the OnCell publishing platform, and it's really going well. And just in time too! for I’ll be in Florence again next week—this time with author Mary Hoffman and two of our Kickstarter backers, Luke and Jo Chilone. We will walk and talk and test the tour. We'll applaud what’s working and fix what isn't and go treasure hunting for treasure hunts, so that when I return to London, we'll be ready to work on iteration #2 of the app... and on and on until we soft launch our beta version in June.

I’ll send you pics from Florence next week. And news from Bologna the week after. In the meantime...

Join our Team. Be a Beta-Tester.
Contact me here today!