Category: RavenZachary

Zachary and Keller iPhone agency has a name: Small Society

Back in February, we got word that Raven Zachary and James Keller were starting a new iPhone agency to help clients build compelling and beautiful iPhone applications.

An agency model for application development? Would it work? Given the resulting backlog of clients—which is always impressive but especially in this environment—it seemed that it was an idea whose time had come. There was only one small problem: the agency didn’t have a name.

Now, the small team has managed to carve out enough time from client work to name the fledgling agency. Introducing Small Society:

In times of great innovation, cross-disciplined and talented individuals have come together to bring new ideas to life. It is in this spirit that our team has built a company that wants to help change the way people connect with each other and experience the world around them through iPhone OS.

We believe that the iPhone platform represents a major shift in mobility and provides a compelling opportunity for businesses to deliver new products and services, whether native or web-based, to a global audience.

Why did it take so long to come up with a name? Quite frankly, the team has been busy with other pursuits.

iPhorest mapLike what? I’m glad you asked. Here are a couple of their recent releases.

  • iPhorest, while developed prior to the official agency formation, has been released to the App Store. It’s an application that allows users to purchase a virtual tree to grow on their iPhone. Even better? Purchasing and planting a virtual tree results in a real tree being planted, as well. According to the map, though, the so-called Silicon Forest is seriously lagging on the tree planting.
  • CLIF Bar Save Our Snow app allows users to get check resorts for the latest skiing and snowboarding conditions from their iPhones. But the coolest feature is the most useless one: blowing into the microphone causes the screen to ice over.

The Small Society site is still under development. Until it is complete, raven.me remains the primary resource for information on the agency and its efforts. For more information, you can also follow @smallsociety on Twitter.

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No-name iPhone agency starts with two big names: Raven Zachary and James Keller

Why is the Brady Bunch theme song running through my head?

Maybe it’s because I’ve just heard the story of a man named Raven and a woman named James who’ve decided to combine their incredible talents.

Raven Zachary started his own iPhone consultancy last year. And he’s been overwhelmingly successful. Being involved in the Obama iPhone app can do that to you. And helping with something like iPhorest only continues the momentum.

So, he decided it was time to do something more.

“Since the Obama app, I’ve encountered some amazing brands and amazing opportunities,” said Raven. “And they were affecting my ability to remain an independent advisor in the iPhone community. It became very clear to me that there was the opportunity to build an iPhone agency.”

Enter James “@semaphoria” Keller, a wizard at Interaction Design, Information Architecture, and User Experience with a rich agency history. Her most recent gig? Serving as Interactive Strategist at Wieden + Kennedy.

“I love technology and how companies communicate with their community,” said James. “Getting to really dig deep and find a place for that within such a new—and gorgeous—platform is really a dream come true. It’s a once-in-a-lifetime, follow-your-heart pursuit.”

Now, they’re joining forces to form a strategic iPhone agency.

James Keller on the new gig

Why an agency model instead of pure app development? Raven and James are both interested in helping people develop and interact with their communities. The iPhone platform is a means to that end—albeit an incredibly creative platform for doing so.

The agency will also likely build apps of their own—Andrew Pouliot and Jonathan Wight, the lead dev on the Obama app, help round out the team—but it’s the strategy on which they will focus the majority of their time and effort.

Not only is this big for all of them, it’s big for Portland and its continued place in the mobile space.

“I think it’s a great fit for Portland because of the long history of creative services and technology,” said Raven. “We’re focusing on both. It’s really more of an agency than a development shop. But it’s really a small, small boutique agency.”

“I think you can be creative and strategic and develop well,” James said. “It’s a uniquely Portland thing.”

So what’s it called? Well, they don’t know yet. But you can find them at Raven.me.

“Maybe instead of Raven.me [Raven’s current consultancy], we can call it Raven.us?” said James.

At the very least, Todd gets his wish.

TiEsQue on Raven and James

iPhorest: New iPhone app launching at TED has Portland connection

iPhorestIf you’re in Portland and involved in a the Web and mobile startup scene, any mention of “iPhone” is usually immediately followed by a mention of “Raven Zachary.”

Portland isn’t alone in that regard, the iPhone consultant—who helped create iPhoneDevCamp before there was even such a thing as iPhone development—has seen more and more attention for his services as the burgeoning iPhone market has come into being.

And it’s thanks in no small part to his involvement in a little iPhone that played a role in putting Barack Obama in office. The other part is that he’s one of the most intelligent and well-spoken people I know. And of course the final part is that he’s one of the nicest guys you’ll get the chance to meet.

Well, now Raven has his hand in another app that’s sure to increase the iPhone limelight for him. Meet iPhorest, a new iPhone app launching this week at TED, the premiere “cool leading edge technology thinking and stuff” conference.

Raven Zachary on iPhorest

And Raven isn’t the only one excited about it. There’s this guy you may have heard of named Kevin Rose who told his 98,700 (and counting) Twitter followers about it.

Kevin Rose on iPhorest

And then there’s Ashton Kutcher’s wife. She likes it, too.

Demi Moore on iPhorest

It’s clear that iPhorest is on to something.

What’s not so clear is exactly what iPhorest does—since it’s not yet available in the App Store. But it has something to do with planting trees. On the iPhone.

By downloading the app, the user activates a seedling both virtually and physically. As the seedling on their phone grows, users can also send seeds to other phones, starting a new forest.

For each virtual tree planted, The Conservation Fund will plant a native tree in real life – starting with restoration of vulnerable wildlife habitats along the Gulf Coast. They will work with the nation’s leading public natural resource agencies to ensure the long-term protection of each iPhorest.

iPhones and sustainability? What could be more Portland-y than that? [UPDATE] More Portland people of course! Raven adds:

The lead developer and designer, Andrew Pouliot @andpoul, is in Portland, as is the 3D modeler, Alex Jetter. Thanks to Bram Pitoyo for the recommendation for Alex.

It’s a very cool concept. I’m looking forward to getting the opportunity to test drive it—and help a few flowers bloom trees grow.

As soon as I know more, you’ll know more. But I wanted to congratulate Raven on iPhorest as soon as I could.

Raven Zachary chairs iPhoneLive, a new iPhone conference for O’Reilly

Raven Zachary Apple iPhoneThat’s right. Portland’s master of all things iPhone, Raven Zachary, has been tapped by O’Reilly to lead its latest conference, iPhoneLive.

And while this event is not going to be held in Portland (don’t get me started), I still chalk this up as a major win for both Raven and the Portland tech scene, as a whole. Anytime we have a local chairing a cutting-edge technology event, that’s a win. No matter where they hold it.

And it leads me to wonder… could Portland become more iPhoney than other technology hubs? It’s too early to tell, but let’s wait and see.

One thing is for sure: with Raven’s focus on this eyes-on-ubiquity Apple device, the interest in events like the Raven-founded iPhoneDevCamp, and Portland’s proclivity for the little bugger, it may only be a matter of time.

So, what’s iPhoneLive?

iPhoneLive will be a gathering of the best and brightest participants in the iPhone ecosystem today. Whether you’re already building apps for the iPhone or are a developer who wants to make a move to the iPhone platform; if you’re an entrepreneur or simply an enthusiast of the emerging iPhone industry, this is the event for you. It’s going to be a mind-blowing day filled with information that you just can’t get anywhere else. We’ll cover development issues from coding to release, as well as general market information and lessons learned from leading iPhone developers and entrepreneurs.

And, truly, what’s an Apple-oriented conference without some top-secret launch activity?

iPhoneLive will also feature Launch Pad, a showcase for the coolest, not-yet-public apps and startups. The iPhoneLive Launch Pad presents an opportunity for iPhone developers and entrepreneurs to unveil new applications and startups at a major event. There are a limited number of slots available for iPhoneLive Launch Pad, and there is no cost to participate. The deadline for submitting a proposal to participate is September 30th.

iPhoneLive will be held in San Jose, California, on November 18. For more information on the conference, see Raven’s post on the O’Reilly Radar. Already sold? Hit the iPhoneLive conference site to figure out how you can participate.

Raven Zachary’s Apple iPhone obsession now his full-time gig

Raven Zachary Apple iPhoneWithout a doubt, one of the busiest people in Portland—when he’s actually on the ground here in Portland—is Raven Zachary. Working with Legion of Tech. Founding iPhoneDevCamp. Running around consulting on Open Source. Standing in line waiting for iPhones. And helping folks with all things iPhone.

Yeah, you caught that, didn’t you?

It’s no secret that Raven’s interest has definitely been leaning more and more toward the iPhone, as of late. And you know what they always say? Follow your passion.

So now, Raven is taking the opportunity to do exactly that, turning his iPhone obsession passion into full-time gig.

For those of you who know me as the founder of iPhoneDevCamp, this will probably not come as much of a surprise. Over the past few weeks, a number of professional opportunities relating to the iPhone have emerged that are too compelling to pass up. Some of these project I can’t talk about just yet, but I am looking forward to sharing them with you as soon as I able to.

Well, sort of.

Raven will still be supporting some of his consulting clients for The 451 Group. But instead of being a full-time analyst, he’ll move into the part-time role of contributing analyst.

So, he’ll still be crazy busy. Just with a different priority ranking on his efforts.

I, for one, couldn’t be happier for Raven. His passion is infectious. And this opportunity to channel his energy into this gig will be a delight to see.

And it looks like I’m not the only one. Twitter is running rampant with congratulations for Raven, this morning. Including a retweet from none other than Tim O’Reilly, himself:

Tim O’Reilly on Raven Zachary

Raven’s new venture can be found at raven.me or you can follow him on Twitter at ravenme.

raven.me is an iPhone site. It serves two functions – to provide interesting iPhone content to the general public and to promote my iPhone advisory business and other iPhone-related pursuits.

Again, best of luck to Raven. I know he’s going to be a phenomenal success. And that bodes well for all us here in the Silicon Forest.

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