We imagine that brilliant ideas just appear, like the light from a light bulb.
But it took years of effort before that light bulb got perfected.
It took years to develop into its present form.
Here are some of the highlights.
2009 - 2010
Work begins. The orignal focus for HotWax? A simple content management system for small, community newspapers.
The problem? The people at those newspapers want a very powerful system, but they want it to be utterly code-free.
Everything they can find is either too weak or too complicated.
So we create HotWax.
HotWax does all kinds of tricks and requires no code.
We call the program “HotWax” because small newspapers still use hot wax as an adhesive to lay out paper galleys onto flats for printing*.
Response is tepid. After all — small newspapers are still using hot wax as an adhesive to lay out paper galleys onto flats for printing. Moving into the digital age is a stretch.
But a dozen newspapers or so start using HotWax.
And we listen to them and learn.
It starts off as a kind of game: A customer wants some complicated gizmo seen on an expensive website. Of course, it was created with a lot of fancy code.
And although it seems impossible at first, we figure out how to do it.
We can create ways for our customers to do all sorts of crazy cool stuff: just point-and-click simple.
All it takes is weeks and weeks of work.
And we see a pattern emerging:
What our customers want is what everyone wants. Everyone wants the same thing.
Cool websites with little effort. More power. No code.
More than that: simple to understand. Failure-proof.
In 2012 we deploy HotWax 2.
A huge evolutionary step: Storing a website as database records instead of separate files.
We set our sights on a seemingly impossible goal: Replacing Wordpress. Making HotWax the go-to platform for new websites.
Instead of newspapers, we focus on website developers.
Now the fun really begins.
As developers start deploying HotWax websites, we listen.
We create The List: 392 features that developers want.
And we have a second list: 114 features we imagine...features developers would want if they could imagine them.
At first it seems impossible. Because HotWax, like other systems, is based on a 15-20 year-old architecture.
To do everything people really want, we finally realize, requires a new website infrastructure.
This marks the birth of the HotWax Cloud.
A whole web ecosystem that works in harmony: website server, databases, browser code.
Making it easy to build highly sophisticated websites, without plugins or coding.
Elements made point and click simple.
Powerful, yet easy for developers.
Fully controlable, yet simplified
Best of all: Easy to duplicate, with flexible, configured copies.
HotWax makes rapid creation and deployment extremely quick and easy.
Sadly, we dont manage to achieve all 506 items on the list. Technically, most can be done, but for others, we cant figure out to make them simple to understand and failure-proof.
We add 433 of the 506 features. The rest will have to wait for the next release. (Were already building “Son of the List.”)
About this time, a well known computer scientist looks at HotWax and tells us:
HotWax has succesfully abstracted website building
HotWax has created the first website Software as a Service.
Much of work is patentable IPR
We release HotWax 3.
HotWax 3 is the first Website Engine: moving all the code into a cloud to create the first website deployment Software as a Service (SaaS). Instead of a mess of files, websites are databases, edited with a powerful, code-free interface.
Now HotWax can do practically every trick a developer can think of. SEO results are spectacular: Google top 5 with natural search. Pages display fast.
Developers control what elements users can edit, and how. HotWax provides developer collaboration and sharing.
And HotWax 3 makes complete new websites really, really fast.
No one has ever before created a way to mass-produce individual configured websites. HotWax applies for 4 patents.
This time, response is strong: even before final release, HotWax begins three cloud deployments.
* Eventually we encountered some of the other, less savory uses of the term, but by then we had already made it a registered trademark.
Want to see what HotWax is really like? To get a sense of HotWax can do for you, click here.
Let's work together
What can HotWax do for you?
Use the HotWax website engine to make your life simpler, and more fun. Create, clone, collaborate, control. Websites that replicate and adapt. Frankly, we havent imagined all the ways HotWax will change the way people work with websites.
We want to hear from you. We want to work with you.