When @mdeiters first told me about Assembly a few months ago, my reaction was, "Wow, that's f'ing ambitious!" I'm rooting for him because of its potential to change so many people's lives.
Sharing economy startups like Lyft, TaskRabbit, AirBnb, GetAround, and many others are empowering people to live better, more autonomous lives. Many engineers already contribute to open source projects without pay but if Matt and team can create a platform for these contributors to get paid for doing what they love, many people will live happier lives.
Sorry if that sounds a little cheesy and promotional... Matt didn't pay me to write that. :P
I'm one for the founders of Assembly and happy to answer any questions. #AMA
Ryan sums it up nicely...though I'd add that our platform is for more then developers too. We already have designers and those that want to help with marketing involved.
Thanks Zack for sharing.
@mdeiters would love to use assembly internally at my companies/projects - are you guys working towards a product that can be used internally in companies?
True! I should have mentioned that it's also enabling non-engineers to participate similarly to the thriving open source community.
@mdeiters - When we first met, you were working on Coderwall (coderwall.com) prior to joining YC. Years later you've moved on to Assembly. Why did you decide to pivot and what are your plans with Coderwall?
Matt, Assembly is fucking amazing. I've been toying with the idea recently of "the pull request as the default model for work," and what I mean by that is that the ability to pull something, make changes, and ask for acceptance is absolutely one way work will shift in the next 10 years.
At TaskRabbit, it really solidified to me that there are certain tasks you want to keep in house but certain ones you're comfortable outsourcing. PRs kind of meet in the middle by giving access to internals but keeping people at an arm's length.
I'm sure Quirky was an inspiration for the model as well, right Matt?
@ryanhoover - Coderwall is still part of our company (Assembly). Its been running on autopilot steadily growing in usage and revenue. Coderwall will be here to stay.
The initial vision with Coderwall was to help engineers find better career opportunities. Coderwall tackled the hardest thing about innovating in recruiting, sourcing, first. Then in 2013 Coderwall began to work on job matchmaking. While refining the product, we talked with a lot of users and heard the same feedback over and over which was the spark that led us to Assembly. I think of Assembly as a broader (more outlandish) solution to our original goals and mission of Coderwall.
Thanks @zackshapiro - I think in general the maker class wants to self direct their work and make money on their own terms. Your pull request analogy fits in nicely with that; identify a problem/solution, fix it, and share.
Quirky has done a phenomenal job making the research and development (IP) of new products a collaborative process. Quirky then handles the manufacturing, distribution, and fulfillment all themselves because of the physical nature of their products. With software, it is primarily all IP based so we are working to make the entire product lifecycle an open collaborative process.
@mdeiters - Got it. So you haven't really changed your vision or primary audience.
What's the coolest/craziest/most interesting product idea someone has submitted so far?
@mdeiters I love this new model. I have been thinking about various ideas that are "quirky for this/that" for quite some time. Actually....just thought of an idea, that I'll throw into Assembly. :)
@ryanhoover - well the vision and audience has expanded but we're still focused on helping people lead a fulfilling career.
We're curating the ideas for next month now...so stay tuned. There are lots of interesting ones, some more feasible then others. I thought the idea for BitCoin Futures was pretty timely.
@mdeiters - BitCoin futures. I know a guy that would be into that. :)
What's the biggest risk in making Assembly a success?
@mdeiters @rrhoover we're talking about an options market for bitcoins right?
Interesting idea, the problem with Quirky is that it quickly bottomed out to ideas that can be made quickly and cheaply - most of their products are accessories and tit-tat. The challenge will be keeping quality high and maintaining the ever-increasing catalogue of apps.
I've been test driving this platform for building, and it's a great convergence of technologies and habits. Talent anytime, anywhere kind of concept.
More thoughts - http://www.techproductmanager.com/2015/02/taking-assembly-for-test-drive.html