The Final Chapter of my Winnable Solitaire Story
I have sold Winnable Solitaire to Dennis Cronin, the guy behind freecell.com. I'm not sure Denny wants me to disclose the price, but I can say that it was a small number (4 digits) and that I have donated all of it to the Red Cross for Katrina relief.
In September 2004 I wrote an article wherein I coined the term "micro-ISV" and launched a fun little hobby business around a game I wrote called Winnable Solitaire. My primary goal was to write a good article, and on that point I think I succeeded. My secondary goal was to make some money selling an "indie" game. That part didn't go quite so well. :-) It is now 15 months later. My total sales are approximately $215.
I've got lots of ideas for how to pursue Winnable Solitaire, but the simple truth is that I don't have time. I never planned for this to be anything more than a hobby. My day job keeps me plenty busy.
So I have taken the opportunity to sell the whole thing. Dennis Cronin now has the source code to the solver and the game itself. He is also getting the domain names (winnablesolitaire.com/org/net). I'm pretty sure Denny plans to approach this game differently than I did, but I don't know the details. His freecell.com site is already a functioning business for him and he seems to have some specific ideas for how Winnable Solitaire is going to fit into that picture.
I was actually considering an eBay auction when Dennis called me several weeks ago and expressed an interest. He offered to buy. I accepted. Reconnecting with Dennis was actually a "blast from the past" for me. He and I worked together briefly when I was at Spyglass.
Anyway, this brings closure to my involvement with Winnable Solitaire. I remain fascinated by the concept of a micro-ISV. I still have a great deal of admiration (and a little envy) for those who have been successful with this model. Perhaps in a later season of my life I will give the micro-ISV concept a more serious try. But right now I'm having a ball here at SourceGear. (Yep, I actually like building version control software.)