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An Italian engineer living abroad, happily employed by a large tech company, spots a new revolutionary technology rapidly gaining traction and decides to drop everything in order to "get in on it" by improving it.
No, I'm not talking about my decision to start Balsamiq to build Web Office plugins, but rather Enrico Berti's decision to quit his job to start Napkee Labs, a new micro-ISV launching today.
Napkee nicely complements Balsamiq Mockups by providing a way to turn your wireframes to either HTML/CSS/JS, a Rich Internet Application that runs in your browser or even a Desktop application.
This is a very hard problem to solve in an elegant and user-friendly way, as there are a lot of moving pieces to deal with. In fact, it's even too hard for us to want to solve ourselves! I have been advising Enrico for the last few months, and I see in him the right combination of talent, passion and determination needed to succeed.
I have asked him to write a little guest post here to introduce himself and Napkee to you. Enjoy!
Everything began last March when I wrote an email to Peldi saying that I wanted to do something more for Balsamiq other than being another evangelist. The idea of creating an exporter for Mockups was born after a couple of hours and I started to write code the exact same evening. At the beginning it was not called Napkee and it had a really creative name: Mockups Exporters. 🙂 It also looked great...
That big smile was - and still is - the effect that this project has on me. Time passed relentlessly and I spent almost every single minute of my free time on creating something that could be useful to a lot of people working in the UX field.
Fortunately today Napkee looks way better and it allows you to export to interactive HTML+JS+CSS or Flex prototypes in a matter of clicks.
Check it out on www.napkee.com!
The journey from that email to my micro-ISV seems quite long but I feel and hope that it's just the beginning of a bigger and longer one!
I'm pretty much excited, and you?
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This is great, the only thing that would stop me from buying this right now is that I had assumed that the ability to export or at least click through to other mockups would be included in the online version of Balsamiq mockups which I am eagerly anticipating.
[Peldi: in the web version you’ll be able to click through mockups, but not export them to code]
Very cool, Italians are taking on Adobe and Microsoft!
Actually, it will be interesting to see how designer/developer will compare Balsamiq/Napkee with Adobe Catalyst.
Personally, I think that Adobe and Microsoft are making a strategic mistake by not supporting Open Web technologies in their respective designer/developer tools.
The good news is that it will take them a while before they change course, and this creates a nice market opportunity for new players.
Best of luck to Napkee, and congrats to Balsamiq for the beginning of a promising market place.
This looks awesome. I can’t wait to try it out.
I understand/respect balsamiq is looking to be an open platform that others can extend. The power of this is on display with Napkee, which will have my $80 bucks in its pocket shortly.
That being said…
+1 for the integration, or the option thereof. Who would NOT want to turn a web mock up into wire framed HTML after they were done?
[Peldi: thanks Johnny. Try out Napkee, I think you’ll find that the integration with Mockups for Desktop is pretty tight for an external program. You just save your changes in Mockups, switch to Napkee and you won’t even have to reload! As for who wouldn’t want to generate HTML…a lot of people! Flex developers, Ruby on Rails developers, Desktop developers, mobile developers…lots and lots of people!]
This is excellent! However it would be superb if this project was simply integral part of Balsamiq Mockups. It would really give a boost to the whole effort! I’m sure it crossed your mind also!
So, if you are counting votes you have mine!
[Hello Dimitris, thanks for your feedback. I have no intention on integrating exporting capabilities in the application itself, as it would necessarily drive the price up a lot, plus it’s a functionality that not everyone needs. Keeping it a separate product is IMHO the best option, both for the users and for our small company. Peldi]