This year has been an outstanding year for MindSea, and part of that success comes from being involved with some great people and companies. Not the least of which is Apps 4 Good inc., brain child of Dale Zak, a super energetic talented developer who focuses on doing all he can to improve our global community.

In July of 2009 Dale organized the first “iPhone Hackathon For Charity” which brought together some very talented people who have a common desire to support their community. The goal of the hackathon was to create as many iPhone applications as possible over a weekend, publish them to the Apple App store and direct all the proceeds to charity. I have to admit that this goal seemed quite unrealistic at first, but as the weekend progressed I became more and more convinced that this was going to work and that we could accomplish some really great things! While the weekend didn’t produce any finished apps we had a great start and we chose some great charities that would benefit. The team I was on chose to create an application that allows people to send digital postcards. You select a cool postcard, add a photo and caption and send it to your pals. Inspired by many postcards collected during sunny summer vacations we decided to call it “Wish You Were Here”. (and hey.. it ties in nicely with our other app “Meet Me Here”).

As often happens with volunteer projects like this, other commitments (like work 🙂 ) can slow you down. Motivated by our second, albeit smaller, hackathon “Another day of Good” held in October, we put a push on to get “Meet Me Here” and “Wish You Were Here” out the door. After a few more impromptu late night hacking sessions, Meet Me Here was ready to go and was published, and available for download on December 1st. Having our first application up and generating money for charity motivated our WYWH team even more. We went through a couple of rounds of usability testing and came up with a flow that we thought was simple and intuitive. Combine that with some beautifully designed postcards and application graphics and we were set to go! On December 29th, WYWH was ready for sale in the Apple app store. The folks on the Apple app review team really turned this around quickly. It went in for review in the morning and came out ready for sale later that night! Thanks for that! The WYWH team plans to keep adding more features to the application, like twitter and facebook integrations, image editing controls, and many more postcard designs.

All of the proceeds from WYWH will go to Feed Nova Scotia, the provincial food collection and distribution centre for approximately 150 food banks and meal programs across Nova Scotia. They provide year-round food deliveries to member food banks and meal programs who serve at least 38,000 Nova Scotians each month. To learn more about how you can help, please visit their website

So, what started out as an informal weekend hack has turned into a full fledged corporation dedicated to giving back to the community. We have started the ball rolling with our first two applications, and more are in the works…. so what’s next? Well, we will be hosting another hackathon in the new year, who knows what that will bring, but I have a feeling we will have many more participants and we will come up with some great apps in support of excellent charities! If you would like to join us, head over to and drop us a line…

Wish You Were Here,
Bill Wilson

Here are a few screen shots of WYWH in action:




The Wish You Were Here team members:

  • Nick Brunt
  • Andrew Burke
  • Matthew Jewkes
  • Shaun Johansen
  • Raymond Seto
  • Bill Wilson