Equipping an Expedition

It’s been a long time since I last read “Time Enough for Love” by Robert Hein­lein, but I’m hav­ing flash­es of one part of it at the moment.

I have an idea for a web appli­ca­tion — one that could work out very well indeed, and I’ve giv­en myself four months in start­up mode to see if I can make it hap­pen. I’m at the end of the sec­ond week of this, and I still keep think­ing of things I need to get done in order for this to work. Some of them are com­pli­cat­ed, like cod­ing a fea­ture of the appli­ca­tion. Some are sim­pler, like writ­ing a data pri­va­cy pol­i­cy.

In the nov­el, there is a sequence where the pro­tag­o­nist is set­ting out on a pio­neer­ing trip. With a fixed amount of car­ry­ing capac­i­ty, he works and re-works the list of items to take, and at least once has the shock of real­is­ing he’s missed some­thing obvi­ous but vital off the list.

I’m going through that right now. My app will involve tak­ing pay­ment for its func­tion. So how the heck did it take me two weeks to realise I’ll need to buy an SSL cer­tifi­cate, in order to secure the trans­mis­sion of peo­ples’ sen­si­tive infor­ma­tion?


(This whole is big, scary, and fun. I should talk a lit­tle more about it here.)

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