Aug 30

Part II of the StoryZOT – A Mystery

And thus, the story has begun. A tale of primal code forged from the minds of commoners. Advanced technical training is often absent in the history of an application and the developers behind it. Apple, an organized and well lead group of people who are encouraged to THINK DIFFERENTLY have responded to the demands of the market.

The realization that providing great tools would enable smart people to begin creating games, organizers, and productivity enhancing applications was timely. There are now almost 750,000 people who have downloaded the software one can use to begin their application development on Mac OS X.

Back in the land of ZOT, a vibrant youth walks on stage to present his application, story and enthusiasm to the onlookers. He’s given the microphone, the crowd quiets to a curious rumble, and listenst to what he has to say…

"Thank you for allowing me to get up here and share a few thoughts. So far, I’m enjoying ZOT and find very intelligent and interesting people hanging out here. However, I digress and well, will just dive right in.

Our company got started by two friends who shared a fervor for developing better software. It journeys back much further than the debut of Mac OS X. I resided in Japan at the time and endeavored to unravel how to view and write Japanese characters in Windows 98. After a relentless yet fruitless pursuit for working software I found an article depicting how Mac OS X is bundled with an array of languages on 1 disc with screenshots of how easy it is to write.

After acquiring my first mac and OS X, I noticed it came with free developer tools. I was perplexed on how to actually author applications. I came from a background of windows, I had no experience in coding in any language.

This lead to the acquisition of a book by Aaron Hillegass on Cocoa programming for OS X. I plowed through the examples completely disregarding the pre-requisite of C knowledge before starting. Daily train rides to school were an invaluable time to read and re-read until it started to sink in.

I started working as a programmer making very bad applications that were buggy, but they kept getting better as I started to learn more. Apple really provides us with amazing resources to making great applications for OS X.

I met a variety of people online while working and making programs leading to the collaboration of ideas. That quickly blossomed into a company that made apps that people actually wanted to use. After my marriage in Japan, my wife and I moved back to my hometown of Gilbert, Arizona where I continued to make applications for Mac OS X. I now knew how a software company works.

I left my job working for someone else, and that is when our company started. My wife would often help out with our localization, which was very easy for her as a translator by profession. We are now approaching our third anniversary and were just able to have a wedding in March of this year.

Our flagship application, is a collective idea of my partner and I that has been brewing in our heads for years. We always desired a way to make handle the functionality of our application in a simplistic fashion, similiar to a similar feature in a popular iApp. It has quickly morphed into an ever evolving jack of all trades.

We resolved the best way to accomplish our goals was to be extremely quick with support and listen to the requests. Most of the features in this application’s current incarnation have been user requests that are normally filled within 2 or 3 days.

If chosen to participate in the development of this bundle, I promise to provide inspired software, educate you all on the proper usage, and continue development so you’ll have excellent tools at your diposal. To give a hint without breaking the rults, let’s just say that our application is very relevant in regard to the way Apple themselves is positioning the Mac.

Thank you for your time."

As the developer walked off stage, standing tall, one could feel the sense of pride in the air. There’s nothing like doing something you love and giving back to a responsive community at the same time…

Stay tuned for more in Part 3…

44 Responses to “StoryZOT – A Mystery – Part II”

  1. Jack Says:

    What is this? If I bought the StoryZOT yesterday do I have to buy it again today to stay in? Is the payment today for a second app? Is there even an app coming? If I bought the first StoryZOT and then I buy this one too, do I get anything extra? Please, give a little more information so I know a little bit about whether or not I wasted my money yesterday.

  2. Mickeh Says:

    You spelt rules wrong in the fourth last paragraph :).

    I am glad I bought this; it is turning out to be a really good application that could really help me (Even though I have no idea what this is…) Good work MacZOT, I am looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us…

    Just one last point; this better be good. I don’t want to miss out on one weeks worth of ZOT’s just for this. But apart from that the whole thing is looking great so far!

  3. Dean Says:
  4. Jesse Wilson Says:

    Hrm. I wasn’t sure what direction this whole StoryZOT thing was heading and now while I can somewhat see the direction, I’m wary of what we’re paying for here. Are we simply paying for the progression of this story? If not, then what?

    A simple explanation as to the point of the StoryZOT would have been nice. Given the ‘Buy’ price is the same, I’m guessing that maybe that price is for the length of the story, but there’s nothing to go by for us to know.

  5. gryphonent Says:

    Let’s keep our fingers crossed that (for a change in the MysteryZots) this is a useful piece of software and the length of the story won’t compete with Tolstoi’s “War and Peace.”

  6. LKM Says:

    So… What did I pay for? Do I have to pay again?

  7. Gareth Says:

    Am I correct in assuming that the Zot available for purchase today is the same as yesterday?

  8. Dan Says:

    @Gareth: I’m pretty sure it is, yeah. It has the same PayPal item id

  9. Rick Baskett Says:

    Well I said I would be skipping a couple MysteryZot’s because Im just not getting anything useful, getting duplicates etc.. and this one is really really tempting, but my track record is just not good here at this point.. which means since Im not biting.. it’s probably going to be something good :) Maybe I should start posting when I buy something so that the rest of you do not buy and when I do not buy.. everyone should buy? hmm…. :)

  10. Mickeh Says:

    I have absolutely no idea where MacZOT are coming from with this thing… The whole thing is overly confusing…

  11. Kaktus Says:

    It feels like Zot thinks It’s a bad idea to sell one product every day and now tries to sell on product a week by telling weird stories, every day, about the product.

  12. gryphonent Says:

    It’s definitely one of these developer Zot. I like the guy behind Cast Life and his dedication and passion in making the software better. Now, the problem with this Zot is that I have no idea WHO the developer is nor what he’s doing. Yes, it’s intriguing… but am I the only one out here who’s registered shareware to find that the developer is only in it for a quick buck and not interested in fixing bugs and improving the software? Anway, I bit yesterday…;( Starbucks is really losing money this week as I’m cutting down on coffee in favor of MacZot.

  13. Jean-Francois Says:

    Developer Zt?

  14. Jean-Franc Says:

    Developer Zot? Can we still wish for Textmate? For 5.95$ ?
    After all, it won an award at the WWDC :-)

    I’ve been told two times by Zot or Zot support that this was comming soon….

    I’m still hoping…

  15. Jean-Franc Says:

    Oh well, I re-read the story and Textmate doesn’t fit quite well … :-(

    However, this the description the person gave in the story does not look like a developer tool…. Maybe something that works with the iApps ? I am guessing some podcast app…

  16. lonniehb Says:

    ANOTHER DAY OF WAITING! OMG you’re trying to kill me ZOT style! ;)

  17. the valrus Says:


  18. Jefe Says:

    It sounds like what’s going to happen, is several developers will tell their story.. like this, then we will get the opportunity to vote on a certain number of them to include in the final mysteryzot. And the winners of that vote go into the bundle.

    If you can figure out from the background who the developer is, it might be possible to determine the actuall apps. But I don’t think the story is ever going to tell us what apps are being voted on, just the developer stories.

    pretty neat idea. Not sure if I’m buying though.

  19. paul Says:

    Why do I have a sinking feeling part three of this story saga is not going to include a description of what I bought.

  20. Jim Says:

    I can safely say that this is the first time I am truly disappointed in this site with this offerring today and yesterday. It sounds like alot of hot air and quite honestly more about paying for development of a product. Sure the idea is to get it when it’s done but it has to be finished first.

    Maybe someone can correct me on this but it almost reeks with “uh, oh, we need something different or we might lose folks from doing the repeat items.”

    I’d like to believe that there’s something cool for the money that will come out of these stories but frankly in reading them I see no value coming from them.

  21. Curt Says:

    Umm… WHAT? I’m lost. Is this another app or the same one?

    And the story needs some help… it’s just not going anywhere that I can tell.

  22. Groxx Says:

    Yes, ZOT, while I find this interesting, none of us have any idea if it’s the same program as yesterday. Send someone by to clarify this, please.

  23. minezamac Says:

    Seriously, a little explanation on if this is the same app as yesterday, surely you don’t expect us to pay again? I must be missing something, but if so it was not obvious, when are we to receive the object we paid for yesterday?

  24. ckm Says:

    I’m still very confused as to what’s going on with the StoryZOT, but for $6, I figured I’d jump on it and find out when it’s over.

  25. Jefe Says:

    Clearly it’s the same as yesterday, just part 2. And tomorrow will be part 3 so don’t freak out.

    I don’t think you are paying for the development of a project per se, but for the bundling of a mystery zot. I have no insider knowledge of this, just deductive reasoning.

    What is there to be disappointed about? You don’t even know what it is yet. How can you be disappointed in something that you don’t know the outcome of? It may end up being the greatest package ever featured on macZot for the low price of $6…and you are grumbling because you don’t understand what it is.

    That is why it is a mystery.. if you can’t deal with that.. don’t pay. Then the only thing you have to worry about being disappointed in is missing out on whatever gets revealed in the end.

  26. Jefe Says:

    Also.. yesterday’s began with “This week, we’re offering a MYSTERY …” So it sounds like this will go on through the end of the week. Be prepared.

  27. Chris Says:

    I think earlier in the week, some ZOTers had good reason for concern and disappointment… but this… we have no idea what this is, so I really don’t see any point in disappointment!!! Gee, I don’t know what this is, but I think I will be disappointed now.

    ZOT — I think this is exciting. Pretty cool. I bought in last night. Can’t wait to see what is in store for us! Thanks!

  28. F451 Says:

    Here is an excerpt from when it started:

    “This week, we’re offering a MYSTERY based on the novel written by our biggest fans. It’s called NO REPEAT and you won’t find it at”

    Note the first two (2) words…this ZOT will be up for the week, and it looks like we will be getting daily hints as to what it might be, or least about the Developer(s) who wrote it.

  29. Groxx Says:

    Ahh, good point F451, good point.

  30. Jim Says:

    Jefe and Chris,

    The disappointment I spoke of is that this thus it far appears to me as some off the wall thing that was thought of the night before in an act of desperation with little planning and a lack of thought put into it. Read people’s comments and you should see the negativity regarding this whole story gimmick.

    Mysteryzots are one thing where it’s pretty obvious where things are going. This storyzot thing seems to lack any direction…a bit like pushing a boat off the shore and hoping it makes it to the other side.

    Like I said it might be a cool and useful app or whatever it’s supposed to be but the story idea behind this does nothing to sell me on it…whatever it is.

    Crossing fingers that they show a little more direction as the week progresses. I’d rather see more direction to let me know if it’s something to be interested in or not than something wide open otherwise they could have just said “Click to buy if you want to.”

  31. the valrus Says:

    I’d appreciate this more if the prose weren’t so mediocre.

  32. Frank Says:

    One nice thing about a MysteryZOT, I don’t need to purchase anything to have fun with the drama. If it is a must have application I will just pay the few extra dollars when I find out what it is. Cheap thrills. ;-)

  33. Dean Says:

    Hmm, I’m glad MacUpdate have starting offering daily deals too – like Maczot but without the mumbo jumbo.

  34. ZOT Says:

    ZOT Clarification:

    If you purchased StoryZOT once, you do not need to buy again. Unless, of course, you are buying for another.

    As to what you’re buying. It’s a bundle of applications. Stay tuned.


    P.S. And you still have 4 hours left to get Weather Pop over at

  35. Chris Says:

    Jim –

    I can understand that. I guess then just don’t buy it? Ok, it’s a different sort of disappointment than last week I suppose. I guess we can just say that at least. Still, we (purchasers) may or may not be disappointed in the end product is what I meant. We don’t know yet.

  36. Scott Says:

    Jim – it may be lack of thought, it could be lack of planning, or it could be brilliant marketing. Look at us all – commenting up a storm and complaining, but anxiously checking the site to figure out what the heck this whole story thing is. I suspect the creators of Maczot know exactly what they are doing – very much like Seth Godin always talks about (packing your book in a milk carton etc.) Thank you Maczot for being so creative in your approach to marketing great Mac software.

  37. dimebag2 Says:

    OK Zot you have won me back(for now) I rather enjoy your self deprecating humor over the pointed cheapshots taken at your loyal customers. Thanks for at least putting forth the effort to smooth things over.

  38. Blender Says:

    Love it how ZOT talks about Great “cooperation” and service are what will keep me coming back to macZOT for as long as I own a Mac. Great job guys on staying creative in the ever evolving world of software sales.

  39. Josh Says:

    Weather update at MacUpdate – ZOT, you so crazy! ;)

    But seriously folks this is a mystery, and it is up to us to solve it. Lives are on the line – important ones. I will take the lead while those confused by the sun ask if this the same offer as yesterday. Then they say the “Writing suxorz.” Eloquent.

    ZOT is capitalizing words. Maybe they say something:


    Okay so probably not…Maybe if we take the first letter from each new sentence! I’ve broken it up into what appears to be a primitive vocabulary:

    How about looking into the specifics, a developer in Gilbert AZ who likes OS X. I’ve reviewed all of the below and they meet the StoryZOT age, skills, and interest level. The About page has been pulled, suspiciously I might add:
    Monkinetic –

  40. kodac Says:

    “P.S. And you still have 4 hours left to get Weather Pop over at”

    Look! ZOT has a sense of humor ;) :P

  41. Erichd Says:

    MacZot and MacUpdate are both featured on page2 at widget machine. well, their widgets, anyway no idea how many personnel are shared. I use WeatherPop daily …. it was the first app I bought on-line for my Mac and it still blow away most of the other weather apps/widgets for ease of use and unobtrusiveness.

    MacJournal is a friggin’ awsome app, apparently aside from their upgrade policy, and if I didn’t already have Office and castlife, I’d seriously consider that one…all the other daily deal sites are staying off the meds. blah blah…

    so, if it’s a bundle (YAY!), do we get the serials for each app as their feature day passes? That would give us more to talk about, praise, bitch whatever, here. … and possibly, reveal some of the value, and goad more hoards into buying.

  42. Kaktus Says:

    “P.S. And you still have 4 hours left to get Weather Pop over at”

    Actually, it’s 22 hours left and 37% off of Mariner Software’s MacJournal 4.0.4. An awesome app. Im happy I bought it.

  43. edmb Says:

    I think Josh has found the developer (or one of the developers) for this ZOT. So now we know that graphic design is somehow involved in one of the apps (but isn’t it always?) Still no idea what the apps are. Oh well…

  44. Top Daeh Says:

    This reminds me of when 7-11 stores have those promotion things that make you reach in a box to get a prize. Of course you would have to pay a certain price to get the reward. This Zot thing is new for me however, I think it’s pure genius marketing to give the story telling of the developers at the same time promote them into potential huge fame. Everyone gets the stage right ?

    Any one of us could be the same as the developers here you know. It’s more fun to see something you work so hard for and watch the masses guess. If I were to be a mystery i’d love it too. I believe Zot and crew are the pure geniuses to promote more developments for OSX. don’t you all agree? i’d like to say that much.

    like my mama always said, ” Eat your greens, you’ll become someone important someday”

    Go devs go!