IndyHall Labs gaining momentum and legal model - Philly


Feb. 25, 2009 10:28 am

IndyHall Labs gaining momentum and legal model

At first glance, Labs seems like an IndyHall-branded selection of products coming out of the collaborative workspace. But they say says Labs is only beginning to crystallize.

Last week, IndyHall Labs launched a new Web site highlighting their four flagship products and announced that two of the products, Multiplex and MultiFirefox, were chosen as Apple Staff Picks in the Apple’s Mac download directory. As a result, Multiplex has seen a spike in traffic and an increase in sales of the discounted, Pre-v1.0 version of the ripped-DVD cataloging software.

Labs is gaining momentum since the software incubator was first announced last year, perhaps the most since iSepta, a Labs initiative, made headlines with Philadelphia Metro last May. We called Alex Hillman, a partner in Independents Hall, the organization responsible for Indy Hall Labs, to see what all the buzz is about.

At first glance, Labs seems like an IndyHall-branded selection of products coming out of the collaborative workspace. But Hilman says Labs is only beginning to crystallize.

Hilman says that Labs has been working with legal counsel to iron out a system that will lower the barrier for small, freelance software creators, enabling them to concentrate on the product, rather than worry about revenue-splits and business back-end.

Because these products are often the result of several contributors, small ideas balloon fast, before a team has a chance to decide how they are going to split revenue when a product goes live. Having seen anxiety arise when simple ideas blossom into profitable projects in their own line-up, Hilman says IndyHall Labs is developing a new model for software incubation. And it’s driven by an in-house project called Mr. E-Commerce.

Hilman says that Mr. E-Commerce works in two ways. For one, it features a software licensing engine that generates keys tucked in a product download, to reduce piracy and ensure inventory consistency. Second, after taking costs associated with the product out of gross revenue, it splits the net among the developers involved with the product. Transparently, automatically, easy.

Perhaps what’s most interesting about the incubation process is that it has developed into a system that can be used outside of software development. As the popularity of Labs’ beer podcast Two Guys On Beer has increased, there’s talk of syndication and sponsorship. Mr. E-Commerce will work with manual entries, such as these, that will automatically take care of business for Two Guys On Beer That Potentially Won’t Have To Pay For Suds Out Of Their Own Pockets.


Hilman says Labs is still being figured out, but the effort is being driven to ultimately extend help to developers and media efforts outside IndyHall’s walls. For now, he urges developers who wish to get involved to stop by Labs’ spot on Strawberry Street.

People: Alex Hillman
Projects: Two Guys On Beer
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