Although I came to the idea of Nymbol independently, I don't think it unfair to say that platforms like Parse and Urban Airship have paved the way for cloud-enabled apps. I wanted to do something different; I wanted to help people create apps based on the physical world, rather than create a more nebulous system.

I was delighted to read that Parse had been acquired by Facebook, partly because great services like it deserve big backing. I like to see the success of platforms that make developing stuff easier or more fun, but I'm also aware that some people might feel uncomfortable about housing their data in a service backed by the world's largest social network. I don't think that's entirely fair, but we developers are a suspicious lot.

I started this thing called Nymbol last year, and it's been growing very slowly. Now things are starting to ramp up; the site is fully live, we have apps for iOS and Android that are using the platform and we have paying clients. But we're still a teeny tiny underdog.

We might not be right for your next app, but if you were thinking about building something based around real-world objects and places, or you're a developer or agency with clients not fully conversant in advanced content management systems, you should definitely check us out. We're nice and we're small, kind of like a terrier. Although we don't yap so much.

Anyway, I'm pleased as punch for Parse; they're a great service and I wish them loads of luck and a happy future with a company that can back them financially. But to the digital agencies and developers I say: don't forget the little guys, and drop us a line if you think we can help you make your next mobile project a success. Why not sign up, check out the docs or get in touch?

Photo: Bowl of Clouds, by Kevin Dooley

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