First, some required watching:
This is one of my absolute favorite TED talks. I also recently picked up Automate This by Christopher Steiner at the suggestion of Blake over at K162Space. Though I don't consider myself a hardcore code-monkey by any stretch of the imagination, systems and automation absolutely stirs me. The initial spark for Prosper is right here.
The beginnings of Prosper are born from two places. First, an aggravation with the current atmosphere when it comes to EVE data. Part because my desired data set is pretty laser focused, and the current aggregators each miss the mark in some significant way. Part because there are huge swaths of the picture missing, or are hosted in disparate places. The second half comes from an irritation with all the human work that goes into running a successful industrial operation. Where coordinating more than 10 characters in a truly heavy-industry endeavor becomes a full time job.
Between these two goals, I have more than enough to chew on. Though I am still working on the data processing part, the dream remains alive and kicking... even if it's painfully slow going.
Once the database and T2 tools are up and running and an in-game corp can start being used as beta testers, there is still a ton of work to do. The end goal should be to enable super-heavy industry in all its forms. This means being able to support other money makers like research, capitals, T3, industrial contractors, and deep space freight. As the talent/capital pool grows, a lot of new paradigms for ISK generation outside Jita should become part of the picture. These will provide new space for new tools and algorithms to facilitate growth.
Of course, the big picture is to open up Prosper to external clients. Expanding the suite to be pervasive to really allow industrialists at all levels to track their work in one central location. Also to serve up the kind of data that players really desire so we can stop hearing the whines about "Who will do CCP Diagoras' job".
Prosper is only a first step in a much larger plan. If virtual economic data can be automated and manipulated, what is preventing using those schemes on real life systems? My IRL coworkers make fun of me because of their shallow vision and think it's just about "writing another stock algorithm" as some sort of get-rich-quick scheme. But that's painfully short sighted.
Though I have no interest in playing with the all-stars outlined in the video above, there is a ton of new and exciting opportunities in automation. This project both serves as hobby because I have brain damage and HAVE to solve problems, and as career building through skill acquisition. Though I can't know now what the future holds, the dream is alive to transcend from virtual economic domination to carving out a space as my own boss one day.