Why Ready Exists

Ready lets people make and share digital stuff, even if they don’t know how to code.  Especially if they don’t know how to code! 

Ready inspires young minds to be awesome creators in our digital world.

Ready empowers educators by giving them a powerful tool that naturally teaches kids to think “in code.”

Holy moly, that sounds big!

Yeah.  It is.

Ready is the product of 18 months of engineering, by a multidisciplinary team working at a company called Kandu, based in New York.  The company decided not to release the project.  It found a new home in December 2015, and it’s been renamed “Ready”, as in-- “Are you ready?”  “Are you ready to make stuff, and share it?”  And referencing the old BASIC “READY>” prompt on early 8-bit computers.  

Ready means the computer “is ready to take your orders.”  This is the basic dynamic of hacking in the original sense: as a motivation to explore systems and computers to see what they can do, in a playful, interactive, open-ended manner.

Sounds like there’s a philosophy behind this.

We estimate about 15 million humans worldwide are adept coders.  That’s approximately 0.2% of our species.  Consequently, nearly all our collective time online-- billions, maybe trillions of hours a year-- is spent consuming, and very little will be spent creating.  

Creative outlets online, such as they exist, are highly constrained-- Facebook or Twitter posts, Instagram feeds, YouTube uploads-- these have their pleasures, but none of these outlets tap into self-expression through software creation.  They are not truly open, unlimited canvases for us to use.

An analogy might be the Middle Ages, before the invention of the printing press, when perhaps 0.2% of humans could read and write.  Even Kings, like Charlemagne, were illiterate!  Ironically, we live in a similar condition, where a small priesthood, who understands computer languages, are responsible for all the software around us.

And what would happen to our world, if it were a place where many more consumers could become creators?  What happened when printing presses were invented?

We need committed people just like you to help us expand on the vision we’ve built, and take it to a new level, where a global community can begin to assemble, working together on the same mission-- to open software creation to the world, and redefine what software is, as a human act of self expression, as elemental as reading and writing.

If our mission excites you, then join us and get Ready!

Who is Ready for?

Our hunch is that, over time, anyone interested in digital creation will find a great use for Ready.  But in the beginning, we find that Ready is especially well suited for educators with a mission to inspire the next generation of young minds to acquire computational thinking-- not just skills, but deep understanding of how software is made and works.

Across the United States, and many countries around the world, educators have mission to teach kids how to be more than just consumers of digital media-- but makers as well.  This sometimes described as Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math (STEAM), or “computational thinking.”  

Teachers are finding room for Ready in their classrooms.  And after-school programs, such as computer camps, are finding Ready is a great tool.  Part of what educators-- and kids-- love is that Ready is built on a professional game-engine, Unity3D.  Everyone prefers the real thing to a toy thing.  If you could, would you prefer flying a real plane, or a playing with a toy plane?  The motivation to make and finish with Ready is built into the power of the tool.  It feels and acts like the real thing.  But it’s accessible, through an easy visual interface, and guides people through increasing levels of complexity.  It’s a tool designed for learning by doing, exploration, and collaboration.

The section for educators has links to lesson plans and more detail on how teachers are using Ready today.

Who is behind Ready?


Jonathan Slimak - Founder
Ready Product Designer
Jon leads the product development and design of Ready. He collaborated with Teehan + Lax, (who went on to lead global product design for Facebook) to make the app you see today.  

David S. Bennahum - Founder
Ready Maker
The former CEO of Kandu where Ready was originally made.  He had the crazy idea of doing all this. First programming language: BASIC.  First computer: Atari 800.


Allison Parrish - Backend Lead
Ready API: Python
Ready wouldn’t exist without Allison’s amazing API.  She built a globally scalable way to share Ready projects, store millions of objects, and then brilliantly documented the whole thing.  Then again, Allison wrote the book on Python!



Who helped Make Ready?

Matt Hudson
Ready Programmer: Javascript
Matt built the original Ready front-end, and all the services that helps us administer projects.  He restarted Ready’s beating heart.  Now he builds beautiful sites for Conde Nast.

Roman Revzin
Ready Programmer: Unity / C#
Roman built the Ready App, focusing on the Workshop & Community areas.  And the awesome spring and joint behaviors.  He codes a mean Android game.

John Manna
Ready Programmer: Unity / C#
John built the Ready App, focusing on the physics engine, behaviors and effects, at the heart of the system.  By night he’s a rock drummer.

Daniel Wyszynski
Ready Programmer: Unity / C#
Dan built the object picker and manipulator in the Ready App.  He’s got a huge heart and thinks deeply about making great things.  He designed the original architecture for Ready.


Chris Kairalla
Ready CTO
Chris made sure that Ready actually got built, unifying all the pieces of our stack, scrum-mastering the team to success.  With so many moving pieces, Chris provided attention to detail and realistic goals.

Jimmy Doan
Ready QA
Jimmy tested the app and contributed to basic functionality through the power of CSQuAM!  He got the job by making a video game of himself battling to get in the door as an intern.

Martin Ceperley
Ready API: Python
Martin managed the Ready API after Allison built it.  He made sure everything ran smoothly, and to this day we’ve had zero downtime!

Ethan Fletcher
Ready Operations
Ethan made sure all the resources were on hand to enable Ready to happen.  He’s now a behavioral scientist inspiring positive change for the world.

Tory DeBassio
Ready Educators
Tory led research with kids and teachers, helping us understand how Ready can teach computational thinking.  She’s living in Amsterdam now.

Jennifer Ruocco
Ready Community.
Jennifer rallied kids, parents, and teachers to build projects.  She created challenges and tutorials.  She’s set off to run her own social marketing firm.


Thanks to all who made Ready possible!

  John M., Chris, David, and Roman at the Unity 2014 conference in Seattle.


John M., Chris, David, and Roman at the Unity 2014 conference in Seattle.


Made with love in NYC



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