Family and friends continue to ask what we are up to and we find it difficult to explain. We expect to work more hours than ever before yet also expect to enjoy more time to do what we want. We expect to produce quality software yet also expect to do so more quickly than at companies with many more employees. We are providing web-based products yet are not maintaining any equipment (except my MacBook Pro laptop). We are selling product yet have no physical store or sales force.
These apparent contradictions make it difficult to provide a simple answer the ‘what are we up to’ question. Because there is no simple answer, and because folks seek slightly different angles, I am posting my experiences here for those that are interested. I write for other reasons as well.
Why I Write
1. To capture the experience of starting a software company and creating a software product first hand and live while it happens.
2. To maintain a record of Synap Software to look back on 1, 5, 10 years from now.
3. To organize my thoughts
Why in a blog
Most of these reasons for writing would be satisfied by maintaining a document on my desktop. That said, there are reasons I am putting this out in public blogosphere.
1. To participate in the micro-ISV (Independent Software Vendor) community. Micro-ISVs:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Micro_ISV (The term was coined by Erik Sink:http://www.ericsink.com) are a very fast growing group of very-small (usually less than 5 core people) companies producing software. More accurately – micro-ISVs not only produce software, micro-ISVs do market research on ideas, design, develop, market, sell, and support software products. I will write much more about micro-ISVs in this blog.
2. To provide helpful information to others. The ISV business is the stomping grounds for very opinionated, skilled, and competitive professionals. It is also one of the most open and helpful communities out there. This blog is where I will do my part to help out others with how tos, tips and tricks, and pointers to helpful articles.
3. Self-motivation. There is no better motivation than to know people might be watching you.
4. To solicit input from readers. Let us know what you think of where we are headed and what we are doing. I would love your input and shared experiences. Let us know what we are doing right, doing wrong, or just drop us a line to say good luck!.
What I Write
This blog is about the experience of transitioning from managing a multi-million dollar budget and dozens of people at one of the country’s largest corporations to starting a two person company. I will often compare the two experiences and environment yet those of you anxious for some dirt on the evils of corporate life will have to look elsewhere.
While there are frustrations being part of any organization the size of my former employer, our new business (and this log) is not about escaping that world. Though I do refer to myself as a corporate refuge, I do so as a way to frame discussions about this new small-business life.
Corporate America has its troubles, but it is not all bad. The company paid for my graduate courses, paid great benefits, gave me experiences against which to juxtapose small-business life, and best of all gave me great contacts and friends in the IT business.
Besides the switch from Corporate America to small business America, I am also making a switch from manager to developer, designer, manager, brand manager, salesman, production support, and chief bottle-washer so I will write about that as well. I predict many of the entries will expose a realization that while at the Company, my development staff was working much harder than it appeared from the perspective of managers pressuring them to work faster.
A lot of my entries will be in the form of How to. I am only going to say it here and once so listen up: the How Tos here are what works for me, in this situation. I do not claim that the how tos are relevant to everyone. Read them and determine if they are relevant or not to your situation.
Here it goes.