Getting Started With Your Own Software Company

1/29/2004 12:46:21 PM

Getting Started With Your Own Software Company

Eric Sink has a new article in MSDN offering a few suggestions on Getting Started With Your Own Software Company. It sounds exactly how I would have written it. He presents four topics.

Know Thyself.
Maybe it should be changed to "Know if you really want to start a company," because you will learn a lot about yourself after you have taken the leap. If you feel the reason that you are lazy is that your current work doesn't motivate you; you'll probably find out that you are still lazy even on your own at which point you may wonder if your fatigue level is due to lack of exercise or diet. Working on your own presents you initially with an unprecedented sense of control, yet you then realize that you have little control over the world and over yourself. Your mind and body are both finicky creatures that need to be attended to like your wife.

Have a Failure Plan.
I have mentioned how I plan to deal with failure in a prior post. In the worst case, I will still be able to get a good job and I will still have a good chunk of savings; I can always go back to contracting to raise a little money. I have planned my software development so that I will be able to reuse my work to deliver a family of MULTIPLE products, though I continue to keep my focus on my most important offering. This minimizes the risks of any one product failing and also allows me to make multiple sales off of one customer.

Choose Your Product.
Some of his recommendations I would like to reiterate. Think twice before building a company creating development tools; sure, you are your own customer, so you understand the product very well, but, first, the market is not that large and, second, the threat of obsolescence reappears with every new version of Visual Studio. A number of companies sell flashy Office controls that .NET and MFC are missing right now, but the next versions of MFC and WinForms will likely wipe out their customer base. Companies like SyncFusion spent resources to build a sophisticated Obfuscator or Profiler, only to watch their investments vanish as Microsoft bundled community versions of these products into VS.NET 2003. Whidbey will have a similar impact on refactoring and intellisense tools.

Make the Numbers Add Up.
This one is self-evident.

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My name is Wesner Moise. I am a software entrepreneur developing revolutionary AI desktop applications. I worked as a software engineer in Microsoft Excel group for six years during the 1990s. I worked on PivotTables and wrote the most lines of code in Excel 97-- about 10 times the median developer. I have a Harvard BA in applied math/computer science and a UCLA MBA in technology entrepreneurship. I am a member of the Triple Nine Society, a 99.9 percentile high-IQ society.

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