An Opportunity

February 22, 2007

 

I just read on news.ycombinator.com that Google has launched a yearly subscription product that integrates all of their offerings, including: gmail, gtalk, their document and spreadsheets, search and others. Here’s a link:

http://www.techcrunch.com/2007/02/21/google-launches-apps-premier/

I noticed at the bottom of the comparison list for the free and paid version of this service that it said something about 3rd party apps. Is this an opportunity? I checked and only about 8 companies are currently in that group. They offer a range of services that build on top of the Google offereings or in some way customize it. Long story short, Google is offering all of us microISVs a platform on top of which to build interesting products. An untouched platform, and they’ll give us technical support too. I can’t shake the feeling that this is a big opportunity for some smaller companies.

There is a drawback; the cost to get in is $10,000 per year. That’s what it costs to be a Google partner. Can we weather that cost? Do they realize that the people who can most easily make an impact on their fledgling platform are one man programmer shops that are looking to make a name for themselves? Why would they charge this much? It boggles the mind.

Still, I wouldn’t let a little thing like money stop me from seeing a good opportunity. Start your engines ISVs, there’s an entirely new world that we have to fill in with good product offerings.

I would rather be CEO

February 22, 2007

 

For 10 years, I have loved programming. I have learned and used Java, C, Scheme, C#, Python, Ruby, Boo and sometimes even PHP and Javascript. I have made a decent living out of it. Here’s the problem: I’m tired. I realized I can’t do it all myself, even if I make little minions out of code to do a lot of the work for me, even if I master the most powerful programming languages, the most powerful frameworks, the design patterns, the project management skills and read all the books.

I want to build something more than myself. I need other people for that. I need to trust other people for that. Therein, lies the journey. This blog will be about that journey.

I am currently about 12 months into running my own company. I went the easy way and have a sole proprietorship. I have a Nevada C-Corp coming into existence shortly. I’m still going to pay California taxes, but it just turned out to be easier to do it in Nevada. I have some things going for me. I have at least two reasonably steady clients. I am awash in offers for positions and one-time contracts. I have one pupil who is trying to learn the ropes, one who is coming back into the fold hopefully, and a part time ringer at my disposal.

What next? The plan is to work contracts and grow a small team so that I can transition slowly to becoming a product based company, instead of a contracing based company. This is a common plan. So far, it is not working for me. I don’t have time to work on my products because I am always chasing that next big job. I have worked everyday since Jan 6th. I will work everyday for at least another two weeks. I largely stopped bidding contracts on Guru.com (the major source of work for my little one man company) on January 1st, because I already had too much work. Even now I am behind on some projects that I must catch up on. I have six concurrent projects going, several of which are quite large. I even have one for equity stake in the resulting company with a decent business partner.

I am purposefully keeping this blog anonymous (as much as possible) so that I can talk about money. I don’t really want competitors, potential customers and just any random Joe being able to connect my money with me. This anonymity gives me the chance to really put it all out there. Thanks for understanding.