Archive for March, 2013
Episode 3 of Bootstrapped is now available.
Starting a new software company?
Burn this into your mind –
Episode 2 of Bootstrapped is now available.
This is how I know I’ve been in the software business for far too long.
A box of lollipop sticks arrived this morning. 100 count. We bought them for my son’s birthday. They cost $3.06.
I’ve been thinking about these lollipop sticks the whole day. Actually, I’ve been thinking about the business of lollipop sticks, the company that makes them, and the people who own the company that makes them.
There’s no point to it, really. It’s just that after running a software company for almost a decade, the daily mechanics of other types of businesses fascinate me. The more unlike a software company a business is, the more it intrigues me.
What goes on through the mind of a lollipop stick maker?
How many lollipop sticks does she have to sell to stop worrying for the month?
Is she concerned with innovation? How do you make a better lollipop stick? Would making them better affect their price?
Why $3.06? How much does it cost her to make 100 lollipop sticks? What if the answer is $3.00, and her entire profit margin is comprised of the remaining 6 pennies?
It’s intriguing. But it wouldn’t be funny. Not for a person who spends the better part of a year making a piece of software before offering it for sale at under a dollar, taking home $0.70 cents per sale after costs. I would imagine it doesn’t take the lollipop stick maker the better part of the year to make 100 lollipop sticks.
Would she laugh at me and the way I run my business?
Does she put any thought into marketing? What kind of ideas are tossed around to get more people to buy more lollipop sticks?
Is she from a long line of lollipop stick makers, or did she just stumble into the business?
Is she passionate about making lollipop sticks? Does she need to be? Is this kind of sentiment about products an absurd notion in her business?
… and when she pulls out her mobile phone, and uses my software, does she wonder about who is behind those bits?
On January 23rd, we released a localized (translated) version of one of our apps. And what an impact it had on the sale numbers! Here’s the chart.
What? You don’t see the difference?
At least we wasted a few days of what otherwise may have been productive work.
Another article describing the reasoning behind a choice of tech for a new project.
Another article where PHP isn’t even mentioned.
Personally, I’m thrilled that Ruby is now mature enough that the community no longer needs to bother with the pretense of being the coolest kid on the block. That means the rest of us who just like to Get Shit Done can roll up our sleeves and focus on the mission of building stuff with our peers rather than frantically running around trying to suss out the next shiny thing.
Well. I guess if Ruby has reached the point where it’s so not cool that it’s only for people who get shit done, us PHP developers must be the most productive programmers in the world!
In 2011, Gavin Bowman and I started What Now?, a podcast about surviving as a mobile-app developer. That podcast saw us through ups and downs (mostly downs), but more importantly, it has always presented the gritty reality of what it’s like to try to make a living making and selling iOS, Android, and BlackBerry apps.
What Now? continues to go strong, and Gavin and I look forward to bringing you more of our experiences in the mobile app space, with, hopefully, more ups than downs.
Bootstrapped will focus on the business side of bootstrapping a software company – everything from cash flow, to hiring employees, to opening an office space. On the technical side, as Antair moves closer to launching Uberdeck, and Userscape moves closer to launching Snappy, the show will focus on building and running a web app.
Episode 31 of What Now?, “Nobody wants to sleep with a programmer.”, is now available from www.whatnowpodcast.com
All of them, as I see it, online.
Well, I’m going back to … basics? Back to the desktop anyway. Back to the days when NetNewsWire was the shit (it wasn’t that long ago, really).
My choice is Vienna. It’s simple. It’s functional. It’s prettier than Google Reader (not saying much). And it’s all I need.
“But what if you want to read your news when you’re away from your machine?”
Well. For one, my machines, for the past decade, have all been laptops, and two, I really can’t recall ever desperately needing to check my RSS feeds while “standing in line at the bank”, or “driving my car”.