Ian Jones has decided to leave his day job to work on his Case Detective software full time (it’s a desktop app to access the mighty FogBugz).
That’s really great and apparently I was a little bit of inspiration, which is very cool! He’s definitely doing it right by having a year of money saved. I think that’s soooooo important, because you need to give your software time to be successful. I see so many new ISV’s who appear to be dependent on their software making money from day 1. Of course you want that, but if you’ve dedicated a year of your life to building your software you owe it at least another year to be successful. It takes time for word to spread, etc.
In regards to his note on my beta release cycle I will say that even doing it full time it did practically kill me! However, since I wanted to keep the beta to 5-6 weeks I really needed to get new builds out fast. Most companies seemed to download every other one, which I think worked out fine. I really do need a vacation though 🙂
Good luck Ian!
Finally something to do on the east coast!!!
BarCamp is (from the Wiki):
“BarCamp is an ad-hoc un-conference born from the desire for people to share and learn in an open environment. It is an intense event with discussions, demos and interaction from attendees.
Anyone with something to contribute or with the desire to learn are welcome and invited to join.
When you come, be prepared to share with barcampers. When you leave, be prepared to share it with the world.”
It’s just getting rolling, so there’s no set date yet but it will be before the new year. If you can please spread the word on your own blogs and let’s show those Valley guys how we roll in the NYC 🙂
Amit Gupta is putting it together, you can see the post here: http://amitgupta.com/blog/shoebox/2005/10/19/barcamp-nyc/. He recently did some work with super hero Seth Godin on http://www.changethis.com/. Should be fun to chat with him about that.
UserScape (my company for all you new readers) is also on board to sponsor something or other. We’ll get it figured out once we see how many folks are coming.
Bob has an interesting post about me (!) and the possibilities available with Squidoo, especially for the ISV’s out there.
The thread referenced in my last post has brought some cool ISV’s to my attention. These two here are actually desktop apps with very specific niches. Really interesting. The first one is the fellow who doesn’t seem to think blogging is worthwhile. Ah well, he still has a cool app. It’s called Perfect Table Plan and it helps you organize your table plan for events like weddings, etc.:
Maybe if you all go visit he might change his mind about blogging 🙂
Another is LandLordMax. It’s software for managing your rental properties. Again another very interesting niche market.
Maybe my next product will be in a little niche. It seems like it would be a lot of fun to build something with such a specific target audience.
A good post about conference setups. I probably need to start looking into that a bit.
The product website is here: http://recdesk.com. It’s a web solution for community parks. Pretty interesting niche. I find the pricing to be extremely interesting as it’s based on the size of the community the parks serve.
He’s on the east coast as well, which is cool.
I made a post just now over on the Joel on Software forums asking what ISV blogs people were currently following. Basically because I’ve found that almost all the ones I’ve been following have been abandoned. I miss reading and learning from others in the same boat as me, so I was hoping to get pointed in some new directions.
Anyway, the first response is from a fellow (who sells interesting software, fyi) saying that maybe it’s because they’re all too busy working on their products to blog. There was a definite snootiness in his tone if I do say so myself.
So basically this post is simply to say that I think that attitude is very misinformed. Let me break down some of my own experience.
My blog has provided me with great insights into my perspective market, mostly from comments left by readers.
My blog has given me connections which have already paid dividends and I expect will pay off even more in the coming months.
My blog has been my only “advertising”. Through this medium I created a mailing list of users for my initial beta and might I add that about 50% of the people on the mailing list turned into beta testers. That’s an amazingly high conversion ration from my experience with mailing lists.
The beta users who I have firm commitments from will already cover all of my hard expenses (actual money I spent, not lost salary) from right here at the beginning. How many other software companies start with any customers at all much less start profitable?
Perhaps I’ve taken this too far, but I do feel passionately that having a blog has really helped my business and I think it can help any ISV startup out there who has the guts to be honest.
The thread that started this rant is here:
No really it’s true. A week or two back I had to fill-out a bogus form on the Thawte site to download some product information. A sales guy followed up with me from that. He offered me their “latest offer” which was $90 off a 2 year SSL123 cert. So I got a $259 value for $169. Not bad. I also got the impression that they basically give this to whoever asks so my bet is you could click on the live chat options and get the discount straight away.
I was really going to go with Verisign, but their prices are insane and you have to buy the really expensive one if you want 2 day turn around.
The HelpSpot tour is live! If you have a chance take a peak and get a closer look at what I’ve been talking about for the last 8 months 🙂
ezpdo is a PHP object-relational mapping system. All of these I’ve ever seen for PHP were garbage, however, this one looks pretty good.
Jeremy has the scoop on Oracle purchasing the company who owns the InnoDB engine which powers the MySQL InnoDB table type. Sounds like bad news bears for MySQL AB. I wonder if Oracle tried to buy them first?
I personally don’t care for the InnoDB type, at least in downloadable apps. There’s no full text search which I think is a huge plus of the MyISAM type. Also, using the InnoDB type means you just upped the knowledge required to maintain the MySQL server properly. You need to understand tablespaces and you also need special tools to do live backups.