off to lbi

I’m off to Long Beach Island, NJ for the week with the family. Should be a nice time. We’ve got an entire house and high speed internet 🙂

I’ll still be working, but at least I’ll have the sound of the ocean in my ear!

philipps new product

Philipp is looking at creating a new product for localizing .NET based software. I don’t know much about that industry in the .NET world, but I can tell you right now that I’d happily pay $1000+ for a PHP solution that was seamless and worked well in a standard PHP system (aka I don’t want to jump through special hoops because it’s PHP). There’s pretty much nothing for this in the PHP world, at least not that’s professional grade and seamless.

If I had decent tools for this I’m sure HS would already be in 3-4 languages. While I’m ranting, if anyone knows of good tools for this please post a link.

i dont trust you

The other day I saw a post by Brent about this really nice looking bug tracker called Porchlight. It looks like a pretty nice bug tracker, especially because it seems very simple which is what I want. Here’s the problem. I don’t trust them. I don’t want a hosted version of their product. I want to control my own data. I want it on my own domain, I want it backed up with my own backups, I don’t trust them for $10 a month to take better care of my data then I will. Why should I trust them?

In all the web2 hysteria people have forgotten that most people don’t trust other people. Especially with their very important proprietary data.

Update: Scoble has a post just now that’s tangentially related to this as well.

kiko and the google calendar thing

SVN had a pretty good take on the Kiko calendar demise. I’d add a bit more. In the SVN analysis they compare Backpack to G calendar but note it’s not a perfect comparison because Backpack does more and isn’t free. I’d say that’s the real problem here. There’s no point in competing with Google on a free product. That’s just stupid. You need to create a value added product that’s worth paying for. If you’re wasting your time hoping to create a product that someone acquires just because it’s cool then it’s easy to get blown out of the water when Google or Yahoo or Microsoft come out with a similar product.

Kiko wasn’t designed as a product, it was designed as cool and that’s a very tenuous model for any industry much less web based applications. In fact the ebay action site says it all: “Kiko currently has no advertising revenue”. Well if you made a product worth paying for you wouldn’t have to worry about advertising revenue.

One other small side rant I have, is why do entrepreneur’s think it’s easier to make money via advertising? Sure it’s easy to add some adwords and make $300 a month, but it ‘s much harder to make a living at it. If you were to get serious about advertising you’d need to hit the streets and really beat down doors. You’d need to work deals with individual companies. All that takes tons of time and man power. I think making an app worth paying for is a lot easier than an advertising based site where you’re beholden to so many other people besides your users.

new helpspot spam tools rock

The next version of HelpSpot has spam protection for the portal and it’s really doing a great job. Last night the UserScape installation received a pretty big spam attack and caught 59 spams while allowing 0 through.


did your product get better today

There’s a little test I give myself everyday. At the end of the day I ask myself if today my product got a little better. In a small ISV it’s hard sometimes to make sure you’re making forward progress. There’s so many things to do, many of which aren’t moving the product forward. While these things have to be done, it’s easy for them to eat up an entire week before you know it.

So I’ve found an easy way to test this is the question above. If you’ve said no more than a few days in a row then it’s time to refocus and get back to improving your product.

terrorists and isv ideas

Perhaps a bit crude, but terrorist plots are potential big business for small ISV’s. The world was already heading for an offsite workforce, but these threats will greatly speed up that process. Not because of the fear, but the inconvenience. Is there any doubt we’re heading for a world where no electronic devices are allowed in carry on bags? I think it’s a no brainer. At that point every consultant out there just lost half their productive time as they flip through magazines on 12 hours flights instead of working.

What ideas do you have that might ease that transition?