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Programmer's Money Perspective

Hi,
I am ordinary programmer.
What should I know about  funding projects and such, open source, microsoft monopoly , venture capital, investing.. etc..

Why I should know?

I think that I should know, because all other seems to aware of these things. They start companies when the time is right. They invest the money at right place so it grows bigger..
They seems to pull off VC for their new idea or project. They talk about big ideas of next overhaul of compute industry. They talk about Wireless investments... etc..
Just  some musings..

Programmer
Tuesday, March 16, 2004

Just because a vocal minority of programmers speak of VCs, start-ups, and whatnot, doesn't mean you need to know much about them.  However, they do intersect with your sphere of interest (especially Open Source), so you should at least be aware of them.  There's always something you can learn that intersects with what you find interesting and/or make a living doing.

Lou
Tuesday, March 16, 2004

I think it's important to know how this stuff works.  However I'm biased as my degree is in economics.

I've ended up in software development because it's interesting and I'm good at it.  The money doesn't hurt either.

If you ever want to run your own company, or manage someone else's you'll need a good grounding in finance.  Similarly, a good grounding in finance can help you spot a losing company ahead of time.  You can recognise the '6 months cash till bankruptcy' signs and start looking for a job then, rather than waiting  till the end.

Koz
Tuesday, March 16, 2004

What are those signs, Koz? Do tell.

Fernanda Stickpot
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

My honour's degree is in Finance and Corporate Strategy, with majors in Economics and Accounting thrown in for good measure and I would say that Koz is off the mark. (Just for the record, did you see Enron coming? And Barings? Could go on, but most predictions from outsiders are rubbish.)

You just need to be able to ask the right questions, and reading a basic book on accounting, coupled with average intelligence should be enough.

The problem with the figures side of business is that numbers have a tendency to confess to anything if tortured sufficiently.

Concentrate on supplying widgets to customers for more than it costs you to make them. Everything else is ancilliary.

You will need some accounting skills to figure out how much things cost you, and what you have been spending your money on.

You will need finance (yes, this is different from accounts) skills to help you decide on the best way of raising the capital you need, and/or investing your cash horde.

You will need some marketing savvy to get people to buy your stuff.

You will need organisational skills to ensure that your supplychain works.

You will need some entrepreneurial skills to spot a need that people have (even if they don't know it yet).

You will need some management skills to coordinate all the above.

You will need the determination to keep at it when all seems lost (including the 6mths to no cash).

Above all though, you will need chutzpah, and people skills to get everyone from staff, suppliers, customers, investors to share your vision and play ball with you.

Again, all this is useless (in the long run) if all you have to sell is vapourware.  Work on satisfying customer demand, and unless you mess up big time, the rest will follow.

Tapiwa
Wednesday, March 17, 2004

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