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To Eric Sink and other ISVs:  Working hours...

Do you think that 8 hours days (on average) are sufficient for a successful ISV? 

Crimson
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

As long as you can fit 600 days into a year.

_
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

If you mean "on average" where it is averaged over say a year, then yes.

Of course, some days are more average than others.

Over the ten years I've run my business, I would guess that it does indeed average out like that, given that some weeks need 100 hours and during some I do nothing.

Steve Jones (UK)
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Steve:

I mean average during working weeks.  If you're doing nothing, then of course something is wrong.

Crimson
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Why is something wrong? I'm quite happy to have nothing to do as frequently as possible.

Eudoxus
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Crimson, I think that some weeks with nothing to do is a good idea.

Obviously, you don't want too many weeks like that, or you'll be broke.

Also, I don't mean holidays, I mean "nothing to do" as in not doing anything chargeable to a client or a product. This might be building a new PC, reading JoS, training, etc.

Steve Jones (UK)
Wednesday, May 12, 2004


If your programmers are averaging 8 truly productive hours per day, that should certainly be enough.  (You're doing very well if you get that much effort, and you're deluded if you think you can get more.)

Note that I'm talking about staff.  Founders almost certainly have to work more.

Eric Sink
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

The 40 hour work week is for slackers...the only thing that clocking out at 5:00 gets you is stuck in traffic with the rest of the losers.

apw
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Eudoxus and Steve:

I'm referring *only* to days in which you are working on getting something out the door.

Eric:

Thanks for the response.  As a founder, how many hours do you think is typical (I know this will probably vary drastically)?

Crimson
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

> The 40 hour work week is for slackers...the only thing that clocking out at 5:00 gets you is stuck in traffic with the rest of the losers.

How true.

This Monday I had to wake up around 7am and be in the
City Center around 8am. (Usually I wake up around 9). I
was totally amazed by the number of cars on the streets
around 8 and of course I couldn't find a parking where I wanted so I was late at the meeting.

And about working hours:

First five years - around 10 hours a day (even weekends).
Next 5 years - around 15 hours a week.

Last year and this one - back to 10 hours a day because
I am learning new stuff and porting my app to another
platform.

VPC
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

If I get in at 7AM and leave at 5, am I a slacker?

Sassy
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

>If I get in at 7AM and leave at 5, am I a slacker?

Only if you spend between 7AM and 2:35PM asking dumb questions on JOS ;-)

...
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Founders don't count their work hours because they basically never stop working.  No matter what else they are doing, a slice of their attention is always stuck thinking about some work issue.  It never stops, until they reach burnout.

Eric Sink
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

...and the founders are the successful ones driving the nice cars and living in the beautiful houses.

Meanwhile the 9-5'ers end up like this http://www.subservientchicken.com/  working a second job to pay the rent.

apw
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

....please disregard the space at the end of the url....

apw
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

What if I don't want a beautiful house, just a nice house?  What if I don't want an expensive car, just a nice car?

Why do you assume that everyone wants the same things out of life?

Sassy
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Since this is the Eric Sink thread..

Hey Eric, I read Barry Moltz's book at your suggestion on your web log.  I have to say I actually like your stories from MSDN better.  Barry never goes into detail about what he was doing at his buisnesses, where I really enjoyed your stories about Abi Word.

Also I got the impression that Barry lucked out (granted you make you own luck a lot of times, but the dot com boom was certainly a once in a lifetime event) and cashed out his business during the dot com boom, where SourceGear is making it post boom. 

It is easy for Barry to talk in retrospect now, but what if he hadn't sold?  He'd probably be yet another failed buisness owner that he talks about. 

christopher baus (www.baus.net)
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

If you >9-5ers are serious you are seriously deluded. I've been in a senior position in this profession for years, am very well respected. I work at most from 9-5, many days hours less. As the old saying goes, I work smarter rather than harder (and I delegate well). Keep on slaving.

.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004

6 or 7 hours a day for me, the whole point of me starting my own business was to get away from the long hours culture in IT and cut down the commute time.

Anything I write late in the day is usually crap that needs to be rewritten the next morning anyway.

Tony Edgecombe
Thursday, May 13, 2004

Another comment for Eric...

If you say that founder's hours don't count because you are always thinking about work, can't the same logic be applied to developers?  For myself I know when I am working on an interesting and challenging project I don't stop thinking about the project when I leave the office.  Many times as a developer I come up with solutions to design/implementation problems or actually solve bugs in my head when I am out of the office.  At the very least I come up with things to try when I actually get back to the office. 

So you might hope for 8 hours of productive work out of developers a day (personally I am probably closer to 5 or 6) but there are also many hours a day spent thinking about issues and solutions that wouldn't necessarily count as 'productive work'.

Ray
Thursday, May 13, 2004

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