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Work for nothing, how far can this go?

I'm 30 yo c++ developer. I got laid off a few months ago. Much soul searching blah blah you know the rest.

What it comes down to is I'm sick and tired compromising on how software should be built. What I decided is I need to build something my way, where I'm in full control. I make all the decisions about the software construction. No deadlines, the software doesn't ship until I say its done. My way or not at all.

So how can I possibly do that? How can I make happen a project where I'm in complete control? Will anybody pay me to be in 100% full control? Not likely, I've got a good reputation, but not many people have that much sway in the industry.  Even if I can get VC money then I'm working for them and, I know this from experience, they don't know jack shit about how to building quality software. Build something fast, then try to sell out quick, no heart, no imagination. Assembly line innovation.

So, one day I have this bright idea. Take all my money, move my family somewhere cheap, don't work for a paycheck and write what I want to write anyway. This sounds super appealing to me, because it solves my problem of not having enough control. However, it introduces a new problem:  Eventually our money will run out! We've calculated we have enough to last about 2 years.

When that happens, then I'll have to figure out how to pay the bills. Maybe the thing I build will be super great and I can build a business selling it.  Or maybe I don't want to do that, really all I want to do is development.

Maybe instead I'll release it open source, and if its popular, perhaps companies will use it and some will pay me good money to make modifications and enhancements. That can subsidize the rest of my work.

Or maybe its only interesting to me or a few hobbiests, but it helps me get a kick ass job where I'm happier.

Worst case, I fail miserably at building software my way and I spent all that money and with nothing to show for it.  Then I'm back in the job market just like I was before, except broke. But at least I got it out of my system.

I already have the thing picked out that I want to build. Its sufficiently challenging that I'm not sure I can really build it in a reasonable time period. That's a good thing.

I don't know, there is something about this crazy plan that seems sooo compellling to me.  Even my wife is on board (yes, she's an angel). Yet when I distill it down, I'm basically working for nothing with no real plan for making money in the future.

Am I crazy or what? How far can I take this? Where can I take this?

Ronk!
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Don't quit your day job. Work on what you want in your spare time.

www.MarkTAW.com
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

Or in your case, don't quit looking for steady work while you pursue your dream. Especially if you're responsible for a family.

www.MarkTAW.com
Tuesday, July 27, 2004

You have a dream of total control.  This is the dream of:

1) superior genius
2) dictator
3) foolish idiot

Unfortunately these three are unable to recognize the difference.  Hindsight will tell you of course, if you are honest.

Consider a compromise.  Remain committed to quality and convince others by example, not by coercion.

free(malloc(-1))
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

To second the others, don't quit your day job.  But if you're really serious about doing this, consider switching to a less intense job that you'll be able to leave at work when you go home so you won't be bothered.

If you really want to do this, then you can do it in the evenings and on weekends.  There's no need to flirt with ruin--it's not going to improve your software to be worrying about running out of cash.

Justin Johnson
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

OP, you sound to me like a Perfectionist. IMO, you would benefit much more from an approach that the CEOs/managers you mentioned take.
Just take software bugs for example. In a complex project, it is impossible to stamp them all out before you release the software and at the speed that the industry is evolving, you can't just spend years perfecting your code. Before you "just get it right", it might be too late. Especially once you recognise that "getting it right" and "perfect" is an illusion that is only inside your head, nobody else. Every programmer, deep down inside, has their own unique benchmark when some code is "just right" to commit it to source control and move onto something else.

James Thomas
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

It's not software internals that sells, it's what the deliverable does for your clients. Let's assume it *is* new and groovy and will fill that huge hole - how you going to flog it? EBay? Tucows? The VC crew? Door to door? Ads in trade journals? Press releases? Rotary? All of these?

Hopefully you're considering a vertical app with no competition and a waiting market, but you don't show this.

You have to be 95% salesman and the rest of you will be  divided between all the other skills you have seen at work so far, including janitor.

You are at the middle of the employment market in age and skillset, get back & hang in there, get PAID and do all this stuff on the side (and make sure you employment contract let you do that) until the market decides you are ready to join the entrepreneurial classes full-time, which for you is hopefully 10 years' or more away. Remember you are paid out of PROFIT.

IMHO, angels will wait only so long for you to grow wings.

trollop
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

If you want to start a business, this may be the way to go.  However what I hear is that you want to do things your way.  That is a very different thing than starting a business where the emphasis is on making money by pleasing your customers.

Scot
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

I think you should go for it, GIVEN that your wife is supportive of your dream.

If your wife can help with marketing, web design, sales, or any of that stuff as well, then I would say absolutely for sure.

Do not surf the net or post on forums during these two years. You have the one chance, don't blow it.

Dennis Atkins
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

I don't think it's really really appealing to be coding for 2 years. Rather, get customers. If you have been working for the last few years, there are bound to be customers extremely pleased with how some of your extra care show through (despite what's really said on the contract), ask them if you could write something for them. Do they have a problem solved, but could be more efficient if computerized. Once you get a common todo list of things your clients is begging to have solved, take all the customer to do lists together and figure out what you have in common. If you dno't, keep digging. Once you have a common list of things, see if you can make they super happy with a quick and dirty solution TAILORED EXACTLY TO SOLVE THEIR NAGGING PROBLEM. Don't code for 2 years, code for 4 month at the very best. Don't use any new tools you need to study, use WHAT YOU KNOW. Once you have the design, try to figure out how much they are willing to pay for it (what's their current solution costing them?)--charge the same but ensure you raise effectiveness, focus of solution, or ease of use (preferably in reverse order of priority). Go and code it, and then offer it to them for free for a trial run. If that didn't work, refine your process again and go at it again for another 4 month cycle. If they like it? Tell them the price, and stand by it.

Li-fan Chen
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

You just have to remember who you are working for. Even if you run your own company you'll find that the customers that made your manager's day a living hell (and in turn made your day a living hell) are the very same. So now you have to be programmer and manager? Can you handle this? If you can't it's probably best to ease the learning curve into entrepreneurship. You're probably best served doing side shows (small proprietorships) where you learn everything your manager/CEO had to learn the hard ware. Yes, get your dream company started, yes get all the spreadsheets, contracts, brick and morter office, and business card printed. However do consider the benefit of getting back into the flow of the salary man treadmill as trollop advises. You can always show up at your own business at 10 pm nightly (play the mini-owner) to see:

* check the sales email box to listen to new customers

* read the emails your 3 undergrad part-time PHP nerds sent you:

** is there any problem they can't solve? reply

** is there any problem they had to make a choice, reply to agree or disagree, explain, teach, or even shut up

** is there any conflicts between your workers

** is there any requests you need to fill (buy printer paper, new MSDN mags)

** is there anything you need to tell them?

* balance the spreadsheet, schedule your worker's day (arrange meets), leave messages on your customer's phone to build rapport

* sweep the floor

Li-fan Chen
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Ronk! what are you thinking of writing? Why? What do you think you can contribute over the competition? Can you tell us that much?

Li-fan Chen
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Ronk!

What about builing this thing for a PHD?  This introduces some limitations, but not much.

At least then you will have something concrete to take away from it all.

It will also impose some structure on the whole venture.

Ged Byrne
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

A tangent ... my wife is an angel, but even she wouldn't be supportive if I suggested something like this. Yours is one in a million ... make sure she knows it.

Zahid
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Do it.

1) You may fail. Then again, if you get a job they might fire you after two months anyway.

2) You'll always regret not doing it later, if you don't.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Side note, I always have projects on the side that I work on from time to time.  My employers pay me for my services(development) and I perform then, if it takes 0.0001% of my energy to do my job, I do it and then work on other side projects.  At google(I dont work at google) they encourage side projects.  Anyway, you may get another job to pay the bills, maybe something smaller(web-admin, network-admin) and then do something your side project.

I was actually thinking of starting up a project where I would purchase my own 'rackspace' and colocate maybe in difference cities, get a nice server and host different webservices.  If the project makes money shift more energy to that project.

Of course, typically you are not supposed to work on side projects, but if they see you working longer hours at a faster pace, you can lie and just say you are working hard on 'their' project

Berlin Brown
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Ronk

As some have described above, the only way to develop software the way you aspire is to do it as a part time hobby.

"No deadlines" - You have already identified one. The money running out in 2 years is the biggest deadline you could face.

The bright idea you've had about going alone with your savings isn't that original. The brightest ideas are those that identify a killer product with a line of customers waiting to buy it. Only once you've done this can you decide on the best way to build it.

Ian H.
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

"How can I make happen a project where I'm in complete control?"

You should think about what you mean by "complete control". If you do this, and it works, you'll probably have to find a way to balance conflicting wishes from your costumers later on. So, it may be in your best interest to lose this "complete control" somewhere along the way, which means you should be prepared to deal with it.

Which leads us to...

"No deadlines, the software doesn't ship until I say its done. My way or not at all."

Depending on what you're developing, your costumers may not be very happy about this. Once again, it may not be a tragedy, as long as you're prepared to deal with it.

As for your plan - you have to find the balance between the risk you're taking and the satisfaction you're getting from it.

E.g., in order to lower your risk, you may say: I have enough for 2 years, so I'll try to make a plan for 1 year - where can I get in 1 year? Can I develop something that's fit for sale/free beta in 1 year?

I know you said it was challenging to make it in 2 years, but if you could divide the project into phases, and have a minimum-functional version within a year, you could reduce risk. Development would carry on, naturally, but you could start looking for costumers and getting feedback, and you'd still have 1 year of "safety net".

Paulo Caetano
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

JFC, what planet are you people on? It is quite clear from what the OP wrote (for example: Worst case, I fail miserably [...] [b]ut at least I got it out of my system) that he is interested in doing this not, necessarily, as something which will make him rich, but as something he feels personally motivated to do for the sake of doing it, regardless of whether he ends up in the poor house. Your "advice" to get his customers (and what? get them to buy vapourware?) and have them impose limitations is completely at odds with the questions he asked.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Blank, if you are such a smart ass come up with a contribution, otherwise stfu.

Li-fan Chen
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

There's enough trolls around here to start a country lol.

Li-fan Chen
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Actually I've been contributing to JoS in various guises for longer than you have, sunshine, so you stfu.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

"JFC, what planet are you people on?"

I'm on a planet where it's definitely not nice (to say the least) to end up in the poor house, especially when you have a family. Therefore, my answer reflected what I'd do if I were in the OP's place.

Apparently, you seem to live elsewhere, where the trip to the poor house, and the subsequent life therein, is a great adventure, where decisions have no serious consequences, and everybody lives happily everafter. Good for you :)

Paulo Caetano
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

*putting up the no feeding trolls sign*

Li-fan Chen
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The core problem is that once you introduce customers into the equation, you introduce other people who in turn want some control.  You may get to make the decisions based on what they ask for, but ultimately you'll need to bend to their will, or revert back to the "no customers" situation.
[ incidentally the price of the software is irrelevant. Even if you give it away for free, the customers - ie users - will have their say. ]

Now I'll make some assumptions - they may be inaccurate - but that's not intentional.

Let's assume that you ultimately want to make a living from this. ie the object of the exercise is to make money. Maybe not directly (maybe as a spin-off) but when the loot runs out in 2 years you'll have to do something.

Let's also assume that you want this control because you want to make a product that you'll be proud of. You want to stamp your name on it, you want people to use it.  The object is not raw perfection, but perfection with a purpose.

All of the above means you get to include other people into the equation. And those other people are likely to have input that they'll give you.  Part of finding the perfection - so that it's perfect for them - is in getting this feedback.

While you have _some_ control at all times, you will often have to compromise with the customer.  For example the customer may need a feature - you don't need it - you don't want it - you don't think it's necessary - but ultimately _they're_ spending the money, and so if enough ask for it you have to cave in.

This isn't a bad thing by the way.  Usually it's a sign that you don't fully appreciate their _problem_ (They might be suggesting a solution without elucidating the problem) - and of course you get to design the solution.  But ignoring them will ultimately drive them away.

The other side effect of total control is that you have to do all the work.  Building a business starts off with mostly your core competancy, but quickly becomes mostly other things.  Admin. Accounting. Taxes. Marketting. Order taking. Fulfilment. Hiring. Firing. Making the coffee. Going to the post office.  All the 101 things that currently get done by "support staff" at a typical development house. So while you have total control, you also find you have no time to code.

So then you hire staff, and the rules change again. They bring their own slant on things.  Eventually compromises will be there as well.  Sooner or later you'll get a programmer to do the grunt work. And a little bit after that he'll be bemoaning the lack of "total control"....<g>

Bruce Johnson
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

It sounds to me like programming is an art for you. Like playing an instrument or acting or dancing is for other (more traditional) artists. At some level, many programmers are artists: there is the code you do at the office and the code you do "for fun."

If my guess is correct, perhaps you should look into the sort of jobs that artists do, to keep food on the table, and gas in the van. Artists need to make art to keep their souls alive, and they need some other job to keep their bodies alive.

Very, very few musicians ever make a living at their art. Between our society's disdain for artists (notice the trolls above, and the fact that the first programs to be cut in any US school system are arts programs), and the way record companys screw and bleed musicians dry, it is astonishing that there are any left.

Peter
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

wow.  hey....
I feel somewhat exposed and castigated here as I did drop hard on the OP and my later reading of some of the 'follow your dream"  posts led me to reflect on why it's important to run this issue past the censors now and again.

I'm 25 yrs older

trollop
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

>There's enough trolls around here to start a country lol.

Speaking of trolls... I just saw the Lord of the Rings triology. Not that there are any trolls in there. Trolls, goblins, orcs... Who can tell the difference?! :)

Wow, what a masterpiece! There are some really lucky people on this planet who get to do very fun things and get paid for it too!...  I wonder how they end up where they end up! ;)

LOTR
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

What's-his-face that played Frodo sent in a video tape of him in the woods dressed like a hobbit tumbling around. That and he's got "the look" they wanted. His acting ability may also have helped him land the role.

They all worked increadibly hard on that movie. It was in continuous filming for months & months, and even when the main part of filming was done, they went on publicity tours & came back to shoot extra scenes.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

It helped that he was born with hairy feet.


Wednesday, July 28, 2004

wow! i really liked a lot of your idea and have had similiar thoughts. Unfortunately, my fiance wouldn't allow such a thing. and i'm too conservative to push for such a thing.

how long would your product take to build? Is it well under the 2 year timeframe?

if you have a situation where you have enough money saved to live for 2 years then "GO FOR IT!"

Patrick
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

I haven’t really explained my background. I get the impression that some here think I’m new to the software industry, that I don’t understand about meeting customers needs and all that. I do understand, which is why I said I don’t think I want to start a company. I’m not looking for riches, I’m looking for freedom to work the way I see fit. However, most of my frustrations don’t stem from demands of customers, but rather the HOW to fill those needs.

Also, finding a good paying job isn’t an issue for me, I have offers now. I doubt it will be much of an issue if 2 years from now I’ve failed miserably, but I can’t be sure.

The thing I want to build is an distributed file system that runs only on commodity hardware. I want high availability on hardware that could fail at anytime.  Basically I’m copying the high level design of the Google FS, but making generally useful. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide on the utility of such a thing.

I’ve got a pretty good background in developing shrinkwrap enterprise software, so I know what I’m in for in that regard.

I'll explain more later, but now I'm on a client site and I've got to work!

Ronk!
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Ronk,

I certainly think it's possible to do what you are planning, however: most software companies spend a lot more more money on marketing than they do on product development. So along with your war chest you'd better figure out how you're going to get this product in people's hands.

Another factor that I think will make it extremely tough is keeping your motivation high.

It's every harrassed geek's dream to disappear to some basement and develop a product with absolutely no stupid compromises or distractions.  However, when your phone isn't  ringing every day, and you have no current customers, and nobody even knows who you are, and you have been working for months on Plan X, it will (or at least it would for me) become extraordinarily difficult to maintain enthusiasm about a long term project of the scale that you are describing.

Lastly: I read your capsule description of your idea. Aside from the idea itself which I have no feeling for: I suggest to you that you will need salesepeople, or, some way of getting the product in the hands of those who specify such products. The market for enterprise software is quite different than workstation software: how do you build credibility for the market you're targeting? How do you publicize it?

Personally, I think the main problem will be completion - that is, burnout. The next problem, assuming you can cope with the isolation, will be marketing. You may have the greatest thing in the world and no user base and no way to develop a user base.

Bored Bystander
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Less than 10% of new businesses are successful.

To give you an idea what that really means, try and flip a "honest" coin and see how many times you get heads 3 or 4 times in a row.

Being successful takes not just skill, but a lot of luck - maybe more than skill. Starting a new business looks a lot like gambling.

Gamble smart:
1) play only what you can afford to loose.
2) never play double or nothing; as soon as you make a little bit of money, store the win and start again with your initial bet; if loose more than you want, cut your loses, work to recover your lost resources and try again.
3) do not hold onto a loosing hand; cut your loses ASAP.

This is not a gambler's advice, but statistics. Remember, you are playing the odds.

And maybe it's worth reading the following article:
http://www.edge.org/3rd_culture/taleb04/taleb_indexx.html

"There is a silly book called A Millionaire Next Door, and one of the authors wrote an even sillier book called The Millionaire's Mind. They interviewed a bunch of millionaires to figure out how these people got rich. Visibly they came up with bunch of traits. You need a little bit of intelligence, a lot of hard work, and a lot of risk-taking. And they derived that, hey, taking risk is good for you if you want to become a millionaire. What these people forgot to do is to go take a look at the less visible cemetery — in other words, bankrupt people, failures, people who went out of business — and look at their traits. They would have discovered that some of the same traits are shared by these people, like hard work and risk taking. This tells me that the unique trait that the millionaires had in common was mostly luck."

... Good luck ....

Dino
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

"OP, you sound to me like a Perfectionist."

Maybe that's why he got fired. Oops, I mean laid off.

Allez-Allez
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

>"This tells me that the unique trait that the millionaires had in common was mostly luck."

If you read these books and this was the conclusion you arrived at, you are an idiot. Successful entrepreneurs are risk averse- they tend only to move in with all the chips when they have a high probability of winning. People who go bankrupt move in without understanding the risk or after having incorrectly evaluated it. Everyone else has a job.

Further proof? There are many stories of people who made a lot, lost a lot, and then made a lot again (Trump, as one example). If it was simply luck, then you wouldn't expect the same people to get "lucky" twice very often would you? 

Read a book of self made millionaire stories, and you will see virtually all of them feature lots of hard work, many set backs, and only very occsasional elements lof luck. 

No, You're an Idiot
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

The idea is a good one. I see where he is headed with it. He does not need a lot of customers - just two or three and he'll pay off his investment. After that it's all gravy and if he pulls it off there will be a lot of it.

Dude, you know what you are doing - you should do it.

Dennis Atkins
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Also Ronk, your timing and sense of strategy is impeccable. Very clever - two years from now this will be the hot new product and you'll be in there right along side the behemouth. Very smart. I applaud your thinking here.

Dennis Atkins
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

...IF he can make the sales and IF his idea is not cloned by another company and is not cloned in open source.

Something like this sounds a little like "GeoWorks" vs. Windows 3.1. I wish Ronk well but it sounds a little too "horizontal" an idea for one guy on his own to approach.

Bored Bystander
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

"Read a book of self made millionaire stories, and you will see virtually all of them feature lots of hard work, many set backs, and only very occsasional elements lof luck."

Read a book on the many guys who failed to make the millions inspite of their hard work, good ideas ... and failed just because.

Look around and you'll notice that the cemetery is a lot bigger than the podium; but that is apparently in our human nature not to notice.

Dino
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

> Less than 10% of new businesses are successful.

I hear that a lot, but noone ever mentions who fails doing what... If I try to start a company which does something I have no idea about, then of course it will fail. Perhaps 90% of the people are stupid like that... :)

maybe
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Maybe maybe, but the real problem is that noone knows upfront what the market will and will not accept.

From another perspective, since there is only a limited supply of money, we cannot all be rich. Then there must be a natural way in which the market/economical phenomenon controlls the number of rich individuals. That alone may justify a skewed success to failure ratio (e.g. 10-90) independent from what the entrepeneur is doing.

It may all be random.

Dino
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

JFDI. It'll be an adventure if nothing else

gwyn
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Ya know Gwyn, that just about sums up my attitude.

I don't want to be a shriveled old man some day, looking back, thinking "WTF was I so scared of?"

Ronk!
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

> The thing I want to build is an distributed file system that runs only on commodity hardware. I want high availability on hardware that could fail at anytime.  Basically I’m copying the high level design of the Google FS, but making generally useful. I’ll leave it to the reader to decide on the utility of such a thing.

Sounds a bit like where the enterprise storage vendors are going with iSCSI (commodity PCs + Storage + RAID/NIC/EmbeddedOS card).

Li-fan Chen
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Re: Millionaire Next Door

The next quote from that blog is telling

" This bias makes us miscompute the odds and wrongly ascribe skills. If you funded 1,000,000 unemployed people endowed with no more than the ability to say "buy" or "sell", odds are that you will break-even in the aggregate, minus transaction costs, but a few will hit the jackpot, simply because the base cohort is very large. It will be almost impossible not to have small Warren Buffets by luck alone. After the fact they will be very visible and will derive precise and well-sounding explanations about why they made it. It is difficult to argue with them; "nothing succeeds like success". All these retrospective explanations are pervasive, but there are scientific methods to correct for the bias. This has not filtered through to the business world or the news media; researchers have evidence that professional fund managers are just no better than random and cost money to society (the total revenues from these transaction costs is in the hundreds of billion of dollars) but the public will remain convinced that "some" of these investors have skills."

Sounds like a direct quote from a Random Walk Down Wall Street. So does your "flip a coin" statement.

"Also, finding a good paying job isn’t an issue for me, I have offers now. I doubt it will be much of an issue if 2 years from now I’ve failed miserably, but I can’t be sure."

It sounds like you're determined. If you don't have a family to support, go for it. "Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose." I still wouldn't advice completely burning your bridges, and dedicate some time to your clients to let them know you still exist & continue networking. It may help you when you're ready to start publicizing your product & to get a 'day job' until it takes off.

www.MarkTAW.com
Wednesday, July 28, 2004

A lot of people commenting have keep giving me business advice; finding customers and markets and so on. I'm pretty sure I don't want to start a business.

All I really want to do is write software. I'm quite talented at it, and I really enjoy it. However, the realities of working at most companies is sucking the fun out of it.

What I really want to do, more than anything, I just want to write some software my way. To work on things that are interesting to me. To use scheme X instead of scheme Y, just because I find it more elegant. To spend as long as it takes to get it right. To not try to shove in new features until the existing stuff works reliably. To fix bugs as soon as they're found.

My wife and I are already doing the plan right now! Our house is on the market and our family and friends know our plans. Once closed, we'll move and I'll begin coding (I'm in the research and design phase).

The thought of running a business isn't too appealing to me, I've done it before and I know how much it sucks for someone like me (engineering geek). Anyway, I really don't know if it will be useful to anybody. Honestly, I'm really thinking about just giving it away. If it takes off, then fantastic! I'll have the satisfaction of knowing that lots of people are benefiting from my work. It won't make me rich, but it feels pretty good. Maybe I'll figure out a way to make myself good money off of it, maybe not. If its popular, I could probably get a job with company that would give me more or full control of challenging project. That would be pretty good too.

Right now, there are probably a few startups out there working in stealth mode on just this sort of thing, trying desperately to get theirs to market first. I don't care, I just want to make something and have fun. Someone else's success or failure won't affect my primary goal of building something my way.

There are some good reasons for me to do this. First being this is a tremendous learning opportunity.  Some people go back for their masters or PHD to learn more, well I’m doing this. Second, it’s a welcome extended break from the work-a-day world, without letting my skills languish.

The only big reason not to do it is lost money. I've always said that money doesn't drive my career, that I'd rather work on cool stuff than be well paid. Now I'm putting my money where my mouth is.

I guess some might think my plan is to just build it, then hope maybe something good will happen. However, I believe if I just build it, then something good DID happen.

Ronk!
Thursday, July 29, 2004

Learn about Extreme Programming, Test Driven Development and the Planning Game most specifically.  Then in your development work, whether for yourself, your employer, or your clients maintain total control over *quality* while giving whoever you're doing the work for total control over features.

Chris Hanson
Thursday, July 29, 2004

> Now I'm putting my money where my mouth is.

<applause>


Thursday, July 29, 2004

Ronk,

I'm glad your wife is on board and I hope you achieve everything that you want. I sure as heck wouldn't go about it the same way but each to their own.

Do figure out a way to get your product in people's hands somehow. Otherwise it's just shelfware and you'll eventually lose the motivation unless it's being used by someone.

Personally, I'm not enough of an idealist to develop something without knowing how I'm going to get paid to do it...

Bored Bystander
Thursday, July 29, 2004

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