Fire your boss, fire your clients!
Submitted by Bob Walsh on Thu, 2006-05-11 12:50.
Keith Casey has asked me join in here, but he may live to regret his decision. That's because I going to suggest something fairly radical: It's time to fire your boss, or your clients. Instead of living in a corporate cube a self-respecting rat would'nt be caught in, or spending your life wandering from contract programming project to project, I'm going to suggest that you - yes you! - can start a top notch, world-class software company.
Somewhere in the last 3 years or so programmers went over a tipping point and for the most part didn't even realize it. The days you either had to go begging to Venture Capitalists for funding to start a company are over. So too that for a software company to succeed it had to load up on Dilbert-like managers and marketers. The cost of creating great software (desktop and web) has dropped so much while at the same time the number of people a good idea can reach via the net has grown so large that we programmers don't need to work for others or sell our hours to be successful.
Welcome to the micro-ISV Age: the water is just fine. Eric Sink coined the term, I've written a book on it, there's a growing community around it, but the bottom line is that self-funded software companies can now go toe-to-toe with "real" software companies and win. That's news, folks: the economics were just not there until this decade.
I submit that anyone smart enough to be a professional programmer is smart enough to do the approximately 47 non-coding things you need to do find a problem, develop a product, connect with a market and make real money. That means you. How much money? More than you can make selling your time; a hell of a lot more than someone else's company will pay you.
Like a lot of things, the first step is realizing and believing it can be done. The next is to start watching how other people are doing it (the Joel on Software: Business of Software forum is a good place to start). Next comes those 47 things and one great idea, which I'll start kicking around here next week.
Until then, start thinking about how good it would feel to fire your boss, or your clients!