Starting it

A while ago, I found myself stubborningly exclaiming that I will not stop. That was more than two months ago. Time flys when you do not have much of it available. In this week's post I want to take a look back to see what happened since. In addition to that, I think it's a good idea (and the appropriate time) to offer some views (guesses) regarding future developments.

Make progress each day.
I wish I could say that I managed to accomplish progress each and every day, but I have not. I could bring up the usual excuses (I am often tired after work, I need to have a life too, I want to spend time with my wife, read a book every now and then, etc., etc.), but in the end it would not change a thing. Those are still just excuses and I still would not make progress.

Use solid time management.
There, I have made progress. As I have been using Getting Things Done more and more, it has been becoming more and more effective for me, too. That's motivating.

Take a break.
I have been making sure to increasingly incorporate regular exercise routines during my daily schedules over the past two months. One nice side effect has been a different, more grounded perspective towards spending so much time in front of the computer screen.

Work before work.
Hm, frankly this is much easier said than done for me. I feel quite a bit more energetic and productive later during the day. Thus, I am more likely to work till late at night and spend the morning exercising, before I go to work.

Surround yourself with like-minded people.
There's some good news. I have partnered up with another developer. That is extremely helpful in terms of additional ideas, technical know-how and motivation. Online, I am coming across increasingly more people with similar aspirations.

Read the relevant literature.
This is related to the previous point. I am getting the impression that there are increasingly many people starting a tech firm these days. It's exciting to see, just how many people are happily writing about their business, sharing advice, and so forth. Joel Spolsky has been sharing good content for years. Paul Graham has, too, but especially lately his articles are very nicely aimed at the aspiring startups. Evan Williams writes about starting up, as do the folks at Signal vs. Noise. There are many, many more. This, too, is motivating (and informative).

Hold on to that vision.
This is amazingly important for the precise reason I had suspected during the original article. Holding on to that version can be an ongoing source of determination.

Okay. All this being said, let's look at:

  • progress thus far, and
  • things ahead.

Progress thus far.
There is some solid progress to report: We decided on a definite product idea, then simplified a lot to determine content of the first prototype. We decided on technologies to be used (PHP, Python, MySQL, etc.), reserved some domain names and hosting and began putting together a collaborative workspace as well as a blog. We had several brainstorming sessions to agree more precisely on the direction we want to take, identified areas of necessary research and study, assigned tasks and began work (research and development).

Things ahead.
There are so many issues that will need to be addressed in the coming weeks and months. Here is just a very small selection:

  • Build a web presence and generate traffic and buzz for the new service.
  • Develop a meaninful business plan and model so as to enable us to actually create a revenue stream - and not just some slick software.
  • Find some good deals on hardware. Hard disk space is more important to me than processor power. Prices are low, but even so create expenses that I want to avoid as long as I can.

I thoroughly enjoyed Rusty's series of articles that were all related to a specific project he was dealing with for several weeks. If you missed out on it, you can catch up with now concluded series of articles via these links:

In a similar manner, I plan on letting my regular posts here on CodeSnipers be inspired by the events ultimately triggered by the original determination not to stop during the coming weeks. This will offer me an opportunity to reflect one the things (not) accomplished while at the same time hopefully providing for an interesting/amusing/provoking/educational/etc. read. Any feedback is of course, as usual most appreciated.

See you next week!

Looking forward to it

It's an exciting time for you right now and I'm really looking forward to hearing about how it takes off.

I'll be interested to hear how your business plan goes; where you find good examples/instructions, and how you decide to project your revenue and costs. Looking back on my first business plan from about 18 months ago, I almost laugh at how different things turned out, but I also didn't let the plan just die, I try to update it every quarter.

I'll also be interested to hear about the emotional and physical strain you put yourself through, and how you balance everything else in your life. I love to read about true emotion and trial and error, strain and stress and how people interpret it.