Contest: The Micro ISV Community

This is the fourth and final of the contest entires. Voting begins tonight in less than 4 hours!

I tried thinking hard about my entry to this contest, and I tried to think of a list of technology people who had influenced me, but it just wasn’t happening.

I stumbled into technology, so I couldn’t pick a single shining light that has driven or shaped me and my career. It’s rare that I make it all the way through a technical book. I’ve always tried to learn enough to accomplish the current task and then hoped to come back to it later, but later never comes. I’m trying to figure out whether this makes me a really bad person to give free books to, or whether I really need it, I’ll let you guys decide for yourselves.

So I’m thinking back over the road that brought me here, maybe I’ll find a winner there. Maybe I should pick a childhood neighbour. I remember playing Frogger and Manic Miner on someone’s Spectrum, which in turn made me bug my parents to get me one. Maybe I should choose my parents for humouring me and not forcing me to go and play outside? When I started work, there were various people who gave me a chance, mentored me, or steered me towards software development. There are a few candidates there.

Maybe it should be my wife, for plenty of reasons, but mostly because she’s the one who keeps me going when things get rough. But she’s not involved in technology, so that would be against the rules.

Back to technology, Joel Spolsky emerges as a possible winner. When I first read some of Joel’s earlier articles, they clarified a lot of ideas in my mind, and opened me up to the idea of building and selling my own software products. But, although Joel’s writing started me on that road, plenty of others have helped keep me on track, not least Eric Sink’s business of software articles.

Rather than leave anyone out, I’m picking the entire Micro ISV community. I can’t name everyone, but if you’re a regular over on the Business of Software forum, you’re automatically included. The community spirit, the sharing of information, and the healthy attitude towards business and competition in that forum is amazing.

A few special mentions, Ian Landsman was my inspiration to start a Micro ISV blog, Bob Walsh literally wrote the book on Micro ISVs, and Keith Casey started Codesnipers and let me contribute. Finally, Baruch Even maintains Planet Micro ISV, an aggregator for Micro ISV blogs. If you’re part of the planet, I’m automatically following your Micro ISV blog, so my thanks go out to you too. If you’re not in the planet, but you run a Micro ISV, start-up, or tech-entrepreneurial themed blog, please contact Baruch and get yourself included; if you’re genuine, it will only take an email.

That’s my entry, basically it’s all of you guys (guys in the gender non-specific sense). Thanks for everything.