Offered A Position I Didn't Even Apply For - I Must Be Good!

I open my inbox and I see this message:




Wow! Really? I am honored. While I should probably jump at the chance to take a job offer, one that I didn't apply for mind you, I should probably think about this for a minute. Let's see....

1. It is from a hotmail account. Not really all that professional, Paulette.
2. The Subject is "Application ID2C586 1". Not really an attention grabbing or relevant subject line.
3. The To: is to "trayc.foutz@gmail.com". Not my email address. That's weird that I got it. Was I BCC'd on my own job offer?
4. I am addressed as "Candidate". I would think if you were going to offer me a job paying me (hopefully) a boat load of money, you would at least know my name.
5. Keller Investment Services -- um, who are they?
6. Oh, they want me to be a "partner" to "invest" in "mutually beneficial opportunities". I see. In other words, they WANT MY MONEY! Hey, what kind of job is this?
7. My strong background and experience? So a technologist like myself is the right type of person to be an Advisor Assistant, huh?
7. Application Process? I thought I already had the job. What is this a big tease? And who is this "tim.ki.bauer@gmx.com" person anyway?
8. Sarah Walter? I thought your name was Paulette Villafane? Very confusing. Or she is having an identity crisis.

So, after much consideration and thought, I think I might have to decline this job offer (or application for job offer or whatever it is). It was a close call Paulette/Sarah, but I just don't think we are compatible.


Publicly Announcing the Website To My Software and Consulting Company, Twin Roots

twin-roots-logo-notext  

My company website is now publicly online.

Twin Roots, a software and technical consulting, contracting and development company has been active for about a year now. And while I have had an initial website up for the last month or so (basically so that I didn’t have to have the GoDaddy start page as the website), I have never really publicized it.

However, I have found what I consider a pretty good theme for my website and am happy enough with it publicly announce it here. I am using a *free* theme from Six Shooter Media (credits maintained on the web site, of course). I just liked the theme. It is simple yet different enough to where I think it can stand out quite nicely. I see an easy maintenance path for the site, being able to highlight current developments, work or products very easily.

I know a free theme is sometimes frowned upon for a business website. And it could be down the line that I have an original site created. But for my first go around, I feel this will do quite nicely.

I invite you to visit the site and comment on it, either through my email address provided there or right here on my personal blog.

Some items I am looking at adding in the near future are:

  • A company blog
  • Maybe a quick comment section to talk about items such as the site or its content

I am happy that I can get a presence for Twin Roots finally out there.

Back From the Dead

Well, back at least from a blogging perspective. It has been a long time since my last post. What to say about why that is – well, mainly I was taking care of some personal work and also finishing up a consulting gig.

It has been a successful first “out of a corporation” year for me. I have made some money and made some great contacts.

So where do I stand right now?

I am in a state of flux. I am between consulting/contracting opportunities and I have not made much headway on any micro-ISV product (mainly because of the consulting work, but also for some other reasons).

I have some decisions to make.

Here are my current options:

  • Flesh out 1 or more of 5 possible product ideas, if for anything to get me back in the programming “spirit”
  • Do some side, primarily non-programming work that has been offered to me, more for the experience and satisfaction than any monetary reason.
  • Work on some technical articles or books that I have been floating around. as possibilities I have some possible leads for publications, but some other things have to fall into place, which I am working on.
  • Look for some more consulting work – I may have a possibility in January, but I am not sure I can 100% count on that.
  • Go back to school to earn my Masters in Computer Science or MBA or, at the very least, take some courses to get the brain juices flowing
  • Look for a full-time job

Now, the options above are not necessarily exclusive, but I do need to prioritize and make a decision. And make a decision is exactly what I am going to do now…..

……well, after I watch my Buffalo Bills hopefully beat the Browns tonight!

Go Bills!

Buffalo Bills logo

UPDATE: The Bills lose on another "wide right" field goal. Bills fans know those are the two most dreaded words a Bills fan can hear :-(

State of the Me - Quick Hits

It has been a while since I have given a progress report of where things stand for me professionally. Back when I worked for Intel, I was mandated to give monthly status report. I am feeling nostalgic today.

Here is  quick bulleted list.

  • I am still consulting, but, unless I am told otherwise, my current work is ending fairly soon here (maybe in the next couple of weeks).
  • I told you about a month ago that I figured out the product I was going to develop to start my micro-isv. My progress on that front has been limited. However, I am fleshing out a new idea that would make that product a subset of this new, what becomes an overarching, idea. I won't say much now other than say I am looking for a couple of partners and it includes, but goes beyond, software development into the world of internet media and other information dissemination mediums.
  • I am exploring the options for a webhost. I believe I have narrowed my choice down to 1, but I have an outstanding question to their sales department before I can say for sure. The hard part was to choose to go with a Linux based host over Windows because Windows is what I know.
  • When I choose my new webhost, I believe I am going to move this blog from its current home (Wordpress.com) to the new webhost via Wordpress.org. The reason for this is two fold - (1) Consolidation of all blogs and websites at one place (2) A learning experience about Wordpress.org and the migration process. I have never self-hosted a blog before.
  • I have gone totally Mac. Well, that is a little disingenuous, I suppose. I am running Mac OS X Leopard as my primarily operating system and running Windows Vista via VMWare Fusion (primarily because my current consulting gig requires it). This configuration is just awesome!! I love it!!! I am beginning to love Mac OS X as much as Windows. Also, I just bought a 20" Apple Cinema Display on Ebay that I expect to get today or tomorrow.
I will provide more detailed posts on any of these bullet items as warranted.

Reconsidering My Micro-ISV Ideas

image It has been a 1.5 months since I posted my ideas to start my Micro-ISV. After moving across the country, continuing on my consulting efforts, and some personal research and reflection, I am reconsidering whether I should move forward with any of these ideas.

With respect to the RSS Reader, I do believe I have an interesting idea that would "uniquify" the product; but, I also am beginning to believe it might be better to just contribute that idea to something like Dare and company's RSS Bandit rather than go with a full-fledged development project.

I was most jazzed about the Fantasy Football web site, but that excitement has fizzled lately -- maybe because the football season is almost over; maybe because of the reality of differentiation; I am not 100% sure, but my initial glee about the prospect is not there anymore.

The "Bag-O-Tools" idea is still on the table.

I am now doing a re-analysis of the direction I want to go with my company (i.e. do I need a "born-again" moment?) To give you a glimpse into my mind, here is my current thinking:

My Company = Consulting Company?

My consulting effort has been going really well, with real money and possible future prospects. I have been complemented for my good work. So, do I become a consultant/contractor instead of a Micro-ISV? But, the phrase "possible future prospects" can be a bit unnerving -- the well can dry up at anytime and without notice. So a backup plan is a must. Also, the possibility of constant travel may prove a bit prohibitive depending on how things go with my family.

Do I Want a Partner(s)?

I waiver on this quite a bit. On the one hand, it is very intriguing to know that I could control *all* aspects of my business. On the other hand, I know what a lonely road that could be. I don't necessarily mind giving up some control for the chance to share in the production of something successful -- in fact, running the business aspect of the business (vs. the technical aspect) intrigues me quite a bit. Also, I am still 100% convinced that the right partner, in general, is better than going solo -- if, for nothing else, to keep motivation high and have a listening ear for the business.

What Is My Niche?

This is the hardest hurdle to get over, obviously, for any successful Micro-ISV. But, this is arguably the most important hurdle. My initial ideas do not carve a specific niche, per se. I knew that going in, but now I am thinking that maybe I should try to carve a niche to complement my initial business goals. What product(s) could I develop that uniquely solves a problem for a certain group of people. On the other hand, it could very well be my niche is in the consulting business. It could very well be my niche is in technical editing, or managing a project or an effort. I am not ready to say what it is yet.

So as my current consulting effort ends (sometime before April 1st), I really need to do a lot of soul searching to figure out what comes next for me. I do hope I at least have the opportunity to make a decision to make about another enjoyable consulting or contracting after this one ends.

State of the Joel

It has been a few weeks since my last blog post. I have what I consider a valid excuse for that -- I moved across the country.

In the spirit of the new year, and inspired by the various State of the State/Union addresses that have occurred or will occur, I have decided to provide you a "State of the Joel" address.

The State of Joel is a calm after the storm.

We have completed our move from North Carolina to California. We met with some old friends who have helped us as we settled in (thank you very much -- you know who you are). We have made our rental house into our new home. And things are starting to feel "normal". Being back in California feels right, and visiting San Francisco yesterday just affirmed that even more. By the way, I highly don't recommend flying across the country with two near-two year olds on a regular basis ;-)

My wife starts work next week, and I watch the kids for a week (see below as to why only a week). After that, we have a trusted person to watch the boys for 3 weeks. Then they go to part-time daycare starting in mid-February.

On my job front, I just finished one consulting job. That lasted around 3.5 months. I have another 3-6 week consulting job that starts in two weeks, related to the work I just finished. I like the consulting work that I am doing as it provides some new challenges and great flexibility.

I received an email last night from an old friend and colleague of mine asking me if I would like to partner on a business venture with him. I am in the midst of reviewing the idea. I have a lunch meeting tomorrow with another friend and colleague to talk about other venture possibilities as well. These startup ventures may never pan out, but it is very cool to even consider things like this.

I still have my initial business projects to focus on. However, I will continue to examine new ventures and consulting work as they come available and make appropriate decisions.

Oh yeah, and we bought a Panasonic 50" Plasma TV as our Christmas gift to each other. I didn't go 1080p -- I figure the prices will come down in the next couple of years and we are sitting 13' feet away and thus will not notice any noticeable difference. So I went 720p for a very good price at Costco. Watching the NFL Playoffs in HD is awesome -- and I cannot go back! My next home entertainment decision is whether I should go get a Blu-Ray player now that it seems like it is leading the charge in the hi-def DVD war (although I have friends who work in HD-DVD land, the other competing format).

So, what do I see for 2008? I see this as a year of clarity, specifically with respect to the careers of me and my wife. I also see us buying a house.

Goals For My First Year In Business

I have been convinced, after a blog comment conversation with another fellow Micro-ISVer, to let the cat (or cats in this case) out of the bag with the ideas that I am targeting as I get my Micro-ISV business off the ground.

The specifics of those ideas will be my the focus of my next post. There will be a couple of teasers in this post ;-)

But before I reveal the ideas that I have been keen on, I wanted to set some context about my goals that I want to accomplish as a result of developing these ideas.

I have 3 ideas that I would like to flesh out and develop by the end of 2008 / beginning of 2009, if not sooner. One is, for the most part, an informational website idea. Another is a desktop application. The third is still a bit fuzzy, but the idea lies around downloadable tools/utilities.

Of course, as with any commercial business, a main goal is to actually make some money. However, for my first foray into this "run my own business" process, it is not my only goal. In fact, I would even go as far as to say that making money isn't my only top-tier goal.

My goals as I get my business off the ground are the following:

Tier-1 Goals

  1. Develop products that I myself am excited about and would use
  2. Determine the best business model(s) for me
  3. Learn how to run a virtual business
  4. Answering the "Is being a Micro-ISV right for me?" question
  5. Make money

Tier-2 Goals

  1. Ensure I remain technologically relevant
  2. Get my name out there (not just through the products, but by participating in forums, etc.)
  3. Balance contracting/consulting, other business opportunities with a Micro-ISV business
  4. Determine if I need/want/can support a partner(s) or employees 
  5. Answering the "Can a Micro-ISV succeed in markets that already exist?" question
  6. Find the right Micro-ISV resources to utilize (e.g. is Microsoft's Empower program worth it?)
  7. Help other Micro-ISVs as appropriate and as best I can

There may be a few other goals that I am missing, but I think I have covered the major ones.

Let discuss some of the Tier-1 goals just a little bit.

Develop products that I myself am excited about and would use

I think this might be the most important goal. I believe if you don't like the work you are doing, the product quality suffers. And when that suffers, it is like a domino effect to all other goals, including making money. Also, I believe if you develop a product that you will personally use, you tend to put more of your heart and soul in the product because, hey, you want to use good products too, don't you?

Determine the best business model for me

Web-based applications with advertising and/or paid subscriptions? Desktop applications for sale? Open source / shareware applications? Donationware? Freeware? Which is the best route to go? Do I develop for both Windows and Mac? The three ideas that I am considering will each showcase a different business model.

Learn how to run a virtual business

Right now I am a one-man show (although I may have a partner for one of my ideas). I have to not only develop the products, but also market them, support them, maintain a good website, keep the financial books in order (assuming I make any money ;-)), etc. Do I need to hire a website designer? An accountant? An attorney? This is my first time doing this and this first year or so will be a learning experience more than anything.

Answering the "Is Being A Micro-ISV Right For Me?" Question

I am going to use this opportunity to decide whether I am cut out to be a Micro-ISV; or whether I am better served to be a contractor/consultant -- or -- a corporate employee full time. Many factors go into answering this question, not just the product development work. For example, how does the Micro-ISV lifestyle affect my family relationship?

Make money

All three of my ideas have been implemented before in one form or another. So I will not be making any money because I am inventing a totally unique product. However, I want to see if I can make money by adding interesting, unique features to the products, along with providing ancillary value through pricing, support, etc. So, I am hoping that it is not just the product that people look at, but also the total business package.

I may go into some descriptions about my other goals (e.g. Tier-2) in a later post. Let me know if you are interested.

To summarize, I want to use this first year as learning experience, first and foremost, so that I can better prepare for my business future.

I am hoping this a worthwhile strategy for me. I guess we will see, huh? :-)

My Manifesto

While I am not religiously following StartupNation's 10 Steps to Open For Business anymore, one thing I did take away from it was coming up with a Life Plan. And one part of the Life Plan was to come up with a manifesto as it relates to life and career. This is my current manifesto: Don’t regret because of fear. To work on something I enjoy, being responsible for my successes and failures as a result. Not having to work in an old, outdated corporate environment. Having work structured around my personal life and wants. Ensure work is a close second to family, but still second, never first. All is equal in the work environment. Living somewhere I am proud to call home.

May be kind of lame, but I think it encompasses a lot.

I think the first sentence is very telling. For example, it is scary quitting your "secure" corporate job and going out on your own. But, if you have a plan in place, the proper resources, and the desire, you shouldn't fear it. Now, I am not telling everyone to quit their job (and quitting a job is not for everyone). Money and feeding yourself and family are still a big time necessity in this world. So you need a plan of attack and resources (e.g. savings, a working spouse, etc.). But if you have these things, and you have the right mentality, go for it. You would hate to regret it later on.

And "All is equal in the work environment" really means that there is no in-your-face notion of a hierarchy at work. For example, offices for the higher ups, 3x3 cubicles for the grunts. I understand that decision makers must exist, and in the end it is up to them to make the final call on things, but you don't have to be so blunt about it.

I think the rest is pretty self-explanatory.

It won't hurt me to revisit this from time to time to make sure I am still living by the messages contained in the manifesto.

What do you think?

Changing Tactics On My Approach To Starting My Business

I wrote this post yesterday. I then posted this question on the Business of Software Forum soon after.

I am now changing my business planning a little bit.

Initially, I was very surprised at the responses about how one should go about planning to start a Micro-ISV business. I don't believe anyone said using the 10 Steps To Open For Business was *the way* to go. I heard everything from the list was a "load of rubbish" to it not being a bad list, but you need to be careful of over-analysis.

The overriding theme was that, in this business, you need to find a pain point and bring a product to market as quickly as possible. None of the other stuff matters if you don't do this.

I now understand the responses, and now tend to agree with them. And, after re-opening my Micro-ISV: From Vision to Reality book by Bob Walsh, I am going to deviate from my plan to use the 10 steps and basically use the book as my guide, but start working on product as quickly as possible. The software business moves so quickly that I believe the person who mentioned over-analysis is right on. I already have a product idea (or two), I know where I want to be with my life, I am bootstrapping the business myself -- it is time to "Just Do It!" (sorry again Nike), and I have joined that line of thinking.

I Hit the 1000 Blog Visit Milestone!!

OK, it is not a defined milestone. I am sure that is not such a wonderful feat, and my hope is that 1/2 of those aren't my own visits ;-) , but according to my WordPress statistics, I have had 1002 visits to my blog. I am hoping the next 1000 comes much quicker. My blogging is going to change gears a bit from my previous topics about leaving my former company to now starting my own business. After a lot of thinking, and a couple of possible opportunity requests, I have made the decision to go it alone (for now) and try to become a Micro-ISV. I will continue to contract as good opportunities arise (I am currently doing one now), preferably part-time, but my main focus over the next 6 months is going to be getting my Micro-ISV started.

My next post(s), which I expect to today, will be about the methodology I am following to start the business.

Moving On; Out With the Old, In With the New

Today was my first day without a corporate job to go to. I started my part time contracting assignment. I sat in a coffee shop (ironic because I don't drink coffee) and did some work. I worked a good 5 hours and got more than I thought I would done. There was a refreshing feeling to the whole thing. Very freeing in many ways. Now, this could be because it is a new experience, and like most new experiences there is a sense of excitement. Maybe it was the fact that I wasn't driving over 100 miles today ;-) . Time will tell if this is just a fleeting feeling or if it is something that can become a long term way of life.

One thing I do know, is that I am done talking about former job. It's in the past. I am going to avoid all new blog posts about it, if I can so avoid it (but I will continue to answer comments to older posts).

I have moved on and am now going to talk about the present and the future. I just feel better knowing that.

A Bit More On My Exit Interview

I have seen some comments on the web about my exit interview. Interesting comments for sure. So I thought I would add a bit more response. It's hard to express the tone of a person in a text medium like a blog. It was just the way the HR person spoke and the tone of his voice that really got to me. Almost condescending. I can understand being confused, and maybe even a bit flabbergasted, about me leaving just after a year. But there is right and wrong way to express that. I thought he stepped over to the wrong side of that line.

My boss himself understood. He didn't want me to leave, but he told me straight up that personal and family situations come first. Would he hire me again? I would like to think so; he said I did good work.

Someone told me that 18 months is a pretty standard time for many people to stay in one company. I don't know about that, but I did stay at my first company for 10 years, so it is not like I make a habit out of moving from company to company.

The job itself wasn't my dream job. I took the job not because I thought I would love it, but more because it filled a need for my current situation at the time. If I was "in love" with the work, I probably would have tried to find a way to make it work -- maybe the 115 mile commute would have taken on a different flavor. But even then, a very difficult decision would have had to be made. I would say the job was fair to good, but there were some issues with the role, the team and the work itself that did not make it a perfect situation.

The bottom line is that life happens, and life is more than just your career. You can't always time things perfectly to make sure all parties involved don't feel slighted. You can, however, do your best when you are doing what you are doing, but sometimes you just have to make decisions that you think are best for you and your family. And that's it really -- not much more I can say about it.

My Exit Interview Was Not A Pleasant Experience

In my previous post, I hinted that I was none to pleased with my exit interview. Well, here are the details. At 10 AM, I went to the HR person's office. It started out innocently enough. We shook hands. I handed him some of their belongings (badge, cell phone, VPN hardware key). I sat down.

Then it started to go downhill quick. He made quick mention that I am leaving at just over a year of being hired (3 days to be exact). He wondered why. I told him it was for mainly personal reasons, primarily that the 115 mile round trip commute was not sustainable, and we are not moving back to where the company was located. I said we are going to stay put where we are, or maybe even move back West.

Then he starting questioning me saying things like 'Well you just moved to your current location that is 115 miles away, and now you may be considering moving again. I am confused. What is going on with you?' I told him that it was personal and family related. 

He then went on to say that they did not even recoup the cost of relocating me and hiring me for the year since I am leaving so quickly -- that they obviously made a mistake with the whole hire. I felt like I was getting the 3rd degree here when I thought an exit interview was to discuss what I thought of my management and company. I was getting angry inside -- basically I was thinking, it is your damn policy that a new hire work a year at the company after being relocated and, after that, there is no further obligation. I fulfilled my obligation! I even did quite well at work over the year. My manager said I would have fell in the successful part of the bell curve for my review, maybe even almost in the above successful category. I would have gotten a raise.

It even says in the handbook that employment is "at will". I mean they can lay me off / fire me without cause, and I can leave without cause. Me doing the exit interview was a courtesy to them; and here I am feeling like I am on trial.

I kept my anger bottled up and acted professional. He apologized and said he didn't mean to make me feel uncomfortable and make me feel like I was getting an inquisition. I said OK, and we moved on to the "normal" exit interview questions. I didn't throw anyone nor the company under the bus; I just answered the questions and left.

Not fun at all; not a pleasant experience :-(

But that is the past and now it is time to look to the future, which I am looking forward to :-)

Well, I Am Off To Smaller and Worser Things

People always say they are off to bigger and better things. Since I don't really know if that is going to be the case, I figure I would mix it up a little bit. :-) So, I am officially corporately unemployed. I had my exit interview today at 10 AM. By the way, that really wasn't a pleasant experience. More on that later, maybe.

Anyway, I have some temporary contract work lined up for the next three or so months to keep "putting food on the table" while we get our life in order. Where we go both professionally and physically is still up in the air though -- it can be anything from staying put in North Carolina and both of us starting our own businesses, to moving west with one working in the corporate world and the other partnering up on an opportunity, to other combinations (although it looks like it will only be North Carolina or the West coast)

A lot will be known in the next few weeks, possibly days.

And, yeah, I know "worser" is not a word ;-)

T Minus 0.5 days

Well, it is about 12 hours until my exit interview (10 AM Friday morning). There they will surely ask me why I decided to leave, what I liked and disliked about the company and rip what is really their possessions away from me (laptop, phone, etc.) I have submitted my last work related stuff to my manager and team. I have nearly made my laptop ready for use by the next person. So tomorrow when I get to work, I will walk around saying goodbye to the 2 or 3 people to whom I regularly talked -- yeah, kind of sad; I really had hardly no interaction with anyone over the past year at work.

I am getting more excited and nervous as the hour of enlightenment draws near.

How To Go About Getting a Micro-ISV or Software Company Started

I posted this on the Business of Software Forum today: <Update: One of the replies to my post was that I was to the effect of me looking for free work while I sat back lazily and rake in the profits. My reply was basically that is ridiculous. I am taking a huge risk here, so why would I even think of running the business from the sidelines. I am a software engineer at heart, so I will be deeply involved in that and all aspects of the business. It would be a horrible mistake on my part to even think of running my business with the "Someone does all the work while I make 1/2 the money model" --- the business would die a fast death.>

Hello,

A little background. Next Friday is my last "cubicle" day. I needed to end the madness. I am going out on my own. I believe I have a temporary contract lined up in the next couple of weeks where I can work part time for a few months while I get my business started. I am super excited (and nervous).

So, I have some software ideas. 40-50 maybe. From really tiny components, to full-fledged, I would need a server farm type of app. Some are surely non-starters, some might have legs. Some could beget future ideas and products. That is what brainstorming is all about. I even have the beginnings of a business plan -- it needs a lot of work.

Now, I consider myself knowledgeable in many areas (an advanced jack of all trades, if you will). However, while I can hold my own for sure, I don't consider myself the best programmer in the world. And I surely would prefer to work with somebody in starting a business and doing development. While others have proven otherwise and will disagree, I believe having the right partners and team can only be a benefit in any business.

I want a partner or two. I want some people that have ideas like I do, where we can choose the best one or two to go after and sell.

I am all about sweat for equity here. I couldn't afford to pay anybody, nor would I expect to be paid.

So how do I go about finding a partner or two? I have a couple of colleagues that I have pinged, but it hasn't really gotten off the ground.

I sort of wish there was this virtual place where aspiring software/micro-isv entrepreneur's could get together and try to form a business. I have not found that place. Maybe this is that place. Or maybe such a virtual place is an idea all of its own.

What are your thoughts? If you really had the itch to start a micro-isv/software company, had some ideas to bring to the table, wanted to work sweat for equity, but wanted to partner up with some folks who also may want to start a micro-isv/software company, who you could bounce ideas off of and also listen to their ideas --- how would you go about it?

Anyway, this is my thought for a Saturday morning.

Joel

P.S. I do have a meeting next week with an old acquaintance of mine where we are going to discuss partnering up, but, like anything, nothing is for sure.

So what type of business am I going to go into?

Let me just answer the question first. Here is the short list:

  • Micro-ISV
  • Software Consultant/Contractor
  • Partnerhip 

So, the first question on *your* mind should be "You are quitting your day job, and you don't know what you business is going to be yet?!?"

Well, the answer to that question is yes and no -- very decisive ;-)

I am following the 10 steps to open for business from StartupNation

With the exception of maybe step #1, it is a good idea to know what type of business you want to start.

At this point, I am going to be doing something in software. My first inclination is a Micro-ISV. (This term was coined by Eric Sink and talked about by folks like Michael Lehman and Bob Walsh) I do have some ideas. However, this requires a lot of decision making. Will I have a partner or two? Will I fund it myself? Can my ideas sell? All that stuff. But they are questions, I know I can answer.

I am also looking into partnering with someone who is also venturing out on his own. My primary lead is with someone I have worked with before and have a good rapport with -- a key ingredient; no, *the* key ingredient in any partnership.

 And, I am looking into contracting and consulting as well -- this could be done in conjunction with being a Micro-ISV.

Now to answer what should have been *your* first question. I do have some stop gaps in place to ensure that me and my family can be fed during this transition making process. I am the type of person who wants to concentrate fully on starting my business and not have another full time job to worry about.

A lot of answers will be provided in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned.

Goodbye Corporate America, Hello ???

I gave notice to my current employer today. My last day is either October 5 or 12. I gave it a year (I was contractually obligated to do this, but also a year seems like a good round number anyway). Why did I do this? Well, one is the 115 mile round trip commute (although my manager was kind enough to allow me to work from home a couple of days a week). More importantly, however, is to start a new direction with my career. I am planning to dive into the world of starting a business.

This blog is about me (obviously since it has my name as the domain). But, more specifically, it will be about adventure through life as I travel down this new path. It should be a fun, ever-changing roller coaster, and I hope you can enjoy the ride with me and my family.

btw, my spouse may be starting her own business as well if other opportunities don't work out -- so we can both have fun supporting our family with no income coming in ;-)