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.