Announcing the Launch of Programming Classroom


So, I finally did it. My company Twin Roots has launched an actual product. Well, not a product exactly; more like a service. Along with my outside partner in crime, Rex Jaeschke, we planned a website where we are providing a service geared towards programmers.

Programming Classroom is the result of this effort.

Rex is well known throughout the programming community, especially in the standards world. He is also highly regarded for his live programming seminars where he teaches classes in C, C++, C# and more.

We thought it would be a great service to offer the seminars that Rex uses in his live classroom teachings to the general public in electronic format. These are the exact same materials from documentation to example source code. It is just that it is at a much lower cost than a classroom setting because it is self-paced learning. You will find seminars on C#, C++, Java, Visual Basic, and C. You will also find some freebies like sample chapters and tips.

So check out ProgrammingClassroom.com and let us know what you think. Needless to say, I am very excited while very nervous at the same time.


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.

User Interface Before Code

Jeff Atwood had a great post earlier this month entitled UI-First Software Development.

In the blog he mentions:

Of course, UI is hard, far harder than coding for developers. It's tempting to skip the tough part and do what comes naturally -- start banging away in a code window with no real thought given to how the user will interact with the features you're building.

Actually, I am the exact opposite of this. I need an understanding of the UI before going off and writing any code for an application. To me theory, while important, is different than reality. The UI prototype serves as a guide not just for the navigation of the application. For me it serves as an aid in understanding what classes, methods, etc. are going to be needed for the application.

Jeff's post is apropos since I am just starting to sketch out how my application Z is going to look and feel.

That leads me to a minor dilemma. What to tool to use to create my UI prototypes. Many people use pencil and paper, and I see much merit in that. However, I am, for better or worse, and electronic type of guy. So I am trying to see if I can use something besides pencil and paper to do my prototyping.

I have Visual Studio 2008 that I could use, but I am trying to stay somewhat away from the temptation to do any coding.

I also have Microsoft Expression Studio which I may indeed just end up using. I could use Microsoft Expression Blend which is specifically geared towards application UI development. The only downside is that it might be way overkill for what I am trying to do initially.

So, if I don't use Microsoft Expression, what do I use then? PowerPoint? Paint.NET? Other?

I found a couple of posts that list some UI Prototyping tools.

Here is one.

Here is the other.

Given that I already have Microsoft Expression Studio, and even Microsoft Office 2007 if I wanted to go the PowerPoint route, I am not sure I want to spend a bunch of money on such a tool. However, if anyone has any recommendations, I am surely open to purchasing something -- I mean, come on....being a wannabe micro-ISV who would want people to buy my product, I need to support my fellow software developers if it warrants. Of course, a really good free tool isn't so bad either ;-)

Btw, here are some free trials I am thinking about checking out:

  1. Mockup Screens
  2. Serena Prototype Composer (this is actually free)
  3. Designer Vista

If anyone has any thoughts, recommendations, or ideas about this, I am all ears.

Until next time.....

Finally! I Know the Product I Am Going To Develop

image

So, a while ago, I put a list of ideas out into the wild that I was choosing between as my first micro-ISV project. I haven't really made progress on those ideas because I have been busy doing consulting work and I haven't always been convinced that the ideas were all that good.

But now, I have finally broken through. I have what will be my first micro-ISV product. And I am very excited. I am not going to let the cat out of the bag this time. What I will say that is primarily a desktop application, has some competition and sprouted from a need that I personally have had for a long time.

I have started the design specification. I have most of my development tools in order. I am ready to go!

I am still doing some consulting work, but that may be winding down soon. Thus I will be able to concentrate on this full time. I am thinking a beta within 6 months, maybe sooner depending on what else is going on. We'll see.

Whether this succeeds or fails, it is great to finally know that I can be excited about something and put some passion into it. The worst that is going to happen with this product is that I will learn something and I will be able to market my software development skills again. Woo Hoo!

And, to boot, I have some other ideas to follow this first idea. So I am building a nice little queue.

Until next time....

P.S. I have a name for my company, almost have a logo developed and have someone to develop my web site.

Oh Brother, Where Art Thou?

It has been a while since I have written a post. So as to not disappoint my one reader out there ;-), I am making time to do so today.

I have been really busy actually - to a point where creating blog entries has fallen below the ZBB line. (Now, I am pretty sure ZBB is a foreign term to many -- it is an acronym used at my old company that stands for Zero Baseline Budget. Actually I don't know what that means, per se, but the gist is if something falls below the ZBB line, it doesn't get done for that quarter).

So what has kept me so busy. Let me give you an idea of my daily schedule.

  • 6:30 AM Wake-Up
  • 6:30-8:00 A little email, eat breakfast, get the boys ready for daycare
  • 8:00-12:00 After seeing the kids off to daycare, I work. I have the fortunate opportunity of having another consulting effort, this time where I am the lead editor on creating a technical specification.
  • 12:00-12:30 Take a walk around the block
  • 12:30 PM -1:30 Pick up the kids from daycare, put them down for their nap
  • 1:30-2:00 Eat lunch
  • 2:00-6:00 More work after spouse comes home and watches kids
  • 6:00-8:00 COMPUTER OFF LIMITS, spend time with the family
  • 8:00 Put the kids down for bed
  • 8:00-10:00 Eat dinner, down time, relax
  • 10:00 PM Bed time

So between my consulting job and my family, I am kept super busy. The weekends are generally kept for family time and some outdoor adventures.

The bigger question for me is how the work I am currently doing affects my overall sole proprietor / Micro-ISV plan. I am using this technical editor opportunity to decide if this is something I would like to do long term. What this has going for it is:

  1. Flexible hours
  2. Good pay
  3. Interesting (at least for now) work
  4. Oh, and did I say good pay (i.e. a real paycheck)

If I decide I do want to continue down this career path, my plan for starting my Micro-ISV may indeed change. I know I will have some downtime where I will need to be doing something. The well will run dry for short or long periods of time. In fact, I do have an idea that I have been throwing around in my head (I have the domain name reserved and the software idea floating around). But being a "full-time" Micro-ISV has now not a certainty.

We'll see. Stay tuned. I will keep you updated.

Until then, best wishes!

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.

My First Micro-ISV Product Ideas

[Note: I have a phone meeting on Wednesday with an old colleague where the result could change my plans. I will keep you posted]

OK, here it goes....for better, worse or the other, I am letting the world know my first product ideas. We'll see if announcing these now was a good idea or not. ;-)

Before reading my specific ideas, make sure you obtain some context by reading my previous post about goals.

As you will notice below, I am entering into pretty saturated markets (i.e much competition exists). However, I have subscribed to the theory that while a totally unique idea that is a hit may provide the best overall outcome, those come very far and few between. Instead, it is much more normal to add value to existing ideas, and let the execution and marketing of the added value bring success. Looking at it from the glass half full perspective, having competition means that people want the product or service (i.e. there is a market).

Also, I have a motto that I want to develop products that *I* will use on a daily basis. That is important to me because it makes me my own customer -- and I don't want to use crappy products either.

So without further ado, here are my product ideas for the next year or so. Again, these products align with my goals.

 

RSS Reader (Desktop)

Yes, there are many RSS readers out there, both web (e.g. Google Reader) and desktop (e.g. FeedDemon) based. I am going to enter my hat into the desktop ring. I will offer the basics, of course. But, I do have some ideas that I hope, in conglomeration, will differentiate mine from others. One is having both a Mac and Windows reader, with the same user experience. The second is being able to sync your feeds (e.g. read/unread) so you can be up-to-date no matter which computer you use the reader on (this requires some sort of web-based storage solution, probably). The third is being able to....well, I don't want to give this one away yet :-)

Business Model: Free basic version; Fixed-price premium version [Note: I am still working out if the free/premium model is the best way to go.]

 

Fantasy Football Information Web Site

Two of my many passions are sports and technology. I figured, hey, why not merge the two. I love playing fantasy football (NFL). There are many fantasy football websites that offer information about who are the best players to play during a given week, game previews, answers to emails, draft software, etc. Some of these sites are from the big boys (e.g. ESPN) and some smaller, yet popular, folks (e.g. Fantasy Football Today). I figured I would offer the same sort of valuable information and tools, but try to do it better and/or differently. In the end, when it comes to sites like these it is all about providing good, relevant and as accurate as possible information.

Business Model: Advertising

 

Package of Tools and Utilities for Windows

I have always like building small tools and utilities. Most of the tools I have built, either for my own uses or for work, I was doing back in my corporation days. I have had folks appreciate the tool work I have done. So I figured why not come up with a list of (hopefully) useful tools and utilities and offer them up free for people. I don't consider any of my ideas here earth shattering, nor unique, but just things I have found a need for. I don't plan for these tools to make money, nor get bought out by Microsoft like SysInternals. I just want to provide them for fun and test an open source business model -- where my goal wouldn't be to make money, but more just get my name out there. Here are a few examples I am thinking of implementing (and, yes, initially these will be Microsoft centric because that is what I know)

  1. An Outlook mail component that makes sure you actually have an attachment in an email that is supposed to have an attachment.
  2. A component for IE7 that automatically puts widely used links in the Links portion of the IE7 browser and makes sure they are bubbled to the "top" of the Links portion (e.g. they are visible in the max screen browser window)
  3. A small utility that allows a user to increase/decrease the number of simultaneous downloads allowed from IE7
  4. A tool that finds all the files where there are multiple instances on your computer (this could be Mac and Windows)

Business Model: Free, Open Source

 

I will provide specific details on each of these efforts as I move along the development path. Right now, I think I am going to work on the Fantasy Football website first so I can have it ready in time for the next NFL Fantasy season, which begins in full force around August.

So there you go. The cat is out of the bag. :-) Now it comes down to execution. Also, I am not adverse to discussing/collaborating/partnering on these ideas or any other ideas. So if you have any thoughts you want to share with me personally, feel free to contact me by email or leave a comment.

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? :-)

Using A Website Template For Your Business

I have a need for 2 websites:

  • One of my business ideas has as its foundation an informational website. In other words, the information on the website is how I would make money, either through ads or subscriptions.
  • The other website would be my company website.

I am not a web designer, by any means. My artistic ability is near nil. So starting a website from scratch seems counterproductive.

However, I am technically savvy and, maybe to my detriment sometimes, like to try technical projects myself before going off and hiring someone to do it for me.

I am considering choosing and using website templates from Open Source Web Design for both of my website ventures.

My reasoning is that there are many free, artistically viable templates that I can start with such that some of that legwork has been started for me. I can then take the source code and modify it to match my needs. Also, did I say they are free!

I have heard mixed thoughts around using canned website templates for business ventures.

Some of those against citing that you don't want your website to look like any possible shady (e.g. porn) websites. Others against the idea say if you don't know what you are doing enough that you need to use a template, then you should just hire a professional to do the work correctly.

However, people for the idea say if you use modifiable templates (e.g. open source), you can customize the site enough to make it look original and provide a unique look and feel value proposition for your business.

I am hoping to hear from people for and against the "use a template for your website" idea. Specific case examples would be great.

Let the comments roll.....

Micro-ISV: Working on Multiple Projects at the Same Time?

I believe I have decided on my first Micro-ISV projects; three to be exact. One is a primarily web-based effort. Another is a primarily desktop application. And one is just a fairly simple tool.

My contracting work supposedly ends in January, at which time I can start to focus fully on developing these products. (Of course, other contracting/consulting work could come my way after January, and I have to do the normal cost/benefit analysis -- but let's just assume for the time being that I have full time devotion to Micro-ISV products after January).

The tool I think I can get out relatively quickly. But the web-based application and the desktop application are quite a bit more complicated. I would like to get both out as soon as possible, but as a one person shop, new to this whole Micro-ISV thing, I am wondering about serial vs. parallel work styles when it comes to developing products.

In other words, is development "multi-tasking" a good idea?

clip_image002

Back in the "corporate world" working on more than 1 distinct project at the same time was fairly common. However, at least in my case, you worked in a team setting; so you didn't own the whole project/product on your own. Plus, you didn't necessarily have to worry about the non-development aspects of the company (marketing, finances, etc.)

With a Micro-ISV I can see it both ways. On one hand, working on two or more projects at once can remove focus from one project and you might miss something. On the other hand, if you get stuck or just burnt out on one project, you can always move to another project for a while.

So I am hoping I can hear about some experiences from folks that have attempted and either failed or succeeded in managing to work on two development projects at one time.

Input appreciated. Thanks.

Apple Will Allow 3rd Party Applications for the iPhone

This is good news! Why? Well, 2 reasons:

  1. Customers and developers alike have demanded this functionality, and Apple has seen the light. Applications that just run in the iPhone version of Safari was not going to cut it.
  2. My new business can make use of this wonderful news in product development :-)

More details need to emerge before I get super-excited, like what will the developer limitations, if any, be? But I am a bit excited.

Some discussion has been going on everywhere in the blog-o-sphere. Example: Robert Scoble discussed this.

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.

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.