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.

Thank You Scott Hanselman

I sent Scott Hanselman an email this morning asking him how he likes Google Apps after a few months of real use. We are considering using them for hosting our business-related email. He answered the email within 2 hours. Now this is the same Scott Hanselman who runs the Hanselminutes podcast, a popular blog and just started to work for Microsoft. So it is not like he is just sitting around waiting to answer emails from complete strangers. And, btw, he does like Google Apps.

Thanks for the response, Scott. I do appreciate it.

Buying a Computer: New or Used?

For the business my spouse wants to start (I am not ready to give up what type of business it is just yet), she needs a new computer. The 4 year old, first generation Intel Centrino, Dell laptop, with 512 MB RAM is just not going to cut it. We have had a lot of discussion about the brand of computer we are going to buy. We are fairly confident that we are going to settle on an Apple iMac -- while the cost may be a little bit more than a <Dell, HP, Gateway, insert your favorite vendor here> PC, the fact it can run both Windows and OS X just makes it a no brainer. And with the business my spouse wants to start I can see her switching back and forth between operating systems. And, the new and previous generation iMacs are just sweet looking and designed so efficiently!

Now that the "What type of computer are we going to get" question has been answered, we are faced with another dilemma. Should we buy new or used? The fact is, the previous generation iMacs had Intel Core 2 Duo processors in them, etc., and would serve just fine for my spouse's business. And now that the new iMacs were announced back in August, these previous generation iMacs can be found "discounted" on eBay and other sites.

I have always leaned towards never buying a used computer. I like my computers "clean as a whistle", so to speak. So buying from an individual on eBay scares me a bit. There are reputable stores, like even Apple themselves, that sell refurbished computers. And notice above I put the word discounted in quotes -- I am not 100% convinced that the value you might be able to get from a used/refurbished computer will really outweigh having the latest generation and never touched machine. The new iMacs start at only about $1200; add another 1GB of RAM and you are looking at $1300 or so. Not too bad. Amazon has a $50 rebate too.

So what is your opinion? Would you buy a used/refurbished computer? If so, from where would you buy such a computer?