MicroISVs, Software Products and Startups: Software by Rob’s Most Popular Posts of 2008

Consider this the Year in Review for Software by Rob. Here are my seven most popular posts from 2008:

The Software Product Myth
“A certain percentage of developers become unhappy with salaried development over time (typically it’s shortly after they’re asked to manage people, or maintain legacy code), and they dream of breaking out of the cube walls and running their own show. Some choose consulting, but many more inevitably decide to build a software product.

‘After all,’ they think ‘you code it up and sell it a thousand times – it’s like printing your own money! I build apps all the time, how hard could it be to launch a product?'”

Should You Build or Buy Your Micro-ISV?
“None of the products I’ve built or bought required skills beyond that of a mid-level developer. Let’s be honest, building an invoicing system does not involve insanely complex algorithms and coding chops. Most successful Micro-ISV products (and a lot of not-so-Micro-ISV products) could have been built by a few solid mid-level developers.”

Lessons Learned “Selling” My Micro-ISV
“Within a week of my ‘for sale’ post I received 20 email inquiries, sent out nearly that many NDAs, distributed 13 sales packets, and spent about 10 hours answering questions via email. I set a deadline for offers, and by the time the deadline passed I had three suitable offers on my desk. Two of them were nearly identical, with a down payment and monthly payments. The third was something I hadn’t expected.”

The Five Minute Guide to Becoming a Freelance Software Developer
“This advice is intended for someone looking to become a freelance software developer or web designer (or looking to start a small web design/development/consulting firm). If you intend to seek venture capital then move along these aren’t the droids you’re looking for.”

8 Ways to Recession-Proof Your Programming Career
“So in this age of uncertainty how should someone react who simply wants to collect a few greenbacks in exchange for their brilliant programming acumen? You could hide under your imitation Aeron and hope no one notices, or you could start pursuing ways to recession-proof your career.”

The Single Most Important Career Question You Can Ask Yourself
“Some people are consumers by nature; they consume vast quantities of knowledge purely for learning’s sake. Others are producers; they consume knowledge with the intent of one day acting on the knowledge and producing something, be it a book, a song, a blog, a startup, etc… Neither is better than the other. The key is to answer one question: which are you?”

How to Recruit a Developer Entrepreneur for Your Startup
“If you’re a non-technical founder looking for a developer entrepreneur, these are questions you should ask yourself. Having been on the developer side of the coin a number of times, here is my take.”

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