Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Watch Me Pull a Rabit Out of My Hat

Pulling a Rabit Out of a Hat is Hard!
One of the biggest constants in software development is failure.  Projects fail to get completed on time.  Software fails to work as expected and software developers fail to keep their jobs.  It is a vicious cycle and it takes an emotional toll on the people who spend their time working on it.

People want to be successful and competent.  Software humbles the smartest and best of us.  Add to the mix unrealistic time pressures, unhealthy lifestyles, and marketing professionals forcing me to keep their promises and you have a blueprint for mental illness.

Shortly after my wife moved out of the house, I sat in a planning meeting and I had a revelation.  A business analyst was talking about improving the click ratio for a page and it just dawned on me.  I was living in a bizarre world where people were making decisions about my work and life and they had no understanding of web development or the challenges it entailed.  To them, it was just like magic.  All I had to do was pull out a rabbit from my hat each day and hope I could correctly guess the exact color, size, and fur quality these people expected. 

I was not a professional with an opinion to be respected.  I felt like a birthday clown making balloon animals for ungrateful children.  Something had to give and I slowly began to start planning for the launch of E3 systems. 

In the almost two years since, I have been writing code after hours and on weekends.  I put together a business plan and I have rounded up a board of directors to help me.  I even have a sales person.  All that is left are customers, because contrary to popular believe, just because you build something they may not buy it. 

I am not deterred because this has given me time to refine my production and this month we will be doing a 2.0 release of our Sully® Warehouse Management System.  I am pretty proud of it.  We now make it possible to manage inventory, bills of madding, addresses, invoices, packing slips, and not purchase orders.  I even have a movie version of the application which works with Microsoft Tag so that a piece of paper automatically communicates with a smart phone or tablet. 

What makes this so fantastic is that is less expensive than most software packages on the market.  There is not software to install and it works on most modern browsers and smart phones.  It is cloud based computing without the hype. 

I will have more news about the release of Sully® 2.0 as we complete testing.  We also have YouTube videos going up and we are putting together a training manual.  We are also going to start a full court press for customers. 

Two years ago, I looked and felt like a clown.  Now, I am on the cusp of being a full-fledged entrepreneur.  It is worth the wait. 

Until next time.