I recently attended Business of Software in Boston, and at the conclusion of the event Paul Kenny asked everyone to make a tangible commitment to act on something they had learnt during the conference.
My commitment was to free up my time so I could ready v1.0 of my new product for launch.
Realising this was going to be near impossible while still in fulltime employment, I decided that I would hand in my resignation upon returning to Sydney. And now, after an incredible 7 year run working with some of the most talented and generous people I’ve ever met, my time with FlexiGroup Ltd will today come to an end.
During those 7 years, I’ve worked as a Developer, shifted into a Release Engineering role and finally onto leadership of the DevOps Team.
However during the last few months, my thoughts and energies have progressively drifted towards my startup. Developing ‘ReadyRoll‘ has occupied nearly all of my time outside work for the better part of the last year but I’ve found it incredibly enjoyable. Corporate work usually involves balancing a number of different workloads, so being able to lavish the design of a singular piece of software is something of a luxury.
ReadyRoll will be the my first product since ‘StyleMaker’, a CSS authoring tool that I created way back in 1997 as a teen. It was something I made for a school assignment, but it ended up being more than that when I decided to distribute it as shareware. I can still remember the rush of my first few sales and seeing my software on the front page of sites like TUCOWS and Download.com.
Though I did manage to achieve “ramen profitability“, it didn’t work out in the end but I learnt a lot about things like how much hard graft and perseverance actually goes into creating things of real value. And how listening to customers and being open and honest in your dealings is key to long-term prosperity in business (thanks to Jason Cohen for reminding me of this). Failure to deliver on these things can be a great teacher.
So in a way this move is a continuation of my “geek origin” story. In the years since my early efforts, I’ve been blessed to have had the opportunity to hone my skills under the guidance of some fabulous mentors. And now I get to do the indie software developer thing all over again.
With trepidation and excitement in equal amounts, today I begin to take those first few tentative steps from “Wannapreneur” towards “Fledgling Startup Founder”. Who knows what happens next.
UPDATE 04/02/2012: ReadyRoll has launched!