An excellent article from Andy Singleton of Assembla. A must read for anyone considering (or already running) a software-as-service business. Secrets Of Freemium Pricing: Make The Cheapskates Pay.
It’s a tough call to make, but sometimes the best thing for a business to do is to throw away working code if it’s not what the business needs to be successful right now.
Eric Ries wrote an insightful post back in February 2009.
A business which is not making money is dying, however good the code, but changing the business into one which does make money may mean ditching lots of things which have cost a lot, and even seem to have intrinsic value.
Monday was a bank holiday, so I found a little time to catch up with some of the web videos in my queue.
First I watched an inspiring session from TechCrunch Nordic which likens achieving an “exit” for a startup company to dating. Fun, and with a strand of truth.
Anyone running a startup, or thinking about it, should watch this one.
Second I watched a presentation ostensibly about Kanban and “single piece flow”, but really about much wider issues in planning and managing software development. I found the approach presented particularly interesting as it correlates very well with where my thoughts are at right now.
This video is best watched at infoq, to see both the presenters and the slides
Anyone working in software development, or managing a software project really needs to watch this one.
Kent Beck, rightly well-known for Extreme programming, Test-Driven Development and jUnit gave a really thought-provoking talk at the Startup Lessons Learned Conference in San Francisco on April 23, 2010.
If you are at all interested in software and/or startups, this is well worth a viewing.
Via Energized Work.
Recently I have found myself getting quite cross with articles published by the British Computer Society (BCS), but at least they can provide interesting and useful stuff sometimes.
Here are some transcripts of presentations about starting companies and venture capital in the UK, together with a summary of some discussions.
Just a shame that this was not an open conference, though.
1. Remember to breathe. You’ve probably worked for two years to get to this moment, and there’s no guarantee you’ll ever get to do it again. You might as well enjoy it.
2. The computer is a Buddha. It sees the world as it is and does exactly what you tell it. It doesn’t implement your expectations or your fantasies. Try to see as the computer sees.
3. No design survives contact with the users. Research, analyse, test and prepare. Then be ready to throw it all away when real users don’t do it like that.
4. A good idea can come from anywhere. You might as well listen to what others have to say because you’re going to get the credit (and blame) anyway. Your programmers, salesmen, accountants, admin folks, project managers, cleaners and so on have probably used a wider range of software than you have even heard of. Joel Spolsky calls this “hallway usability testing”
5. Life is messy. It doesn’t stop while you’re talking on the telephone. If it feels too comfortable, it’s probably wrong; if it feels right it’s probably too slow.
6. No software can ever be simple enough. Surgeons, cops and priests have a lot on their minds, but they still need your software to work right.
7. A user’s attention span is even shorter than yours. Give them something useful, valuable, compelling and obvious everywhere, all the time. As Steve Krug puts it, “Don’t make me think”!
8. The users define the software, the software doesn’t define the users. Unless you have a style, don’t act as if you do.
9. Make your software for one person at a time. Imagine your fourth grade teacher sitting alone in the dark.
10. Where there is no solution there is no problem. At some point in every project, the company management loses faith in the product and the employees loses faith in the company management. Somehow it all works out.
If you are more interested in making movies, see the original at: Ed Zwick’s Golden Moviemaking Rules | MovieMaker Magazine.
This is an inspiring article about ways to determine and implement business strategy. Best of all it’s in the context of starting and running a software business – in this case Mike Cannon-Brookes’ Atlassian.
This is going in to my “don’t forget” collection, with
“6 reasons why a VC funded startup failed”
A very thought-provoking post analysing how one particular software startup company failed, and exploring things which might have helped prevent the failure. I’ll need to think more about this.