CodeSnipers has up a list of 14 lessons learned in 2005 for starting and running a micro ISV. I’m still a bit new to the micro ISV side of my business, but I did learn a few things over the second half of the year:
- Time is your most precious and valuable resource. Money is important, but you can always make more. Once time is gone, it’s gone for ever.
- If you can afford it, take your business full-time. It is very hard to work full-time and then go home exhausted and try to make a business work. I was never as productive as the two months I took off from full-time consulting late last year.
- Keep an idea journal. Ideas can be fleeting, keep a notebook around to jot them down before they escape in to the aether.
- Stay focused on your project. As Ian Landsman mentioned, It’s very easy to get side tracked with pet projects, changing your website template, and adding the latest plugin to your blog. The way I handle this is by jotting these ideas and projects in my journal. This usually satisfies my creative urges and allows me to get back to work.
- Get version 1.0 out as fast as you can. It doesn’t need to be perfect, that’s what version 1.x and 2.x are for. The first version will give you an idea of how good your product idea is. Is it worth making perfect? Is it worth committing your working life to? You won’t know this until you get the first version out and infront of your customers.
- Stop waiting for the “right time” to start your business. There will never be a right time. Something always comes up, life always has its obstacles to throw in front of you. Start your business today.
- Have fun! That’s why you are doing this. If it was just to make money, it’s easier to just go work for the man. Having fun also has the benefit of helping to fight off burnout.
What lessons have you learned in 2005? I’d love to hear about them.