Robert Scoble teaches us about the blogsphere, Joel Spolsky teaches us about software, Eric Sink teaches us about running an already-established small company and Rick Chapman teaches us about marketing. But what about everything else?
This site provides well-written, hopefully amusing and, most importantly, informative essays to discuss how a solitary software engineer with a regular job, a family, no friends and no business contacts can start his own shrinkwrap software company.
Who are you?
I'm Dan Howard.
I'm a software engineer, working in Silicon Valley. Even though I have worked here 10 years, I do not know any venture capitalists. Nor do I have any important business contacts; I do not have Jim Clark or even Jim Clark's dog on speed-dial. I never worked for Microsoft or, really, any company that would give you instant admiration for me. I have worked for a few startups, one made others rich but not me, and one withered away. I have worked for some big companies, too: one with about 500 people and a couple with over 10,000 people.
You see, in business, I'm a baby. I'm hoping that you'll see my lack of qualifications as the perfect qualification to write about starting a software company from scratch. After all, it'd hardly be fair for me to write about starting a company, as if anybody could do it, only later to reveal that I was buddies with John Doerr or something.
What else about the site?
I've been heavily influenced by the major writers and bloggers, especially Joel Spolsky. This site is a tribute to the trail that they've blazed and I'm sure to link to them often. So, while at times you are sure to see and hear echoes of their voices in this site, it's because I read those guys all the time and can't help but be influenced by their great work.
In time, this site aims to figure out and provide a way for any software engineer to start his own shrinkwrap software company. And, when I say, "figure out", I say that because I'm still figuring it out. I fully expect that I'll contradict myself on occasion and that I'll change my mind about things as I go along. That's why I have a link at the bottom of each article to e-mail me, including this one, so you can tell me your ideas and tell me when I'm wrong.
Since this site is written for software engineers, I'll stray into actual source code from time to time. I'd also like to write an article or two on careers. So, while this site has a strong focus on providing what you need to create your own software company, that goal won't be a straitjacket. It will be a general destination with enough variety to keep things interesting.
E-mail Dan Howard about this article