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Hiring for a Single Founder Company

Hiring your first employee is hard. In a single founder company, the job is even harder because there are many complex issues that you need to juggle simultaneously, some of which aren't remotely related to evaluation of the person you're trying to hire. In this article, we're going to completely ignore how to evaluate a developers' technical abilities and focus on the business problems that are associated with hiring and some mistakes that you need to avoid.

The Widescreen Laptop Conspiracy

I don't think many people have noticed this yet, so hopefully this will get some attention. About 6 weeks ago, I started looking for a new laptop and one of the things I was not willing to compromise on was a UXGA screen. You know, the nice ones that support 1600x1200 resolution. In looking around, I found out that laptop makers are no longer offering them. Worse yet, nobody has noticed!

The Lifestyle Entrepreneur

In the past, I've watched as corporate projects stretched for days, weeks, or even months in just the design phases while people decided what they wanted to do. Meanwhile, I sat idly twiddling my thumbs waiting for someone to make a decision so I could get some work done. It goes without saying that the ability to make a decision and just run with it is also what drives me as a Lifestyle Entrepreneur.

Goals for 2007

Just before last year, I set forth my Goals for 2006. I haven't yet formally done that for 2007, but I'm only about a month late so lets get to it. I think we need to start off by taking a look back at the goals for 2006 and see how I did.

How to get any job you want

"Peter, most people don't like their jobs. But you go out there and try to find something that makes you happy." - Joanne, from the movie Office Space

For Love Or Money

People have a tendency to work extremely hard at the things they love, regardless of the pay. Great pay helps, but it also prolongs the inevitable if you're just in it for the money.

The Single Founder Myth

My previous article, Startup Myths Debunked, seemed to attract quite a bit of attention in the developer community. In particular, people who left comments seemed to agree with "Myth#3: I need a partner". Paul Graham who is one of the more influential voices in the startup community recently wrote an article titled "The 18 Mistakes That Kill Startups" and apparently thinks otherwise. Weighing in at mistake #1 on his list is "Single Founder".

How to avoid losing $40,000

The lifeblood of a consulting business consists of the relationships that you build with your clients.You must care for them as if they were plants. Water them liberally, prune them as needed, and treat them as best you can. Sometimes this isn't enough. Treating a client well in no way guarantees that they will reciprocate. Most clients do, but there are a few who have an alternate agenda, which isn't typically seen until it's too late. So what can happen you ask? I present you with thi

How to bootstrap a consulting business

In my previous article, I received a question in response to "Myth #1: I need to get VC funding to make my company successful." I was asked to explain what it really takes to get a consulting company off the ground. How much money does it take to start a consulting company? How much constitutes a "little bit of money"? This is a great question, so let's start at the beginning.

Startups for the rest of us

Like thousands of other software developers, I have read the majority of Paul Graham's blog both past and present. He's a fantastic writer. He has great insights into software startups and building a startup software company. I even went to one of the Startup School presentations that he helped organize at Harvard last October, and you know what? I was sorely disappointed.

Software Startup Myths Debunked

When it comes to software startups, it seems there are a lot of common misconceptions floating around. I've sat idly by and watched as these misconceptions are repeated as fact time and time again. I'd like to take a few minutes to dispel the top five myths of software startups.

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Code Writing Code

As a one person startup company (soon to be expanding! woohoo!), it's really hard to do everything, so any edge that you can find to get more done in less time is a welcome addition. This includes everything from outsourcing, automation, and yes, code generation.

How to focus on quality

Focus on Quality. It sounds innocent enough. Just make sure you do everything perfectly, or at least as perfectly as you are able. If only it were as simple as that.

Quality is not a feature

If you make a conscious effort to focus on the quality of your software, you will probably see less of an immediate impact on your sales than if you implemented new features. I would venture so far as to say that I am sure of that. Quality doesn't happen overnight. It takes a lot of time, effort, and a commitment to quality. In time, assuming you had a decent product that was desired in the market to begin with, those efforts will likely pay off tenfold.

The Gatekeeper

Even on development teams which rely extremely heavily on databases, it has been my experience that there are perhaps only a small percentage of people on the team who truly know how to use a database effectively. Most developers view a database as an overglorified list of objects for which exists solely so they don't need to worry about important details like saving the data or maintaining it between application starts. This is not only inherently wrong, but it's a dangerous line of thought.

Joel on Software readers up in arms - A view from the other side of the fence

I think I'll start off with one very important piece of information, because some people have obviously got the wrong idea and like a disease from a bad zombie movie, they're spreading it. "For the record, I don't have, nor have I ever had access to FogBugz source code."

Strategy Letter #1: How to Grow Fast

Tom Hanks played a little boy in the movie 'Big' who simply wished to be big and woke up the next morning bigger than he had imagined. Of course, that was only a movie and no matter what the storybooks say, you can't grow big overnight whether it's you personally or your business... or can you?

Milestones First Advertising Campaign

If you feel like you're in complete control during the entire product launch, then chances are that you could be wildly more successful and you aren't being aggressive enough. Don't mistake this as an invitation to throw caution to the wind. Personally, I think it's a very bad idea to take an initial product launch and try hyping it to everyone on the planet at the same time because version 1.0 generally sucks. What will happen is that you tell everyone about your product, it ends up posted on s

Setting Goals for 2006

The past week and a half, I've had a chance to reflect a bit on what's gone right this year, and what hasn't. Most people do this at this time of year because they have all decided that after feasting like a pig at various celebrations, they need to lose some weight. Others decide to try and kick bad habits that will simply come back in 4 weeks to haunt them like a mortgage payment. ("Hello there.... PAY ME!") I decided to put this time of reflection to good use and made a schedule that I'd l

Milestones version 1.0.0 Postmortem

Well, it was a long hard road, but Moon River Milestones is finally out the door. It's less than a week after the launch, and while I accomplished a huge amount of work, there's still a lot left to do. I use Milestones mainly for my own project management, both in the business, in my personal life, and while doing project estimates. It's really nice to use it for everything to help keep me organized. On the other hand, it's a bit disheartening to see how much work there is left to do. For exa



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