My name is Anne Gunn. I live in and work from Sheridan, Wyoming (USA) where I am the founder of a very small software company, a ‘microISV’. ’Independent Software Vendors’, ISVs, are pretty well defined as being all the software companies that are a) not part of a hardware company or b) whose names you’ve never heard, i.e. not Microsoft, Google, Oracle, etc. A microISV is a software company with 1-5 employees.
We published our first phone apps in the fall of 2010. Since then we’ve been making a lot of progress on learning about phone app technology and the phone app market. We’ve got product, in fact lots of products! ”We” is now a company with three current employees and a few alumni, including three interns, and one outside developer who built a product “on shares.” We’ve tried a lot of different products and directions, some of which have worked well and others not so much. And we think we have a company direction that will, in the next 12 months lead to sustainable profitability for the app part of our business. (Briefly: create a series of very targeted phone apps based on a narrow set of features and techniques that we can completely master and then package and sell as a variety of B2C and B2B products: some phone apps, some web apps, some published by us, some private-labelled for others.)
I’ve always been a bit leery of blogging. Like the company newsletter of old, it is a hard discipline to keep up. And very few people do a great job of it. But there are a few notable software authors, most notably Peldi of Balsamiq and Patrick McKenzie of Bingo Card Creator use blogging in almost the same way that a great CEO can make use of a Board of Directors — as a sounding board, as a source of ideas and referrals, and to hold himself accountable for goals and standards he sets.
I’m not working nearly as alone, now, as I was when I first started my company. But setting the direction and making the choices for any operation — even a small one — is by definition a lonely task. And I find that keeping up my spirits and momentum, making the targets we are working toward seem real and even vaguely possible, is a huge part of the battle. And blogging helps me do that, so I’ll keep at it for a while.
Whether I write anything that anyone, other than a few friends and colleagues, ever reads or is interested in is not necessarily the point. The point here is to articulate ideas, lay out strategy, set goals, report on progress, or the lack of it, learn from failures and, I hope, celebrate a success now and again.
But if you DO read my posts and they speak to you at all, please leave a comment. Feel free to agree and cheer but also feel free to tell me when you think I’m off-base, misguided, bull-headed, or just plain wrong.