Will we eat the red one and go for a ride, or the blue one and forget we had the chance? Read more...
There is an element which binds many independent web development and software companies together. For those of us who never took venture capital or angel investment, that binding element is the reality of working for clients in favour of developing internal ideas.
Two fears consume us: The fear of a lifetime of client work, and the fear of meeting basic human needs (food, shelter, clothing). But two forces move us forward: the passion to create, and the hunger to survive. The goal of the independent software shop is to design excellent solutions to specific problems of interest. Unfortunately, when you focus on client work, the domain is pre-determined, and clients hold the purse-strings.
Red Pill Blue Pill
Yesterday we gave notice to our masthead client that it's time for us to move on. This client represented about 80-90 percent of our income. It wasn't personal, it was about the software. Everyone in our industry knows what that means. After some careful thought and a few lengthy conversations, we decided we cannot afford to wait any longer.
As Barack Obama said on the day he declared his bid for the Presidency,
"I recognize there is a certain presumptuousness - a certain audacity - to this announcement. I know I haven't spent a lot of time learning the ways of Washington. But I've been there long enough to know that the ways of Washington must change."
We cannot afford to wait any longer: It's time to create the software we became developers to make.
Easy Now Coach
Let's relax with a few good questions:
Are You Crazy? Yes. Crazy like a FOX.
Are you scared? Yes, but not for the reason you might think. I'm scared of what Cameron's going to say when Justin and I move in live off of tuna fish, top-raman and tap-water.
Are you taking any more client work Mr. Desperado? Maybe, if we have to. But only if it smells right. And only if it meets but does not exceed our minimum monthly operating expenses. We're very good at keeping our operating expenses low.
Do you need our help? Yes. We will definitely need everyone's help making sure we can devote time to producing amazing software. I've already asked the community to help me out with a survey we're doing, and we will ask again. In return, we will do our part to support everyone around us. Read about it here and here.
Here's another promise I can keep: If we ask for your help, we won't waste your time.