A Go Programming Notebook

Don't Let the Development Department Run Your One Man Company

Over the last few days I revisited the code for my project, RelaySafe Secure Email, after taking some detours into:

  • Learning MongoDB and working on the beginnings of a different site and…

  • Starting a Ruby on Rails User Group in Folsom, and within a week…

  • Wondering if I’ll have the perseverance to continue with the Ruby on Rails User Group in Folsom and…

  • Registering for a CollabFinder account and fielding “job offers” from folks who apparently don’t understand that the word “job” implies some sort of remuneration, and…

  • Going off in another direction, in Spanish.

Along the way I also read an article by a developer who worked on an open source project I worked on.  The article was about being a developer and foundering in a start-up, and it sounded all too familiar to me.  I too know what it’s like to have one idea, work on it for awhile, hit a roadblock of some kind, and then instead of finding away around or through, ending up on a different road entirely.

This is what happens when developers are in charge.

Salesmen are Your Friends

I was in sales for awhile.  I’m not sure I was ever really good at it, but it did give me a better understanding of  how sales people look at the world.

When I was in sales I wrote some web sites to help me, which from a software perspective were complete hacks, yet which were successful from a sales perspective.

Sales is a different world.  As Dan Akroyd’s character, Ray, said famously in Ghostbusters, “I’ve worked in the private sector.  They expect results.”

As a developer, I look at my silly pre-alpha app and wonder, “I wonder if this other thing over there would be more fun to work on?”

As a salesman, I know that “this thing over there” that might be more fun to work on is both less finished and more difficult than my original app.

Salesman are those guys in your company who are always asking “when will it be ready?”, as though the development work were easy, and as though you really could predict the finish date with absolute accuracy.

I’m going to let me inner salesman run the company for a few weeks.  It won’t be much fun listening to that bozo, but the app will move forward, and it may become something I can sell.