Yesterday was an administration day at infovark. I spent the whole day not writing code.
When you start your own software company, you suddenly discover the amount of time you can spend on things other than making software. Before Gordon and I made the leap, we created a high-level schedule to take us to our first release. If you count effort expended against the plan, we’re tracking well. If you measure by milestone dates, we’re far behind. And it’s all due to things other than writing code.
We drastically underestimated the amount of time taken up by finance, legal, marketing, administration and human resources. It’s an understandable mistake. At our previous jobs, we had people to look after these things for us. Now we’re in charge of them as well as heading up our R&D efforts.
For other software entrepreneurs, here’s a short list of things that aren’t code:
All of these things are important, of course. You wouldn’t have a company without them. Yet the developer in you desperately wants to be left alone to “get some work done.” It requires an attitude adjustment. As an ISV, it’s all part of your work now.
Before we officially launched infovark, Gordon and I read Eric Sink on the Business of Software. It’s required reading for all developers working in an ISV or thinking about starting one. You can also check out his blog. It’s a great place to start learning about all those important things that aren’t code.
And now back to the fun stuff.