Shareware Beach

Sunday, 30 December 2007

Lifestyle Company

Filed under: Just Great Software,Shareware Industry — Jan @ 18:31

So how did I find out about the Paris Hilton article?

Earlier this month I received an email from an analyst at a major venture capital firm specializing in software companies, including developer tool companies. He mentioned the article as the way he learned about our company. Funny how stories travel the world and connect people.

Last November at the European Software Conference, there was a panel discussion about venture capital and other forms of financing. Generally, venture capitalists don’t invest in shareware or micro-ISV companies. I learned a new term that VCs apparently use for such companies: lifestyle companies. Here’s one definition I found:

A lifestyle company is one that supports a good living for you, but isn’t designed for an exit (i.e. selling to another company, IPO, etc.) Lifestyle companies are typically smaller, built around the expertise and skill set of the individual founder(s).

That sounds exactly like Just Great Software. But I’m intrigued by the word lifestyle. It means more than just making a good living. It means leading the life you want to lead. According to one dictionary:

A manner of living that reflects the person’s values and attitudes

When you work in a lifestyle company, quality of life, however you define it, comes above all else. In fact, you can’t really work for a lifestyle company. You are the company, whether that’s by yourself or with a group of people as a partnership.

It’s certainly possible for a lifestyle company to bring in a lot of money. In fact, if you do what you love, you’ll put your heart in it. Customers will notice and spread the word.

But as the business isn’t about the money, it’s hard for a VC to make a business case. For a VC, the exit strategy and associated payday is the primary concern. But when you’re enjoying life, an exit strategy is the least of your concerns.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Jump for it!

Filed under: General — Jan @ 18:08

Something for your to do list in 2008.

Jump for it

Tuesday, 25 December 2007

Christmas Photos

Filed under: Photography — Jan @ 20:45

December 25th is an ordinary working day in Thailand. Buddhism being the dominant (95%) religion, that’s no surprise. They make up for it by celebrating New Year three times a year. So you won’t see any Santa or tinsel tree in my pictures.

I spent much of the day taking random pictures in our back yard trying out some new techniques and equipment. In the early morning I practiced on the full moon. In the afternoon, a random shot of the sky came out surprisingly well. Maybe it’s Christmas after all!

Full moon peeking through a tree

Christmas shining through the clouds

Monday, 24 December 2007

Paris Hilton Loves RegexBuddy (and EditPad too!)

Filed under: Cyberspace,Just Great Software — Jan @ 16:06

At least, some guy who thinks he is a coding Paris Hilton does. Interestingly, out of the 15 tools he recommends, RegexBuddy and EditPad Pro are the only ones with a price tag (according to the article).

It always makes me happy when somebody likes my stuff well enough to confess to it in public. Not because of the extra sales it might bring. Those are usually minimal, as the exposure is very untargeted. I can trace only one RegexBuddy sale back to the Paris Hilton article. Joel Spolsky mentioning that he uses EditPad Pro resulted in three sales. And if anyone can claim to be the Paris Hilton of programmers, it’s Joel.

What makes me happy is that my work makes a difference in people’s lives. I came up with the name “Just Great Software” eight years ago because that’s what I wanted to focus on: making high quality software. I figured if I focused on making great products, which I love, I wouldn’t have to worry about too much about selling my stuff to make a nice living. And this has certainly proved to be true.

Normally I wouldn’t blog about somebody blogging about me. I’m not enough of a salesman to slap myself on the back in public. And I like my girls with a bit more dignity anyway.

What’s interesting about this article, to me, is not the article itself, but how I found out about it. But that’s a story for after Christmas.

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