I think we're all concerned with mortality, robharper. Not just our own, but the continued applicability of our skillsets. Perhaps we do concentrate too much on 'fire and forget', but in the cold, cruel, "real" world, nothing is ever f&f, so building with that as a goal at least gives you a chance.
in reply to Re: Building a Perl based business
in thread Building a Perl based business
I'll leave you with a thought to mull over: by the time you're fifty, like I'll be in three months, just about everything (technical) that you've learned, except the wisdom you've gained the hard way, will be completely obsolete, and change will be happening at such a pace that keeping your skill sets applicable will be daunting. If you _haven't_ got something that provides a sustaining chunk of money by that time, you're going to be in big trouble. In rare cases, like Y2K or COBOL consulting, you can make tasty gravy with no-longer-current skills, but those are rare cases.
OTOH, business skills are a sustainable skillset with continuing market value. Whether you use them for your own profit, or use them in service to a larger organization, they're a lot more transportable than programming or engineering skills. In my own company, the bills are paid by products we've already built as we work on next year's. In my day job, it's mostly my team leadership that makes a difference. In both cases, skill in leveraging other people is the key to success, far more than the elegant web apps I personally create.
I personally would like to retire in a few more years, long before I'm 65. 401K's aside, having a business with enough sustained revenue and growth to sell is really the only way to do that. I may be too old by that time to really push the Ferrari I'm going to buy, but I sure as heck am going to enjoy it. :D
"There's more than one level to any answer."