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Re: Building a Perl based business

by robharper (Pilgrim)
on Feb 02, 2006 at 15:42 UTC ( #527354=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Building a Perl based business

I always feel employed/consulting is not a scalable business proposition.

You're right to a large extent, but this touches on something that I always wonder about: why is the (western) world so obsessed with growth and scaling? Everyone seems to be looking for "fire & forget" businesses that they can set up then sit back while the product yields money. It's probably just the way I am wired, but I would rather earn my money by providing a service and get the benefits of becoming more efficient at that service, rather than selling "product".

Sorry, I'm probably off-topic here, and I'm certainly not answering your question, but I needed to get that off my chest.

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Re^2: Building a Perl based business
by samizdat (Vicar) on Feb 02, 2006 at 16:39 UTC
    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.

    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

    Don Wilde
    "There's more than one level to any answer."
Re^2: Building a Perl based business
by arc_of_descent (Hermit) on Feb 02, 2006 at 20:27 UTC

    I like to think of this as I'm in this s**t for life. Build a service, build a product based out of a service, fine tune my services to sell my product better. And so on! (Horrible example, please excuse)


      Probably the years of selling software as a product are gone. Actualy, few have really made money with that. Most in the last 40 years lived selling services and administrating legacy systems.

      Even Microsoft Iīm sure they are concerned about how to sell Windows as a service, not as a product (they are developing a MSOffice version to be sold as service already, OpenOffice/Google is going this way too). Oracle database is gone, Pg/MySQL is out there, thats why they are buying companies that sell more services than software, like ERP ones, Peopleware, and developing service based applications. Think of Google: does they seel anything at all?

      Source-code seeing or decompile and pirates are problem for everybody. And even if they were not, by the time you release a new version of something you have been developing for years, there are plenty os competitors in the same niche.

      Companies like Basecamp, Google, Yahoo and many other Web 2.0 enabled simply donīt care about the language - and so donīt the user. In all the companies, the software is only the way to guve the final user the real revenue - information faster and better, collaboration, etc.

      Diego de Lima
        "Source-code seeing or decompile and pirates are problem for everybody. And even if they were not, by the time you release a new version of something you have been developing for years, there are plenty os competitors in the same niche."

        Well, good thing using Perl then :) No waste of time doing all hard work. Just do you're idea, and not control every damn byte like you have to do with C/C++...

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