So I now have a business name: BSharp Technology Pty Ltd. (ACN: 627 016 317) I must say it’s been quite an exercise in frustration just getting a name. Because I’m concentrating on a technology company, it was essential to find an available domain name to go with the business name. It was easy enough to think of a name available to register with ASIC, but then I found the domain name wasn’t available. Even now there are derivatives of bsharp out there that could potentially mess with my brand, but I’m not too concerned about that yet, and it’s probably more important to keep moving forward for now. I figure that as I create products and services that will require different names that more align with their offering and these could be trademarked.
I will slowly build this out with content and features as my business evolves.
So about 1 month ago I took a redundancy at my workplace of 17.5 years and instead of heading straight into another similar position with similar pay and similar problems to solve, I’ve made the conscious decision to establish my own business. A few years ago I finished studying for my MBA and I’ve been itching to take it for a spin. What better way to utilise everything I learnt by building a business from scratch.
So….I’m going to devote this blog to write about my experiences as I head out into the unknown and the problems/issues I face. Maybe it will be of some help to people and encourage others to take the plunge – assuming I’m successful (of course I will be – no room for negative thinking now!)
I have a firm belief that nobody has any business running a software team (or entire company) unless they can get down and dirty with their team and write real production code. This was a source of frustration in my previous employment where directors, general managers, CIO’s or even CEO’s would be making decisions and leading large software development houses, but they had little or, no experience in actual coding. They talked about DevOps (or DevOpsSec), AGILE, extreme programming (XP), Continous Delivery, Continous Integration, Automated testing and every other buzz term or phrase you can think of, but I always had strong feeling that many of them have never even written a ‘Hello World’ program or maybe that’s the extent of their coding skills. By the way, all those things I mentioned are essential, but I always prided myself on the fact that even though I was a manager that I could genuinely code something when the need arose. It helped me bring a sense of legitimacy to my leadership role and made me a more authentic manager to my team. I could empathise with their struggles to solve complex issues, as I would have past experience doing the same thing.
However, that doesn’t mean I don’t have my own software cobwebs and just like any well-oiled engine if you don’t use your skills, over time you get rusty. So over the past six weeks, I’ve been oiling my coding engine and getting it back into shape. I’ve done little else, as I believe the foundation of a truly world-class software company will start with a founder with strong coding acumen. I’m also going to make it company policy that everybody from the cleaners to the CEO to the CFO has some experience coding and actively keeps their coding skills current. I want to keep managers and leaders in particular in touch with the code that will become the foundation of the company. Not to just know about coding, but to actually actively code.
Some of you maybe be thinking to yourself at this point in time – ‘holy crap, he is talking about me’. If so, I suggest you check out Codecademy as your first step. They have some great interactive courses for free and some (not free) intensives to help build further more advanced skills. I’ve recently completed the Front-end Web applications and Web API’s intensives and they were a valuable learning experience.
I finished my 2nd Node.js React Web App today (well yesterday seeming it’s 12:43am!). This is an assignment completed through the codecademy Web Front-End course and the app connects to your Spotify account to enable you to search for songs and create a new playlist. You can also play a preview of the song. You will have to connect your Spotify account (assuming you have one) for it to work though.
I’ve used surge to publish it here temporarily –> http://jamming-grill.surge.sh/
I’m a big fan of SpaceX, and one of Elon Musk’s key strategy is to make rockets reusable. It doesn’t make sense to throw an entire rocket in the bin everytime you use it and start all over again. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to realise that this is an expensive way to do business!
I’m thinking upon the same lines for developing software. Reusability of software components, rather than re-writing them each and every time is key to driving down business costs and bringing about speed to market for delivery. Incremental improvements can be made to components over time.
This is not a new concept and in my previous experience, there was a huge push to break down big monolithic systems thinking into more service-oriented architectures. This involves building out more microservices and programmable interfaces that are not tightly coupled to one another. Building this kind of architecture enables business changes to be made to one component without a tremendous flow on effect to all the other parts. Services can be reused over and over again for multiple different business applications, and small incremental and frequent changes rule in these architectures.
And naturally logic would dictate that it would be cheaper to develop these systems rather than continually “reinventing the wheel” (so to speak).
Now I have a biased towards software development, but I think this same concept could be used in many more contexts by different kinds of businesses. What do you think?
I went for a test drive in a Tesla Model S in Sydney on Thursday last. This was the high-performance version (P100D) which can go from 0km to 100km is 2.7 seconds. I got the opportunity to try that and I must say I have never felt such acceleration in my life.
This car really took off. I’m finding it quite difficult to explain the sensation, other than thinking about a rollercoaster – you know the type where you leave your stomach somewhere at the top of the ride.
When you hit the accelerator there is literally no delay in the car response. Not like a traditionally motor where you are waiting for a compressed explosion to occur to drive pistons to make the car move forward and no gear changing either. Just raw electric power straight to the electric engines.
I’m considering putting my name down for a Tesla Model 3 which is still probably a couple of years away arriving in Australia.