opinions and rants on software and...things
April 22, 2008
Legitimate Spring weather has finally arrived in New England, seemingly to stay. The Red Sox have the best record in the AL; the Celtics look like they are poised to cruise through the Eastern conference, and the Bruins made a good show of it.
What's not to like?
Oh yeah, and I've been thinking recently about how being a software entrepreneur today is so much more interesting and fun and full of possibilities than it ever has been before, at least in my experience. Why? Because the barrier to entry is so low. It was once the case that creating and selling an application required investment in compilers, distributable media, advertising, hosting, staffing, office space...a seemingly endless list of overhead-hangover-inducing rigmarole.
Today, I can create a revenue-generating application with nothing more than a laptop and a good idea. There are excellent development tools that are free (NetBeans, Komodo Edit, Aptana, Eclipse, Visual Studio Express), hosting providers that are free or so cheap that they don't hurt (Google AppEngine, Amazon's EC2), powerful frameworks that speed development (too many to list, but Ruby on Rails and Django spring to mind for web applications and .NET/Mono for web and desktop) that are free. There are free operating systems, and even free network access (at least some places, like the fabulous Boston Public Library).
I don't have to pay for any kind of company information infrastructure; Google Apps for Domains provides free email and calender hosting, a word processor, spreadsheets and presentation builder all with built-in collaboration tools. I don't have to pay for a sales and marketing staff (AdWords) or worry about a complex revenue model or collections (AdSense).
Of course, I am only writing here about the tools/frameworks/applications that I have directly used at one time or another. I'm sure that there are dozens or even hundred of other cost-saving/eliminating techniques and approaches being used by other like-minded developers. It all adds-up to there being no excuses not to try out your ideas, to form sudden companies and get to market immediately.