How to Start a Software Company Wit ...User Manager: Some Design Ideas (13.2.2006, 11:58 UTC)
I promised to make the development of the next Ricebridge product, User Manager, more transparent. So here goes… User Manager is already in production. It's a fine-grained user access and permissions system. It handles arbitrary permissions for arbitrary business objects and is designed to be extensible. That's all well and good, but the actual implementation as it stands is pretty specific to the client who contracted the original work. And rightly so. ...
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Friday Fun: Daddy Won't Fund My Company! (3.2.2006, 12:20 UTC)
Venture capitalism starts young: bootstrapping for kids. Great story. (Need some rad skate stuff? Check out Ollie King.)
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Thanks James! (1.2.2006, 20:50 UTC)
Thanks James! I'm not sure that I'd be in the same league as some on that list, but I'd like to think I'm getting there! I started reading James Corbett's Eirepreneur blog way back when, before I even had a feed-reader. You know, when you still bookmarked blogs in your browser and checked them everyday. James, how do you manage to post so much good stuff? Glad you liked the last post about "no" versus "yes". It took me a long time to really learn that lesson, a...
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Stay Negative and Succeed (30.1.2006, 16:36 UTC)
When I started my business I never used to hear "no". Now I hear "no" all the time, and I’m much happier. As you get deeper into running your own business you change. You start to understand the business advice you read and discarded as mere platitudes. It’s not an easy transition and it’s not something you can "learn". It’s something that happens to you. That’s where I am with "no". If you’re not getting told to go away, if y...
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Friday Fun: Are You Ready? (27.1.2006, 20:46 UTC)
Corporate videos. Gotta love 'em. I have no idea what it's all about, but those guys rule! Definitive proof that IDEs rot your brain, by the way.
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...How to convert CSV into XML and XML into CSV using Java (26.1.2006, 16:19 UTC)
I've put up a new article on the Ricebridge site: How to convert CSV into XML and XML into CSV using Java. It does exactly what is says on the tin. I explain how to get XML Manager and CSV Manager working together to solve a common data-processing problem. Not the most exiting sort of thing I know, but it's just the sort of annoying job you'd like to have solved without too much coding. Oh, and the example code is free for commercial use. And did I mention that yo...
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...A Big Little Idea (23.1.2006, 14:30 UTC)
Send your customers a hand-written thank you note. It's as simple as that. I'm a regular reader of Duct Tape Marketing, and I think John Jantsch is really on the ball. If you run a business, go check him out. Nearly every post has a great idea in it. I got this idea from one of his recent posts: Hand-Written Notes Have Become A Power Tool. It's so obvious when you think about it — email is too easy. Handwriting is a lost art and takes far too much time. Henc...
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Dojo: Progress! (19.1.2006, 09:50 UTC)
The last time I posted about dojo we looked at creating a simple dojo widget. The final aim was to produce a web-oriented progress bar. Well, now it's finished. Head over to the demo page for XML Manager (my latest product) to try it out. It's a web progress bar because it adapts to the amount of time a server request is expected to take. Each little box takes a little bit longer than the last one, so that it can cover short wait periods just as well as long wait pe...
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Friday Fun: Math Nerdism (13.1.2006, 21:14 UTC)
WARNING: danger of mathematically-induced mind-body separation. The Number Spiral. No. Seriously. You keep reading because you want to know "why! why?"
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Tragic Typing (11.1.2006, 13:12 UTC)
Since starting this blog, I've realised that my abysmal typing is holding me back. I've come to think that you need to type well to write well. I just have to hit the delete key way to much. I'm fast, but I'm not accurate. I never really learned to type properly. As a programmer you never have to — too much auto-completion. And programmers have to type so many squigqly characters anyway it's hardly worth learning to type real text. I did try a few typing cou...
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Friday Fun: Song Tapper (6.1.2006, 14:51 UTC)
Got some stupid melody stuck in your head? Well go find out what the song is!
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Document Delight (4.1.2006, 13:11 UTC)
I've been following this blog called Creating Passionate Users for a while. It's by the people who write the "Head First" books. Now I've never actually read any of their books, but I did use the amazon preview to check them out. Wow. Wish I'd had textbooks like that in school. The books are amazing at presenting information. It's hard to explain, but the format and style of the presentation just plugs right into your brain. Anyway, I started following the blog an...
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Dojo: Learn By Doing (2.1.2006, 22:52 UTC)
Do you dojo? Dojo is the JavaScript toolkit that I'm going to use from now on. Why? Well I did a quick eval of most of the toolkits out there, and it made the best impression. I wasn't looking for database-oriented features. I was looking more for something to help me put together DHTML interfaces. The thing is, when you enter a new programming space you are faced with a real challenge to your time. You can't properly evaluate each option, because that means learnin...
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Friday Fun: Infinite Cats (23.12.2005, 16:35 UTC)
Yeah. So it had to happen. Cats. And you though this blog was cat free – hah!
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Duh! Advertise Your Own Products Dude! (22.12.2005, 20:55 UTC)
So my blog has this ad banner down the side, which may or may not annoy you, but hey, what's a blog without adwords these days? Anyway, it suddenly struck me that I was failing to advertise my own products on some prize real-estate. Like, Duh! So, forthwith, there shall ads for my products! Big shiny ones. Really big shiny ones. Right at the top. I am such a dumbass…
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Creating Wealth (21.12.2005, 22:15 UTC)
I have changed the price of our first product, CSV Manager from $97 to $47, for the entry level license. This was not an easy decision. No pricing decision ever is. CSV Manager was launched in September 04, so I do have a lot of data on sales at the $97 price point. Enough to generate a reasonable estimate of the value of the demand curve at that point. But it really is a black art. I have decided that the information obtained by changing the price is more valuabl...
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...To Tell, Or Not To Tell, That Is The Question (20.12.2005, 20:35 UTC)
One of the beta reviewers for our new product, XML Manager, asked me why I had not documented the development process on this blog. She suggested that it would be very interesting and useful for potential clients to see the development unfolding. Well, it is a valid point. In fact, Eric Sink has some good thoughts on this very question. On the plus side, you give your customers a clear idea of where you're going, they know what products are coming along downstream...
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...XML Manager Soft Launch (with freebies) (19.12.2005, 17:05 UTC)
Big news this Monday. Ricebridge Software has launched our second Java component: XML Manager. It turns your XML into a list of data records, ready for processing. Check out the demo (all AJAX-ified, if I do say so myself!). We're doing a soft launch on this as it's far to close to Christmas to get into a big launch scenario. But come the New Year we'll have lots of fun. This blog is supposed to be about starting a software company so you'll be hearing a lot more ...
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Friday Fun: Silly Skype (16.12.2005, 17:21 UTC)
Possibly the daftest thing you can do with Skype: WeeMee.
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...More Entries in the Edit Sidebar (15.12.2005, 22:20 UTC)
Roller shows a list of recent entries and recent drafts on the left sidebar of the weblog editor page. This is a really handy little feature and lets you access entries and drafts really quickly. The problem is that only 20 entries are shown as standard, and there's no setting to change this. Back to the code! So the sidebar template is in weblog/WeblogEditSidebar.jsp, surprisingly. A quick scan of the code reveals that the list of recent entries is predefined by th...
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Killer Conversations (14.12.2005, 21:36 UTC)
I may be a bit late to the game, but I won an MP3 player in a raffle recently. Hey, I'm cheap! Anyway, I finally got into this podcasting thing. If you're just getting into it as well, check out IT Conversations. They have all sorts of great techie stuff there. You wouldn't use your MP3 player for music now would you? Not when there's loads of nerd stuff out there. Well, actually, I'm listening to The Killers at the moment (you know, from the Champion Sports ad), an...
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Revenge of the Clampees (12.12.2005, 16:33 UTC)
So if you've read Gladwell's Tipping Point, you'll appreciate this one. I was taking my daughter down to the local outdoor playground on Sunday, and the car park was unusually full. As in, completely. People were even parking up on the grass, and in no-parking zones. Cars all over the place. "Feck!", says I. "Look, the Park!", says herself, with no room for excuses. Except, the local credit union car park, right next door, is empty. I'd say it's the great big ...
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Data Center Minutes (9.12.2005, 20:49 UTC)
Here's one for all you MBAs out there. I'm trying to work out the cost of a data center minute. Huh? What's that? OK. Imagine you have a mid-range web server in a data center. You pay an annual fee, maybe some more for bandwidth, and maybe even more for tech support. I am talking about dedicated hosting by the way, so maybe you bought the server, or you leased it. Anyway, each minute of uptime is something that you pay for. So how much does it cost? For any given ...
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Roller's Ugly Permalinks (8.12.2005, 20:39 UTC)
I'm using Roller 1.2 for this blog at the moment. Roller 2.0 is out, but I'm in the middle of a beta-testing a new product so I'm not going to risk upgrading for a few weeks yet, in case I end up yak shaving. I'm pretty happy with Roller. It's a great piece of code and it's been really easy to customise. I run it because I was already running tomcat, and it's just easier to keep everything Java focused if you can. (more on that later - there's a big deficiency in th...
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Apologies to Subscribers (7.12.2005, 10:52 UTC)
Hi. You may have noticed that all my posts have replicated themselves. I changed the permalink code to a nicer format, forgetting that this would mess up all the feeds. Sorry about that.
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Rant: The Evils of Indentation (FREE STUFF If You Prove Me Wrong!) (6.12.2005, 16:07 UTC)
Do you indent your code for good or evil? Of all the horrors that afflict the pilgrim programmer, evil indentation is the most horrific. The horrifying lack thereof, the horrifying use of tabs, the horrifying concoction of tabs and spaces, the ... well, read on fellow coder, and face the horror yourself! But first, ask yourself one question: why do we indent? why do we bother? What is it in our very nature that makes indentation the first principal of coding? Sour...
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Interview for Entrepreneur Focus Book (4.12.2005, 23:00 UTC)
I just got my copy of Entrepreneur Focus, a new book on starting-up companies by Eric Locken. He asked me to do an interview for the book about my experiences starting Ricebridge, so with an ego the size of a planet, how could I refuse? Here's a transcript of the interview. There are a load of other great stories in the book. Go check it out if you're into startup tales.
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Friday Fun: Make Life! (2.12.2005, 16:20 UTC)
It will kill your CPU, but here's the classic Game of Life, ... in JavaScript! It is possible, Your Honour!
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How to Start a Software Company Wit ...Emacs Autocomplete Bliss (1.12.2005, 17:56 UTC)
You known that IntelliSense rots your brain, right? Well if you use Emacs, now you too can rot your brain, only better (everything is always better with Emacs). This is the most treasured snippet from my .emacs file. All it does is store every word in all open files and when you hit tab, it autocompletes based on the text before the cursor. Sure, it doesn't show you the list of possible candidates, but all you ever need is a few tabs and you'll find what you want. ...
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