Second, Apple got caught up in concerns over a potential security issue that stems from an optimization in many processors from as far back asincluding those designed by Intel and AUP. In this issue we celebrate 20 years since the iMac was unveiled to the world, and our feature tells the story of the Bondi blue beauty and its successors.
Its a challenging business leap to go from getting paid lump sums now to building something essentially on spec and hoping for a payout later.
It becomes extremely difficult to sacrifice billable hours in the short term with hopes for it performing well in the future. Its rare to be in it for the long haul, improving on different iterations and monitoring performance. This is a big mental gap when building a product - its not just a single launch and done like a client project.
Its a long term process nurturing and iterating until the product is successful. We consultants just don't have enough experience in this, and have become pretty hardwired to projects being "done" and instant payouts at launch time. Personally, I've struggled with this a lot in the past and am still learning how to break free of this "one and done" mentality.
So basically thats why consultants who make successful products are an exceptional and special breed. You have one or a couple clients, and you only have to satisfy them to get paid. You can work during the day, relax at night, take vacations, and generally let work come to you, since there is massive demand beyond supply for your services.
A startup is your whole life.
Your job isn't just to satisfy a couple focused business people, but generally thousands or millions of fickle consumers. There is a high probability you won't ever be paid for your work, and if you are paid, it is often way more than you actually need.
I've been at this crossroads for a a while now, and as a local startup guy in the area has posited, "consulting is like crack". Additionally, just because you've got an idea about what people are willing to pay for because you've done consulting for some clients, doesn't mean that you can easily.
Much of what you've learned working for, say, 3 clients, may need to be validated with a larger group. The few clients you worked with may have extremely focused needs, and what you've built for them has limited value outside of those handful of orgs. You can often whiteroom something, but again, is it worth it?
In my case, I've not yet found an idea that I'm really passionate about pursuing as a full-time venture. Until that time comes, I consult and do things like indieconf. It takes a fulltime effort.
Otherwise its just a small business. Most software devs get paid quite a bit to consult, so they'd be taking a huge pay cut. A lot of people don't like that risk. To make any significant amount of money from them is even harder, which makes those dev contracts look so much easier and accessible.
It also needs to understand the local database configuration, the cluster queuing system, the shared filesystem, and other customer-specific configurations. I have a framework for this project. It takes about a week to write. The other year of work I did for one client were the modules and components to fit their internal requirements.
Overall, only a relatively small amount of that development could be shared with another client. I thought about spinning that part off as a product.
I haven't been able to make a viable business plan out of it. The type of people who could build their own components for my framework is the same as the one who could build the framework in the first place - and indeed, other companies have in-house frameworks for the same thing.
And while I think mine is better, it's biased towards Python but this sort of software tends to be written by IT staff more interested in C or Java. Also, I like working close to the end-users, with frequent iterations to get what they want.
Selling software I work in chemistry, where it's hard to develop web-based apps due to the proprietary nature of the end-user's chemical structures is one step removed from the users, so I don't have the same feeling of connection.
With a startup or product development, you spend a lot more effort to develop a product before knowing that you'll make profit. You just need to build something for someone with money that they think will be profitable. I don't know how many stupid products I've built that I don't personally find to be profitable.
It's easy to find many products that are wanted by only one person. Therefore, consulting is easy.
Building a startup is about finding one product that many people want, which is much more difficult. Consulting or even full-time employment is debatably a more economically rational choice.
Thankfully, people are not rational economic actors so there's a healthy ecosystem where talented hackers are basically free to work on whatever they like.It's a digital simulation of something that works fine with pen and paper, so on the iPad we get the drawbacks of the real thing, plus the limitations of the iPad.
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