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Programmer To Ceo: How to start your own software business
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Programmer To Ceo: How to start your own software business

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Learn how to take advantage of your programming skills and think about how to start your own software company. Slides introduce topics such as knowing when you're ready to make the move, different …

Learn how to take advantage of your programming skills and think about how to start your own software company. Slides introduce topics such as knowing when you're ready to make the move, different kinds of business models to consider, how to get your company funded, and much more.

Published in: Business, Technology

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  • 1. Programmer To CEO
    • How to Start Your Own Software Business
    • by Scott Hodson
    • [email_address]
  • 2. Who am I?
    • President, Ubero, Inc.
    • 15Years enterprise s/w experience
    • ISVs: Plaid, Starbase, loadtesting
    • Internet: Buy.com, Digital River (DRIV)
    • Consulting: Ubero, founded 2000
    • Community: OCJava, OCPatterns, OCRuby, CSUF and UCI
    • Pedigree: BS CS, BYU - MS ICS, UCI
    • Temporary millionaire
  • 3. Why are you here?
    • Scott is cool
    • Don’t like college football
    • Make more money
    • Have independence
    • Be “the decider”
    • Have the “CEO” title
  • 4. Who is this?
  • 5. And this?
  • 6. And this?
  • 7. And this?
  • 8. And this?
  • 9. And this?
  • 10. And this?
  • 11. And this?
  • 12. And this?
  • 13. And this?
  • 14. And this?
  • 15. And this?
  • 16. What is this?
  • 17. It’s this...
  • 18. Entrepreneur Patterns
    • Very smart
    • Macro vs. Micro
    • Energetic
    • Willing to take measured risks
    • Inspires others to join their cause
    • Leverages strength, outsource weaknesses
    • Focused, yet able to adapt
    • Idea vs. Execution
  • 19. Ready To Jump?
    • Have a plan - model, idea, mitigation
    • Business experience
    • Cash - poverty, 2nd mortgage, angel
    • People - experts, contacts
    • Customers - early adopters
    • Demo - code, specs, comps, part-time
    • The power of being in the game
    • Passion - sleep, youth, support
  • 20. Before you jump...
    • Good with people, networking
    • Understand business domain
    • Delegate, trust others
    • Work at least 12 hours a day
    • Love business
    • Prepared to fail, “fail fast” and fail often
    • Youth is your friend
  • 21. Business Models
    • ISV - shareware, micro ISV, OSS
    • Web – online community, SaaS
    • Consulting - services, custom, niche
    • VAR, integrator
    • Guru – author, blogger, speaker
    • Use software to be good at a non-software business
    • Hybrid
  • 22. I Have an Idea
    • Good
      • What sucks? ClassMates.com
      • What can be better?
      • What’s too expensive? Load testing s/w
      • What takes too much time?
    • Not as good
      • What has never been done?
      • What would my friends like to see?
    • “ You can’t build a business based on a feature”
  • 23. Competition
    • Mimic and improve - Gmail, Jobster, Flickr, Eventbrite
    • No “Missionary Selling”, competition is good
    • Don’t compete with your employer!
      • Recent CA non-compete judgment
    • Get to know them
  • 24. Cash
    • Prepare to be poor
    • Angels are heavenly
    • Don’t go on a shopping spree
      • Office, car, employees
    • Stick with what you need, be nimble
      • Laptop, phone, s/w tools
  • 25. Angel Investors
    • Friends, network, individuals
    • People and ideas
    • Beta, proof of concept
    • $100K - $1M, 1%-5%, passive, diverse
    • Lawyers, accountants, colleagues
    • No NDA
    • Tech Coast Angels
  • 26. Venture Capitalists
    • Good to have a contact
    • Board members, angels
    • An introduction, 15 second pitch
    • Executive summary
    • Much more thorough “due diligence”
    • Beta, paying customers, users
    • $1M-$100M, 20%-40% equity, board seat
  • 27. What VCs Want
    • Barriers to entry
      • Intellectual property
      • Switching costs
      • Exclusive partnerships
    • Scale
    • Management team
    • Exit strategy – 10x
    • Business plan
    • Customers, cash flow
    • Offshore, OSS
  • 28. What VCs Give You
    • A marriage
    • Customers, partners, “keiretsu”
    • Money
      • that you have to spend
      • for owners pockets
    • Headaches
      • ditch the founders
      • force you onto other portfolio companies
      • string you along, “show me the money”
  • 29. Don’t Screw Around
    • Get a lawyer
    • Get an accountant
    • Get insurance
    • Get business license
    • Incorporate
    • File your paperwork, taxes
    • Separate business and personal expenses
    • Get things in writing
    • Prepare for the worse
  • 30. Selling Your Wares
    • Community of Users - forums, wikis
    • Free Version, upgrade to “pro”
    • Open source
      • As a marketing strategy
      • Provide value in support
    • Support extensions, APIs
    • Turn customers into developers
    • Downloadable - eSellerate, DigiBuy, RegNow, ShareIt, App Store
  • 31. Launching an Online Business
    • Coming soon mailing list – “closed beta”
    • PR, News wires
    • Google Ads
    • Forums, groups, blogs, mailing lists
    • Live and breathe Web 2.0
    • Encourage referrals, giveaways
    • Direct marketing - buy lists
    • Free trial
    • Web, desktop, mobile
  • 32. Consulting
    • Breadth is king
    • Deliver solutions, not code
    • You’re easy to fire and blame
    • Make fame – write, speak, teach, cast, meet
    • Reasons people hire consultants
      • The side project
      • The next version
      • Lack of in-house expertise on newer platforms
      • Clean up the mess, behind schedule
      • No benefits, no strings attached
      • Wall St. likes it, accounting trickery
  • 33. Hiring/Staffing
    • Test your programmers
    • Spoil employees with what matters to them
      • Coders – gear, chair, LAN parties
      • Marketing – awards, golf, recognition
    • Offshoring
      • Seek a high-bandwidth relationship
      • Manage mediocrity
      • Elance, oDesk, find referrals
  • 34. My Favorite Magazines
    • Wired
    • Business 2.0
    • Fortune
    • Business Week
    • Harvard Business Review
  • 35. Web Resources
    • http://freelanceswitch.com/
    • http ://www.softwareceo.com
    • http://www.empowerforisv.com
    • http ://www.venturebeat.com
  • 36. Q&A
  • 37. Thanks
    • Scott Hodson [email_address] 949/709-4496