Cut out dead wood

Torsten Uhlmann

Tue, 25 Mar 2008

Photo by Torsten Uhlmann

I realize I haven’t written anything about myself for a while. I apologize. Times where (and still are) very turbulent for me during those days. By the end of December I laid off my last employee which basically means I’m working alone now. I finally realized that I was trying to keep something alive that wouldn’t survive naturally. The problem was that I was trying to establish a market for us in more than one different domains of expertise at the same time. See, I am a software developer. That’s what I do and what I love. I do this for over a decade now. I’m inclined to say that I know a fair amount about this software segment (java in particular) I’m working in. On the other hand my employee was hired to develop our website which he did well. He is also quiet good with computer hardware and graphics design. So I was hoping to enter into these markets (web design and hardware) as well. Hmm. Now, it’s not only hard to play in a market you know nothing about, it’s actually quiet impossible. There are different rules in web design, different customer types, different approaches to customers. I knew nothing about. But anyway I was trying hard to preserve that place of work for him- until I finally realized that it’s draining all my energy! My plan was to safe money from my consulting work with customers so that I could later spent time developing my own products. But instead I spent money and- much worse- a lot of time trying to establish a market where I don’t belong to. I would like to give you dear reader, this advice: don’t employ someone just because it’s a friend and you want to help! If that person would detour you from your business vision don’t go that way! It won’t help him much and it will burden your relationship. It’s hard to believe how many mistakes one can make :) But I’m very thankful that they just cost time and money and not the future. We (my family and I) are now recovering from the spent energy and experienced frustration and will focus AGYNAMIX into a proper direction. That means, we won’t go after more than one vision and thus tearing the company apart. I already have some ideas of software products that would prove useful in my day to day work. I just have to decide which idea to pursue :) And that’s actually another advice I’d like to offer: develop a product for a domain where you have a deep knowledge about! My first product was a monitoring software for water supply companies. I went into this because a befriended electronics company needed a software to complete their portfolio. I didn’t know anything about this domain and made a lot of false assumptions during the course of development. It’s best you can develop a software that you need to work with on a daily basis. This actually means you will discover their bugs and quirks. You will end up with a very polished product because, as a proud software developer you hate to work with crappy software :) I sincerely hope that writing down those things will prevent others from some of their mistakes. Although I realize that some mistakes just have to be made in order to realize it really is wrong :) See you!