Aside from being genuinely useful at my day job today, I woke up to a bit of good news this morning.  A huge influx of Thai pirates?  Well, OK, I woke up to that too, but as for the good news:

Between September 1st and September 6th I sold approximately $100 worth of software, which was fantastically good considering there was a holiday weekend in there and when school isn’t in session my sales trend to close to zero.  I stashed it away in my bank account to cover this month’s AdWords bill ($90, give or take), and then everything I made for the rest of the month would be gravy, since I don’t have any capital purchases planned.  (My hosting is covered through December, and the only other expense running my business aside from my time is $5 a month for e-junkie.)

So last night I went to sleep obscenely late after a hard night of eating dinner, blogging, and working on one fantastically interesting puzzle (I love puzzles, incidentally).  And when I woke up in the morning, it was to the lovely sound of You’ve Got Money!

And it was, relatively speaking, a lot of money.  Not like Daddy Warbucks a lot of money or even “I just sold a $500 developer component” a lot of money but definately “Hmm, I think I will get a Wii on launch day afterall” a lot of money.  Here’s a comparison for you: frequently, my father has remarked that I could just teach English lessons and make more money than this project, which is strictly speaking probably accurate at the moment (although its hard to find students who want to study between the hours of 10 PM and 2 AM, where a lot of my development hours were spent).  My one class a month that I currently do as a favor for a friend runs about 3 hours and I get paid $40 (below the market rate but, again, I only teach it so my friend can take one night a month off and spend some quality time with her new husband).  If I were really serious about getting my own students and all the hassle that would entail, I suppose it would be closer to $80, and it would still involve the opportunity cost of doing absolutely nothing interesting on a Saturday night.  Well, aside from teaching English, which I do enjoy but which is not the most enjoyable use of most of my Saturday nights.

And this morning, well, I earned rather more than $80 for… sleeping on a Friday morning, and firing off two emails when I got up (“Sorry to hear that, I’ve refunded your money” and “Que los estudiantes aprenden bien de eso juego de bingo interesante!”*, if you must know).  Elapsed time, four minutes and thirty seconds (I watch the clock in the morning because I am in perpetual danger of being late to the day job), not counting the sleeping.

And in the near future I hope to be taking a young lady out for a plate of sushi and the business will happily continue running itself while I do.  Yay.

This whole “do a little work once and keep getting paid for it for a while” passive income thing certainly has its benefits.

  • The last time I addressed a customer in a language which wasn’t spelled out in my job description, at a job a number of years ago, it required: HR to be conferenced on whether I was the best person available, my boss and group manager to be briefed on the situation, a call to the help desk to make sure my phone’s automated recorder got turned off because Legal was unsure they were covered with respect to this customer, and VP level approval for a deviation from the standard operating procedures with “unpredictable legal and marketing consequences”.  All of that for a three minute phone call.  (I won’t mention who I was working for at the time, but suffice it to say the customer was offered cookies as our way to apologize for the delay.  Even great companies, and I am convinced that employer was and is a great company, have their hangups.  Had they been less of a great company, their VP would have taken the easy “Permission denied.” way to kill off a troublesome order worth less than his hourly salary.)

This is one of the lovely things about being a teeny-tiny slip of a company: you can outmaneuver the guys who have sixteen levels of managers to report to before anything as significant as a pleasantry can be exchanged.