There has been a wave of interviewing going around in the uISV community, at least from my distorted perception of it. The recently relaunched MicroISV Show at Microsoft has an interview with Joel Spolsky, of Joel on Software fame. It is worth a listen and even more worth a read (transcript available, thank goodness), since you can probably process the information much faster when reading than while listening. I love oral communication as much as the next guy (in fact, probably more than the next guy, since I did forensics activities for about a decade) but for technically dense material its sub-optimal.
Separate from that interview, no less than three people have interviewed me in the last two weeks. I imagine it will be a couple more years before I get over being flabbergasted that people apparently think I have something valuable to say. One word of caution when you’re reading/watching any interviews: remember that everyone speaks on the basis of their own experience. Joel Spolsky, for example, runs a company with millions of dollars a year in sales, has multiple employees, transparently enjoys his situation, and is of the opinion that it is impossible for a uISV to succeed with less than two employees. I am a sole proprietor with thousands a year in sales (and not many thousands at that!), neither have nor particularly desire employees at this point in my life, transparently enjoy my own situation, and am of the opinion that you can be successful under almost any configuration for the appropriate definition of “successful”. Even if that definition of successful is “go to sleep on a mattress packed solid with dollar bills you’ve made”, I know a number of one-man shops who qualify.
(Other things I diverge on: the reports of desktop applications being dead are greatly exaggerated, “80% of your business is non-code” vastly overestimates the importance of the code, and a few minor niggles.)
Similarly, you should keep in mind when reading any interviews with me that I have more experience being a paperboy than being an entrepeneur, and that I was a total failure as a paperboy.
Anyhow, the first interview to go up was here. The interviewer was very interested in my experiences in Japan, so if the prospect of working in IT in Japan interests you and you’d like to see one take on it, you may find those answers interesting. If you are a regular reader of this blog, or have read the about page, the bits about my uISV will probably not contain much new information for you.
The other two interviews were more focused on my uISV experience and thoughts on the field in general. These interviews are not publicly accessible yet. When they are I will update this post with links to them.