Gant Software Systems

2015 is Coming

Apologies to all for the lack in posting. Life got real busy around the tail end of September as we moved to a new house and really hasn’t slowed down since. That said, I think things are finally easing back up where I can get back on track with regular blogging.
First a retrospective on 2014. This year was busy and I really think I bit off a good bit more than I could chew on a couple of things. But I still completed the following:

  1. Worked the entire year for my own company, getting consulting work either through recruiters or through my own effort, although there were some large gaps in there that were not very helpful financially.
  2. Got the old house ready to move, moved to a new house, and had a great deal of “fun” doing so. In fact, I had so much fun, that my next move will likely be into a casket.
  3. Got hit with 5 figures worth of unexpected plumbing and other household-related expenses. These are getting close to paid off now, thankfully, but that unexpected burden at the same time as moving and dealing with some churn in the consulting side of things was a bit gut-wrenching.
  4. I worked with a friend on his startup and the product is currently in a limited beta to a couple of big clients. With any luck, that will be generating revenue shortly.
  5. I learned a lot about the business side of consulting, including the ways in which well-meaning clients can create problems for you. I’ll probably detail these in some later blog post.

With 2015 hurtling towards me quickly, I’ve realized it’s time to level-set and try to figure out my priorities for the next year a little better than I did them for last year. I’ve come to a number of conclusions that will alter the future of this blog and my company. These are as follows:

  1. I do not want (currently) to try and expand the webhosting side of my company. It scales poorly and pays worse. With some help earlier in the year, I was able to come up with a financial model for that side of the operation. While I can make recurring revenue, if I get any support requests at all, the value of the time lost tends to be on the order of several months profit from a client. I’ll continue with the customers I have and not attempt to grow that side of the business until I can figure out how to scale in a way that doesn’t hurt.
  2. I also want to trim back drastically on how much of my income depends on consulting. The pay is great, but there is an enormous amount of overhead when getting a job. I thought I might be able to build a product during the dead time between consulting gigs, but I discovered that nearly all of that time gets used up trying to land the next gig (or trying to handle various things before the next gig starts, such as doctor’s appointments, work on the house, etc.). I’ll still take some side consulting work in the interest of raising money for other pursuits, but I don’t want to rely on it as my sole income source.
  3. I want to write more often for the blog. For a while there, I was publishing twice a week, which I currently believe to be a little too often for my workload, but I do want to try to get back to at least once a week.
  4. I plan to get my friend’s startup the rest of the way to live and survive the first year of having a new product with an income stream. That’s not as simple as it sounds.
  5. I plan to finish the “interview” process with Pluralsight and start building some training materials on the side. I’ll probably start that shortly after the first of the year.
  6. I also have a couple of small product ideas (an info product and a software product) that I would like to build and get released for recurring revenue, so I plan to start hitting those in earnest in the new year.
  7. I want to move away from using wordpress on this site. I like wordpress. It’s nice to get things going. However, it ties poorly into the rest of my architecture and is subject to constant, withering attacks from DDOS and hackers. It’s becoming a maintenance issue and it has to go because of the amount of work it is creating versus the amount it actually saves.
  8. I want to do better with my mental and physical health this year. I let a lot of that slip this year due to everything else that has been going on and I need to get those back on track.

I’m looking forward to 2015 and I hope you are too. I’ve got a pretty good lineup of interesting blog posts waiting.