A few weeks ago make one year that CaseySoftware has been a fulltime operation. This coincides relatively nicely with the beginning of the new year, so I assessed all our operations from top to bottom across a number of different areas and have come to a conclusion. Before I go into that, I'd like to share some of the successes.
When I began this company…
- it was just me working on a handful of custom projects
- there were no sites bearing the CaseySoftware name
- revenue was low but stable
- this blog was just getting off the ground after a single month
- CodeSnipers was a nearly unused domain
- the goal was to build a full-blown team communication/management tool around dotProject
- dotProject, SugarCRM, etc were just coming into their own
In the past year…
- I've added four people and now we have anywhere from 3-10 projects in the pipe at any given time
- there are dozens of sites and systems bearing the CaseySoftware name in numerous industries
- revenue is erratic and impossible to plan against
- this blog has been active for over a year with definite lulls but the traffic has increased 100 fold
- CodeSnipers has grown into its own and has connected numerous developers together
- the original goal has been lost among the custom projects
- dotProject, SugarCRM, etc have become better established and are attracting more and more attention all the time
More than anything, the constant deadlines and treadmill of numerous custom development projects are tiring. I'm not burned out by this, but I realize that this doesn't create long-term value that I want to make. One-off custom development often gets buried under other systems, hidden in the bowels of an organization, and hides from the actual users under a “re-branding”.
Therefore, a change is coming… I am beginning to refocus our efforts on the specific areas where I want CaseySoftware to go.
From here on out, I am going to measure every opportunity against the goals. There are reporting modules, systems integrations, and numerous other pieces of functionality that are often requested and fit nicely into the overall architecture we're developing. These projects and requests will be designed and implemented with this in mind. If the requests don't fit within this vision, I have a small group of like-minded developers whom I can recommend.