Six things to build and four things to do (professionally) in 2011

Posted on November 16, 2010

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I guess these are my early New Years resolutions.

Six things to build

  1. Create a solid personal / collaborative Content Creation / Content Management tool – to do my personal and business writing in and manage my projects and to-do items
  2. Write the Roomware Cluster Node Code Base – to run all kind of real time stuff based on hardware and software triggers on any kind of platform
  3. Build a Roomware hardware cluster – using all the forms of input available, including camera, hardware sensors, tablet computers and online services
  4. Rewrite my Bookkeeping / Invoicing software – to do my taxes and keep tabs on who payed and who did not on more platforms than Windows alone
  5. Revisit the Flash RAD engine – and upgrade it to the latest insights in proper code design
  6. Create a solid 3D world-builder in Flash – to use the new Flash 3D API, which – with the right Flash 3D framework – completely blows the Flash 2D engine out of the water

Each of them overlaps the other in some sense. Each will take at least 3 months to build or finish. So I have no clue what will come out of this.

Four things to do

  1. Enter a higher level of clients and assignments – as I am getting slowly bored and/or frustrated by the type of assignments I get now and I want to be able to do the things I like and love for clients instead of the cat, the spiders and the falling dust
  2. Get more traction with my writing – as the ten average readers for an article like this is not the long term goal I have with what I do
  3. Cash on my talent and experience – as I have learned in a recent project that it is easy to put a lot of people on a project and burn a lot of money doing so, but real talent is very rare to find
  4. Dive deeper into Android and Java – as they represent two platforms which are the most open / diversified

Moving up is primarily a matter of reputation. One part is by what I have done. One part is by what I display in my direct actions and my behavior towards others. One part is by whom I approach and know. There is no nice way around this. And I have been doing shit nothing with this.

And some personal notes

I might be close to what one of my friends recently labeled as “a hermit”. Currently I hardly answer my phone. And if I do, it is almost by accident due to the many times it switched off due to lack of battery power. If I could choose to do this without further consequences, withdraw even further and do my stuff without people around me and come out with something new I created, I would feel fine. I do not have the drive to be anywhere with anyone. Groups of people doing group activities scare me. Even when I am part of that group. That is one reason why I do not like concerts and leave places when they are too busy.

I call my parents, my father maybe once every three months, while it would be perfectly fine if that would be on a weekly basis.

In the past ten years I have fought that inwared biased part, thinking that “I should change that”, as “it is not the type of behavior leading to success” as some people would call it and even “sabotaging my strive” as I would call it myself back then. In my own view it is the kind of behavior that leads to the type of situation where, when your relatives open the doors of your garage shortly after your demise, they will find this functional cold-fusion energy producer powering the fridge as you simply never took the effort to market it and build a company around it – because another project drew your attention after that.

Right now, I am starting to consider this to be normal for me and how my wiring runs. I feel less and less the urge to “change” myself because “people in general” think “my behavior is not according to some norm”.

My strength is that I can build anything that you can think of (withing certain limits of performance and the possible) that involves complex structures and does not requires me to do math. Another strength is my writing. As described by some as “too long” in relationship to my blogs, I can do quite a job there writing about the stuff I create. And it can help to create some visibility.

I will not run a company. I am not the kind of person to do “the startup thing” with investors. I love launching customers – while holding ownership over the result – instead. It is down to earth. Concrete. Real. I love to solve your problems and provide solutions that will kick ass even after ten years looking back. I do not believe that working behind closed doors is the way to go if you want to create traction on low budgets. I do not like the sweaty armpits style: “please, please, please take a look at what I have and then please buy it from me” or the: “this will bring you so much added value that you will be playing a big losing game not to step in-” type of sales pitches, or the: “your lack of hunger to achieve something is having a dulling influence on my razor sharp edge, so I rather not hang out with you-” mentality like you find with people dreaming of becoming a millionaire. Like I had myself in some waves in my life.

I want to go back to the type of software development work that adds value. Building the stuff that makes a difference in your life and is not like the type of disposable crap that hardly leaves an impression afterwards.

This might sound like I am looking down on this kind of stuff. A part of me that is more arrogant does do so for sure. I will not deny. But that side is not all of me. I am not “holier than thou” in any of these aspects. I have been part of it. I have created and done things that made no sense at all. And my soul is just as stained as anyone’s.

Regarding the present: I am lucky to be on an long running assignment that started end of may 2010 and will last at least until February 2011, the same month where my 130.000 euro-per-year-with-service-costs-included Office Space Contract will end. An assignment delivering me enough revenue to pay all short term debts and also build a buffer for at least one year of living and working privately – taking the pressure off to: “will do anything – including stuff that hurts me – for bread and living”.

All these factors will determine the course that I will set out in the next year.

I am a lucky bastard. I survived the crisis and a five year period of: “must pay 150.000 to 180.000 euro per year or we bankrupt you” like a military boot camp: coming out with more stamina and muscles and more sense of reality than when I went in – without losing my dreams. So three questions stay open:

  1. What is next?
  2. What is best for me?
  3. Where will I find the things that will make me happy (and will pay the bills in a grand way as well)?

As usual: will keep you posted.

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