Tag Archives: business

Hiring my replacement

For the last month or so, I’ve been helping Moraware hire my replacement – an interesting experience!

Why are we doing this? Well, I’m starting my own company: Simple Integrations. I’ll share marketing stuff soon, but the goal is to help businesses like countertop fabricators eliminate duplicate entry. Anytime someone reads information from one system and retypes it into another – that’s my cue to improve things.

This business was created from demand – customers were asking me to solve a specific type of problem for them. There appears to be enough demand to turn it into a business. I have a plan to do just that, and I’m going for it.

Here’s what’s different about my new software business:

  • Instead of charging an hourly rate or a large upfront amount, I’m charging a monthly recurring fee for (largely) custom solutions. I call this approach “Custom SaaS” – customers like it because there’s very low initial investment and almost no risk for them. I like it because I get the beauty of growing Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) and its correspondingly high customer Lifetime Value (LTV).
  • This pricing approach (charging a recurring monthly fee based on the value of the problem) means I’m shifting the risk of custom software development from customers to me. I can absorb that risk by limiting myself to integration problems. As long as I focus on integrating systems that I know (or want to know) extremely well (like Moraware!), it’s risk that I can manage. It also means that I should avoid doing much user interface work (because getting UI right is inherently more expensive than back-end magic). The simplest, non-technical way to describe the type of problem I solve is that I eliminate double entry.
  • There’s strong evidence to suggest that certain integrations will grow into products that I can resell multiple times.

Countertop fabricators are perfect customers for me, because they’re successful, but they typically lack IT departments. I can help successful companies in any industry, but my services are probably less needed for companies that have their own IT departments.

I already have a couple of customers paying me monthly for small solutions. The next step is to free up more time to pursue more customers and solve more problems. That’s why we’re hiring my full-time replacement.

I’m very proud that my relationship with Moraware is strong enough to evolve in this way. I simply approached them about moving from full-time to approximately half-time in order to pursue this new adventure and still feed my family while my business grows. That’s the plan anyway 😉

Obviously, I’ll explain much more over time, but this ball is starting to roll downhill – wish me luck!


I made a comment on one of my favorite blogs today where I described a way of writing software as “enterprisey” … I’m not sure what the real word is to describe it, but I assume you know what I mean. Some software feels intended for consumers or small businesses and some feels intended for big businesses – you know, it’s enterprisey.

More and more, this is an arbitrary distinction. As the “consumerization of IT” continues, a great deal of software that was in fact originally intended for consumers or small businesses is finding a place in bigger and bigger companies – GMail and Google Docs comes to mind. On the other hand, as more and more enterprise software that was traditionally sold on-premise comes out with SaaS offerings, software that was once available only to big companies is now available to very small businesses and individuals. That brings to mind Office 365 with Exchange, SharePoint, and Lync ($6/month!). There are countless other examples of both approaches.

As companies move from consumer to enterprise or enterprise to consumer, there are all sorts of subtle challenges. I suspect that those subtle challenges will be obscure memories within just a couple of years. More and more, people just expect their software to work.

Isn’t competition wonderful?