Quite a lot has been said recently about micro ISV’s. This term coined by Eric Sink refers to one-man-crew (ring any bells anybody?) companies that produce software products usually under some sort of shareware licence. Since then a whole community rose around the subject and it seems that every geek out there is considering to start a pet project of his own.

I don’t know whether to believe the simplicity of the concepts, but I feel swooped by the wave. I even got my own list of ideas that I might one day try to make into a product.

And yet, I think there is one crucial thing missing in the discussion of the subject.


It’s not the man’s competence as a programmer or as a manager that is going to make his product a winner. It’s his belief. One thing I find common with all the entrepreneurs is the unfailable belief in their eventual success, in their product. They seem to be stubborn, arrogant people that are living a fantasy that has nothing to do with any actual facts, and yet, they are the most successful. Unfortunately, although I consider myself a good developer and a manager with some prospect, I don’t have that belief factor. Most people don’t.

When I was sixteen a friend of mine came to me with an idea. He wanted to print commercial leaflets for stores and shops in our home town. I said it would never work and he would never earn anything. I was wrong. Three years later he came to me with another idea. He wanted to build and sell PCs out of his appartment. I told him that there is so much people already doing it that we had no chance of success. I was wrong again. Comes a time when one has to be truthful with oneself and recognize his own limitations. I think I’ll keep working my way up in the well establishes companies. Starting my own will have to wait a decade or two.

Aside that I have to admit that working alone for an entire year (or more) sounds scary . Can we really give up the thrill of intense debugging in the middle of the night with empty pizza cartons spread all over the floor? Many geeks don’t realize it, but software development is a social experience and working alone for long periods of time can hamper creativity.

4 Comments on “microISV”

By Anonymous. December 21st, 2004 at 11:28

A lot has been said about this matter, “This is not a matter of opinion, it is one of faith”.. This is a crucial factor alright, but among many, and even then, unfortunately, this equation does not always work as expected. A myth only has to work once in order to succeed.
Yet, being misanthropic, working alone sounds heavenly to me; no bosses, no creepy dirty politics, and personally I would rather be snug in bed in the middle of the night and save the pizza for later. True, you grow from social experiences, but there is more than one way to go through them.

By Benny. February 26th, 2006 at 00:07

You’re right belief is crucial for success.

By AlexisBlanchard. April 9th, 2010 at 06:44

I would like to propose not to wait until you earn enough amount of cash to buy different goods! You should just take the business loans or collateral loan and feel yourself free

By Matthew. April 29th, 2010 at 21:10

Working alone is troublesome? Are you kidding? Have you heard of introverts? I’ve been working alone for over a year, first for someone else and now completely on my own for the past few months, and I love it. People are a distraction. I find creativity in my own mind, and when I do want someone else’ opinion I can easily find it through a web search, which is much more relaxing than having an argument with a co-worker, because I make the final decision about whether the idea makes sense or not.