When Brent and I started Alien Arc we had a few basic goals:
- To have more flexible working conditions
- To be more active with the developer community and conferences
- To create our own products
We’ve done a pretty good job in our first 6 months getting started on some of these goals. We are on-site with our primary client, but they are closer and with the consultant relationship it is much easier to deal with any needs for a flexible schedule.
We also upped our community involvement a notch helping out with the local KC .NET User Group where we have gone from attendees to helping organize and run meetings. In fact, Brent will be giving the November presentation (a developer perspective on PowerShell). Our conference outlook has improved as well, we attended KCDC just weeks after going full time and then went to HDC in Omaha. And, As I previously posted, later this week we are going to St. Louis Days of .NET where I will be speaking for the first time.
It turns out that hardest goal to make progress on has been creating our own products. This isn’t for a lack of ideas, we have a OneNote section filling up with pages of ideas for products (from software to physical devices). The biggest challenge has been carving a chunk out of our billable time to focus on these other goals. We’ve been trying to forge forward with evening and weekend work, but that can be so difficult to do when family deserves their own share of that time. And so we find ourselves 6 months later with an operational consulting company, but little progress on our products (and slow progress on other non-billable projects, like conference presentations).
Our solution? To change when and how we carve out that time. Now we are only committing 4 days a week to billing and dedicating the 5th day to internal projects. This move gives us an entire uninterrupted day to work on everything from products to conference talks or do marketing and other mundane business tasks. This currently means our 4 billable days are a little longer (for now), but the feeling of progress and accomplishment on our other projects and tasks on that 5th day totally makes it worth it. So far so good, time will tell how well this works.comments powered by Disqus