Coding as Writing

If you read this blog at all, you know that I've been working on a piece of software (BlogBridge) which at this point I am pretty excited about, even though I don't know where it will go or end up.

I was recently interviewed about my work by Scott Kirsner (of the Boston Globe) who writes the @Large Column. I don't know whether or when he will write an article, but the questions he asked made me think a bit about what I was doing, and particularlyy the way I have chosen to go about it.

I have purposely decided not to try and raise capital to fund this project, but rather pursue a small-scale, cottage industry, do-it-yourself approach. As a practicall matter, I am pretty sure that the project in its current form wouldn't be venture backable anyway. But still I can rephrase the point by saying that I have purposely decided not to limit myself to projects which are venture backable.

Why?

I sometimes liken my personal approach or motivations towards the BlogBridge project, to why one might decide to try and write a book. One might have a burning desire to tell this story, and is willing to forsake a conventional job to do it.

While I don't know if I will be able to find a publisher or if the book will sell, and I can be fairly sure, statistically, that it's not going to make anyone rich. It's a labor of love, as it were.

Beyond the psychic and creative payoff of doing this work, there are indirect benefits. I am getting experience in important new areas for me, such as blogging, but also working with talented developers in other countries, learning about open source development, and of course hard-core java engineering.) Each of these in one way or antoerh might lead to other business opportunities or somehow help my consulting business.

This is in stark contrast of course to raising $5M, hiring 20 people and racing to a profitable growth business and a liquidity event.

Who knows whether BlogBridge will actually make any money: that's not the only or first reason I am doing this work. Different motivations, different likely outcomes, and each approach applicable to some projects and not others.

In this case, for me and for this project, this is the path that I've chosen.
Posted on December 19, 2004 and filed under Life.