After more than 30 years in the software business, I’m not driving to work every day. Surprisingly, I left my prior company without having a new company to go to. My husband says I’ve “retired”. I don’t know what that means. The beauty of being in software is that as long as you have access to a computer, you can do all of the fun activities you did at your job (but just not get paid for it – humm.)
I’ve worked in the big aerospace and defense software world, been a software exec in various commercial software companies, done the “start-up” bit. I’ve proven that the “80’s” development practices and procedures can be leveraged and changed to work for the 90’s and 2000’s. I might say (humbly I hope) that I always was a great software manager – my reputation was on-time delivery, teams that were motivated, all that good stuff. At my own start-up, Azerity, we produced a product that competed with the big gorillas (SAP, Oracle) and won every time. I’m not stretching now – that software was used by major corporations for mission critical tasks (quoting, pricing) and was reliable (never crashed – really), scalable (30,000 users worldwide), and high performance (just what you want from a web-based system – click click click – screen after screen snap, snap, snap). And it didn’t cost the clients millions to install and millions more to upgrade (semiconductor companies may be big but they are very, very cheap!) When we were bought by a bigger company, within 9 months, the acquirers made more in software sales of our product than they paid to buy the company.
So I went back to the company that acquired Azerity and negotiated the rights to relicense the tool we’d built, SD Tracker.
So now the question is this: Go back as a VP Engineering at an existing company and use SD Tracker and processes and lessons learned and do it all again? Take SD Tracker and start a new start-up going after VC funding and that whole gig? Golf every day? Or some combination of all of the above.
By the way – the other change last year was moving out of Silicon Valley to Discovery Bay – “Live where you play in Discovery Bay” is our city’s official tagline. (Or an alternate is “A small drinking town with a boating problem.”) Both fit. Wonderful place to live – BUT, a 2 hour drive to Silicon Valley where the companies and action are.
We built our house on Drakes Drive, have the Delta (Sacramento River) as our back yard. Wake to the sounds of ducks, geese, and seagulls outside our bedroom window, golf on a lush course abounding with lakes (i.e., duck ponds). Seeing a theme here? So I named my fledgling company “Duck Pond Software”. At a minimum it’s my DBA for consulting back to my prior company for a while. But … maybe more…