It Starts with an Idea

How a little software company competed against the big software gorillas by turning an idea into practical software.


Front Cover

Back Cover


Intelic was a software start-up in the late 1990s. The company was led by three co-founders: Stephen, a man with marketing flair and a true entrepreneurial spirit; John, a salesman and a visionary; and Jan, a skilled software engineer and manager. The little software “chimp” took on the big “gorillas” in the software industry.

Jan’s book is a fun romp through the adventure of a start-up in Silicon Valley. Jan interlaces the story of Intelic with stories from her prior jobs, valuable lessons learned. The book reveals how Intelic created a dedicated and enthusiastic team – a team that worked hard and had fun – and a great product.

Everyone will enjoy reading about Intelic’s laughter and challenges, ups and downs. In addition, the book gives software engineers, managers, and CEOs insight into how to build “Practical Software” – software that is high performance, scalable, reliable, and robust – software that is on-schedule and low cost – using a software development methodology that is more agile than “Agile.” That’s practical software!

Comments and reviews are requested! Buy it on Amazon – Click Here.

Sample Reviews

5.0 out of 5 stars – An Interesting peek inside the world of a software start-up.
July 5, 2016
Not having any background with computer coding and software development did not hamper my enthusiasm for getting a peek inside a California start-up company. As a manager, I most enjoyed reading about the financial challenges of starting a company, working with technical staff and considerations around out-sourcing, especially with India.
I applaud the vision, dedication and sacrifice of the entrepreneurs in this real life story. I have known Jan for over 50 years and admire her tenacity. If you haven’t read her book “Class of ‘67”, you missed reading about how hard she worked to excel in the academic world and how she moved from a background in math and physics to the software world.
The story didn’t attempt to hide the warts that come with any commercial endeavor and was honest about both the successes and failures. Thank you for an interesting read.

5.0 out of 5 stars
December 16, 2015
I acquired this book for a friend, an IT engineer, and decided to read it before I gave it to him. As a professional artist and computer neophyte, I’ve always been fascinated by this technology but struggled to understand it.
Not so now! As the author takes us through the development of a complex software package, she focuses, not on technical data, but the importance of building a team that shares in the process at every level. I laughed at the stories of office space crises, the hassles of moving to larger buildings as the enterprise grew, company parties and office pranks.
But the technical stuff was written in such a clear manner that even I could understand it. When I open an interactive web sight now, I know what’s going on with all those pip ups, drop downs and such. I can now interact with that nasty machine from a much more informed place!
This book should be required reading or even a textbook for advanced computer science courses. The technical sections offer some rare insights that every software developer could put in her/his toolbox!

5.0 out of 5 stars – This is by far the best approach I have seen
April 26, 2016
Any curriculum on software development should include this book as required reading. I started programming in 1965, and this is by far the best approach I have seen. Jan presents one of the most thorough, practical approaches to developing software that is based on the requirements, testing to those requirements, providing a set of documentation, all the while tracking everything through the life cycle from start to finish. Well done!!!

Full disclosure, I have known and respected Jan for many years.

All you software geeks out there – share this.

5.0 out of 5 stars
March 8, 2016
A great book on the travails of software development.

5.0 out of 5 stars – Great Book!!
September 13, 2015
I loved this book! I’m generally not a big reader but I read this cover to cover in 2 days. Not only was it fun to read but it also has great information that should be quite valuable to readers! Very well written!

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