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Farewell 2009

Posted by Marty Haught on Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tonight closes out 2009. In typical fashion I’ve been pondering the year and looking forward to 2010. 2009 was a strange year. Family and home life was very good but it was my work life that had the twists and turns.

My consulting practice went through a transformation. This is not surprising given the upheaval the rest of the economy went through. In 2009 I had several different clients which was in sharp contrast to my single client project from years past. I enjoyed having different clients and moving from project to project more so than the mega long two year engagement. One downside is that I found myself doing more non-billable hours as I talked to prospective clients before signing a contract and starting work for them. I actually don’t mind this but it makes it more challenging to maintain consistent billable hours when you can’t plan for this activity.

Earlier in the year I dabbled with the world of startups as a founder. I was part of a team that submitted an application to Techstars for the 2009 program. It turned out that we got in but I decided to back out due to creative differences with one of the founders. Though I think it would have been great to go through the program, it’s pretty hard financially when your family depends on your steady income to pay the bills.

I did do some self study on the topic of starting a product company and all that goes with it. Though I can see the value of taking investment capital, I don’t think that’s the style of company I prefer to run. The bootstrapping model feels much more natural and lets you develop your idea without entanglement.

This study also introduced me to the Lean Startups philosophy which was eye-opening. Several of my posts for 2009 centered on this topic and it has changed how I build software. I no longer think that a full bodied software process is appropriate for all projects. Sometimes it’s better to just get out a barely functional app and see how it does.

Finally, I focused on what sort of consulting company I want to run and Haught Codeworks was born out of that visioning. I’m still honing what exactly it is but it feels good. Hopefully 2010 will be a productive year for Haught Codeworks. So far it’s shaping up quite nicely.

Happy New Year everyone. See you in 2010!

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