Watching a video recommended by a CoCo member, I came across this gem. It’s David Heinemeier Hansson, inventor of Ruby on Rails and partner at 37 Signals, talking about starting businesses that are not necessarily designed not to “go viral” and take over the world, or to be sold for gazillions … but simply to solve a problem that needs solving or to do something better than how it’s being done.
At 21:20 in the video, he talks about the conditions under which Basecamp, 37 Signals’ flagship project management software was built. If you don’t know the story, Basecamp was the side project for people doing other stuff, built with limited hours. Disadvantage? Quite the opposite, according to Hansson.
Of course these days, with an estimated annual revenue of $19MM, Basecamp is a bit more than a side project.
Last weekend, I spoke on the pros and cons of self-employment at WordUp, the annual get-together of the Minneapolis-St.Paul Word Press Users Group. Not surprisingly, there was a lot of interest on the topic of money – how much to charge, how to bill, how to collect.
When you go solo, nobody sits you down to explain how the money side of the business works. So, most of us are running around, taking what clients give us and hoping we won’t get burned and that we’ll get paid in time.
So, let’s see what can do together to banish ignorance. I’ve created an anonymous survey with the goal of collecting information on how freelancers and consultants are handling their biz. I hope to be able to report back with some helpful aggregate data and patterns – so you can evaluate whether you can improve your approach to pricing and billing.
Please take the survey!