Monday, January 21, 2008

How would you do it?

Suppose you are given the "backing" to start a software company.

How would you select your employees?
How would you select your processes?
How would you strive for quality software?
How would you strive to use the money wisely?
How would you determine when to market your software?
How would you determine the marketing medium?
And end the end: How would you determine if your company was

1) I would select people that I knew at first. This would build the
core team. Then we would expand as needed through the Maverick hiring
process by auditions, all interviewees together in a meeting of
presentation, and the chance for the interviewees to freely roam the
facility for a couple of days. (Of course there would be non-
disclosure agreements that would scare one half silly!)

2) I would select the process the Maverick way. The core team would
get together and make an educated guess on what is best. Then we
would watch the process and question the steps and rearrange anything
and everything until we felt we were as efficient as we could be.

3) Quality comes through defining what we mean by quality, and then
check or process to see if it takes us towards quality. If not then
we redo item 2.

4) The Maverick approach to money is simple and powerful. All
financials are viewable at anytime by all employees. The financials
are reported simply and straight forward. Revenue recognition will be
as simple as possible (which would mean we recognize the revenue when
it is ours to keep). All salaries are public knowledge. All budgets
are public knowledge. (Public means employees in these cases).

5) Determining when to market the software will be approached
conservatively. By this I mean that the software will be developed by
the process and not driven by non-related external factors such as
dates set by marketing. Let me clarify. If the market window is
identified as wide-open from now until 8 months out then we will
decide what features can be done in that time. Then we say, "Is this
set of features useful, and representative of our goals?" If it is
not we do not try to do the impossible and say, "Well, we will work
extra hard and get it done." We were already working extra hard. If
the market window is closing from 9 months to 18 months then we
consider what we can do. If the the window is closed at 19 months
then we consider that as well. But in Maverick a Marketing staff
member's estimates will be considered highly important and the person
giving those estimates will be expected to justify them especially if
they are wrong. (Maverick is tired of developer's estimates being
used to beat developers over the head, everyone's estimates are

6) Market medium would depend on were the customer can be found. That
is, do they watch TV, then maybe a commercial. Do they read
magazines... that kind of stuff. Know your customer or lose your

7) A company is considered successful very simply. Is it making
enough money to pay the bills, pay the employees, and save some for
the future? If it is, it is successful. Don't confuse this with the
idea that happy employees mean the company is successful. That is a
different issue that is addressed by some of the things mentioned

That is how Maverick would do it!

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