There are always new ideas. But if you have a specific idea you want to act on, act now.
Paul Graham – Why to Start a Startup in a Bad Economy
That line more than any other got me to thinking or to acting. For a long time I’ve thought that it doesn’t matter about the economy, many great businesses have grown out of hard times – take Disney as an example of this. It’s when bright, intelligent, motivated people are compelled by circumstance to follow their dreams.
I may or may not have mentioned this, but I’m a partner at Orange Bus, a client focused digital agency, based in Newcastle Upon Tyne (UK). For a long time we’ve had the desire to develop our own applications/ services that are independent of our client work. Now we love the work we’re doing for our clients, but to own something, and drive it down the road you want to be on, well that’s something entirely different.
And so it is in these hard economic times, times which have seen Orange Bus grow by a factor of 5 in the past 2 years. That we (me) have made a start scratching our own internal itches. Rapid growth has brought with it issues that we just didn’t have when we all sat around the same table. Mainly communication and process centric.
Initially I thought we’d spec this out and then outsource it, as we have very little internal resource available at the moment. I understood the issues we faced, I had in my head a solution to the problems, and I had the thoughts of others to guide me. Armed with that, and the thought of writing a specification detailed enough to allow the work to be outsourced, I turned to Django and made significant strides and a rough working solution to part of our problems in an evening.
And so it begins. We’re looking to develop applications to help manage the whole process from new business development through to project development, delivery and support. We want to do this in a way that is simple, easy to track and transparent. Seamless CRM + Bug Tracking + Support, and then the piece of the puzzle that I’m particularly interested in, and along the lines of Managing News, is software to help organise and communicate information amongst our team. A sort of collaborative feed reader on steroids.
And so with the help of Django, and a very annoying itch. We’ve begun the process of developing our own applications. No outsourcing, just pure unadulterated in-house pleasure.