1. 1

    For those who don’t know: Marin Software Partners was the initial name for what became AutoDesk.

    I love this historical note about the cost of machines at the time:

    Here’s how it works. Suppose a partner wants to buy in for $5000. The simplest thing is just to pay the $5000 in cash. Alternatively, since many partners will want to purchase machines for software development or already own them, they may use the money to buy a machine (getting the tax credit and depreciation benefits, which are incredibly attractive today), then pledge that machine as security on a zero-interest loan from MSL. Or, MSL can loan the partner the money on a regular unsecured loan at market interest rates, and that money can be used to buy a partnership share in the normal way. At, say, 20% you can “rent” $5000 for $1000 per year.

    The idea of all this is that we recognize that a substantial portion of the initial capitalization is going to be used to buy machines for software development. Those partners who already own machines should not be forced to subsidize those who haven’t, nor should those partners who obtain machines for MSP work be forced to forgo the tax benefits of buying the machine themselves. By loaning at no interest against the machine, we’re allowing machine investments to be applied to partnership share dollar for dollar.

    1. 1

      Looks like $5K in 1982 is ~$12.5K in 2017 dollars.

      Definitely worth it to look for a tax break for that type of investment.

    1. 1

      One thing that I didn’t find discussed much online when setting up my business is how to pick the business address. In the US (though it varies some by state), businesses are required to have a physical address where a representative of the business can be served legal papers – a P.O. Box won’t do. I could put my home address, but then it’d be public record. Some services like MailChimp require this as well.

      The answer is to hire a “Registered Agent,” then use their address. I found one online that charges $100/yr and will scan and email or forward any mail received up to some low limit as well as the aforementioned legal documents that I’ll hopefully never receive.

      Of course, since I’m bootstrapping, this is the single highest recurring business expense I have. Has anyone found a better solution?

      1. 3

        Just to add to this: I still get spam related to an address I filed an LLC at in 1998. Whatever database it went into has been endlessly resold and I get crappy pitches for local service businesses.

        1. 1

          This is a great tip! Thank you for mentioning it, I was definitely thinking of just using my own address.. glad I didn’t do that yet.

          EDIT: You can also possibly register something like earth class mail, but that’s 100/mo.. so probably not a good choice for you.

          1. 1

            You’re welcome :)

            The key difference vs Earth Class Mail is that, for due process, legal papers being served have to be received in person (see: Wikipedia)

            As that article notes, some states (Florida was the example) do not require in-person service, so you’re probably good there with just a P.O. Box.

        1. 3

          TaylorPeorson.Me would like to send you popup notifications

          No thanks.

          Not Updated for Digital – As far as I know, no one outside of dentists uses filing cabinets anymore so Allen’s systems are a bit dated in that regard. Why use a filing cabinet when you have Google?

          Even in his first book (which came out in 2001-ish?) he talks about whether or not you need a physical cabinet, and that if you go “all digital” just be careful that you might still have physical items you will want a place to put.

          Not Travel Friendly – Because Allen’s systems rely on physical inboxes and systems in a lot of cases, the system falls apart if you keep everything you own in a carry-on or tend to take a lot of business trips.

          Huh? You know David Allen is himself an owner of a business that is all about traveling different places for consultations right? There are many many many resources he has about what to do when traveling, he even talks about how he prefers to set up his hotel room..

          Made for the knowledge worker, not the entrepreneur – The biggest problem with Allen’s system overall and the weekly review process in particular me was that it was for knowledge workers, not entrepreneurs. It was designed more for people that had their priorities dictated to them or at least circumscribed to a certain domain and not for people setting their own priorities. So I took David Allen’s system and updated it to be what I wanted and needed as an entrepreneur.

          WHAT?! Half the book is dedicated to the “natural planning model” and how to come up with priorities for yourself and your business. One of the largest critiques of his books was that it was only for executives because he spends so much time talking about strategic prioritization.

          Ok, you just haven’t read the book, and want to send me push notifications.

          1. 3

            One of the unsaid parts of why github is so easy to integrate with: they let you replay old webhook events!

            When you set up something that runs against every pull request, and you think you may have responded incorrectly, you look at your logs but you didn’t log enough… you can just log into github, find the event, and click a resend button on the webhook!

            This is just excellence, and makes it much easier to correct / debug issues with webhooks and github.

            1. 1

              I missed this comment! YES, I totally forgot to mention it in the post, but that saved my skin BIG TIME in the beginning and pushing it live.

            1. 3

              This is something the biggest and smallest organizations all deal with.

              Something I’ve started to do is something akin to Marie Kando’s approach. If when you touch it you don’t feel a spark, get rid of it. So not only brainstorm outside of your planning tool, and filter what you put in. But probably at some ~month or so interval, review your full backlog and just delete things out of it that don’t really hit it for you.

              This has helped make my GTD projects, waiting for, and someday/maybe lists FAR more relevant.

              1. 1

                OP here - my wife and I have really gotten into “Konmarie” method at our house and I’ve been thinking you can apply many of those principles to other areas of life. Love what you’re saying here about filtering the backlog.

              1. 1

                This is spot-on with my experience. Unless you get real lucky, be ready for a grind and lots of learning about “marketing” as they so eloquently put it.

                1. 1

                  I’m not sure I fully understand the difference in needing marketing for a SaaS product an any other software product? I could rewrite this entire article for shareware, and it’d be the same article.

                1. 1

                  Employee A of Company A is working at Company B’s office. Company B sues Company A for stealing their ideas with Employee A.

                  I don’t see how you get around the shitty IP law stuff.