Speaker Paul Fenwick
Time 2007-01-18 11:50
Conference LCA2007

Starting a successful business

A brief tour of hell

Most customers don’t care about FOSS

  • low upfront costs


  • control destiny
  • may end up with less money/time (if not careful)

business cards

social skills with non-geeks (normal people)

effective communications

  • client sees talking not the work

client with bad code: “This code looks novel, never thought of doing it that way, lets try ….”


difficult clients generate most work:

  • special clients
  • everything is an emergency
  • penalty rates

intermediary clients

  • no access to end clients

Hand difficult clients to somebody else looking for work

System administration

  • no closure - continuous process
  • most work is dull
  • can’t be picky when starting

planned 2 hours a day, actual 12 hours a day.

clients need constant support; no holidays

can’t charge for all hours worked