Ok, so you’ve set yourself up as a one man software company and you’ve made some sales. But are you a real microISV/micropreneur/indie/startup? Take the test below and find out.
- You checked the number of sales you made overnight before you had your breakfast this morning.
- You measure the price of desirable objects (cars, houses, Xboxes) in terms of the number of licences you need to sell.
- You’ve outsourced some work to someone with no idea what they look like and only a vague idea where they live.
- When booking a hotel you are more interested in how good the Internet connection is than how good the restaurant is.
- Your product has at least 20 five star awards from download sites.
- You know what CTR, CPC and CPM mean.
- You have begged all your friends and family to ‘like’ your product’s Facebook page.
- You set up your computer or phone so it makes a special noise each time you get a sale.
- Your software has been cracked at least once.
- You have suggested to a particularly problematic customer that one of your competitors might have a more suitable product.
- You’ve done technical support while wearing a dressing gown/bathrobe (or less).
- You have Google alerts and Twitter searches set up for your product name.
- You start to get anxious after not checking your email for more than half a day.
- The last time you set an alarm clock it was because you were going on holiday and didn’t want to miss the flight.
- Your relatives think you don’t have a ‘real job’.
- You own at least 10 domain names.
- You have had to fix problems with your software or website while on holiday.
- You have had a least one chargeback.
- Your software has been flagged as malware by at least one anti-virus package.
- You use at least 3 different email addresses in the course of a day.
- You have explained what you do to someone and they said “And you make a living from that???”.
- You have used Google translate to answer a support email in a language you don’t understand.
- You use “we” when talking about your company, even though its really only you.
- Someone told you a half-baked idea they had in the shower that morning and said they would be willing to give you 50% of the profit if you did 100% of the work to implement it.
- The last time you wore a suit and tie was to a wedding or a funeral.
I scored 25/25, of course (it’s my test). How did you do? Are there any other questions I should have added? Let me know in the comments.
Thanks to fellow microISVs Steph, Oliver, Terrell, Clay and Ian for suggesting some of the above.
Scored 17/25. :-)
Priceless, Andy. I scored 20+. I didn’t realise my way of operating was so common amongst fellow one-person software companies.
I scored 24/25 – almost certainly the highest I have ever scored in any test of any type, so thanks for that. (I can’t comment on which one was a ‘no’, but suffice to say it’ll be 25/25 by the end of today).
22/25 for me. Running a microISV is a strange business.
#24, oh so many #24s.
24/25 for me!
24/25 for me as well.
Haha, the question 25 is a classic.Reoccurring theme for me.
ZOMG! I’m really a microISV!!
17 out of 25 for me too. Cool test!
Number 15 and 21 surprised me. I didn’t think they were common:)
* You often compare total sales this month with another.
* You enjoy a nice afternoon nap.
23/25 here. Now I know I’m not alone. But those two proposed by Sanjay uphere seem to be good enough to be added!
And perhaps -this may be related to the afternoon nap-:
* If you work at home and you have family, you work overnight compensating the time you are forced to spend during the day helping out your couple and/or son(s).
I scored 20/25.
Never had #18 happen to me… thankfully. #10 is an interesting tip ;-)
* You’ve offered someone a refund and been disappointed when they refused.
* People look weirdly at you when you tell then you paid for every track in your music collection.
* You extrapolate a particularly good days sales to the entire year.
* You have no idea how much you earn per hour of work expended.
Got 20/25. Nice list.
On 14, I still set the alarm clock, only it is due to personal appointments…
* You extrapolate sales constantly. ($X so far this month would mean $Y for the whole month). (inspired by @Mike above)
* You compare sales this year to last year every week.
I’m 21/25 only!
Thank you for your great blog, and for this funny test!
– Grow the “official” 25 list with all the proposed items made by mISV-ers who achieved at least 13/25 points (50%).
– Make badges and t-shirts for us, and also an star award picture so we can publish it (see #5)
My two propositions:
* You evaluate learning a new language just to be capable of attending support inquires and/or translate your GUI.
* You believe A/B testing everything in your life should be possible with just a few more tweaks.
>an star award picture so we can publish it (see #5)
Great idea. It will have to include a backlink to this blog of course. >0)
Andy, I really liked no. 10, both my Mother-in-law & wife would fit this category. And no. 25, brilliant!
Sorry instead of no. 10 above, I mean no. 15 about the ‘Real Job’
Cool :) 22 for me !
Assuming I didn’t know anything about you it would be obvious from your questions that you’re the real deal. But this one bothers me:
“You start to get anxious after not checking your email for more than half a day.”
HALF A DAY??? Who can do that?
19 for me. Really enjoyed reading it.
Well, that’s a 24 for me, but only because I haven’t bothered with a Facebook page.
The alarm one should be ‘or have a 3 am meeting with someone from the other side of the world’
I think it would have been useful to add in a mention about the manic depressive state if a sales month starts off badly, but ends well. From ‘I will have to throw it all in’ to ‘I’m going to shout the bar’ in mere days.
“You own at least 10 domain names.” Yes. All these ideas and concepts for future multi-pound-euro-dollar-yen businesses that will certainly come true soon…
Nice :) Got 20+
As for me, you forgot about checking Google Analytics every day at the same time :)
“You own at least 10 domain names.” Hm… Why, Andy? Why ten?? Can you explain this?
Domains are cheap.
Yes, I understand you. But cheapness is not a reason. If I have one domain for my single software product – why another 9?
I have other domains too. The reason being that I have an idea that I want to pursue in the future so I’ve grabbed the domain now. I also have a company site and at some point I want to create websites for my individual products so I have those domains as well. If it makes sense for you to do this, then that is reason enough.
I have a lot more than 10. Different TLDs, mispellings, domains that make more sense in other languages, related keywords etc. Also domains for ideas I might develop one day.
These 25 question are really helpful to judge yourself. Thanks and I also did that test.
Well – guess wearing a sweatsuit counts instead of a dressing gown since I don’t own one ;-)
9 – but I only have one app released so far, I also do freelance work, and I drive my daughter to kindergarten every morning which requires an alarm clock (and no time to check sales). I also enjoy wearing suits, I didn’t go on holiday for a long time, and some of these questions are N/A to iPhone developers (no anti malware apps for instance). I’m also blessed with nice relatives :D
I think the most telling of all the questions is #2. I’m not there yet, but I totally see it coming. I’ve been doing freelance writing for several years and I always count time as money. Like if someone asks me to go shopping, my first thought will be “that’s 1-2 hours so $50-100…”
Wow, I did not realize that #2 is so actual to everyone :)
18/25 – not bad, not bad :)
Some additional ones:
26) You have a T-Shirt with your software’s / companies’ logo
27) You have at least one account on the following services linked in, digg, disqus, xing, facebook, twitter, bitbucket, github, stack overflow
28) You are member in at least 20 software related forums
29) You get blackmailed by people offering to buy your software instead of your competitor’s when you add feature X
30) You get at least one mail per week where somebody lost his license key
>You get at least one mail per week where somebody lost his license key
Per *week*? Despite having an auto key retrieval system, I get several of these pretty much every day.
Should add that too – but since there are not so many it’s still fine for me.
I get emails asking for licence keys/download link sent in reply to the email containing the licence key/download link. I just cut/paste the quoted text and send it back to them.
Mike, I thought it was just me. That’s a shame, because I felt special before :-)
arg…., only 13/25 we (i) need to put in more effort.
21/25 plus Google Analytics and the license key one more than daily.
Great list! (though I scored quited low, only 14!). We should generalize 5 and 19 so that they can apply also to mISV offering a SaaS approach and not a downloadable product
Scarily accurate list! I got 22 out of 25, the ones I answered no to are:
#8 (haven’t had time or I probably would!),
#14 (I have a day job otherwise I wouldn’t) and
#25 (it was a christening!)
Indeed I did #10 last night! (Well he wasn’t troublesome other than to ask for a feature that I want to add to my software but haven’t had the time).
23/25 hahaha )
#13 is something I need to get over!
Scored 22/25. A few years ago would have probably scored all 25.