Now that fall has arrived, there is an untold number of university students entering the final year of their educational programs. Many of them will be graduating with some sort of software development degree in high hopes of starting their own firms that will someday become industry powerhouses. Only a small minority of these college-educated software developers will succeed as entrepreneurs. The rest will enjoy long and productive careers as employees.
So what separates the entrepreneur from the employee? Well, there are a lot of things. First and foremost is understanding that there is no magic to building a software development company. Whether the entrepreneur wants to focus on broad-based nearshore software development or a niche area in a niche location, the formula for success is always the same: hard work, innovation, and resources.
Bulgarian entrepreneur, CEO, and InfoQ contributor Todor Gigilev suggests that there are seven ingredients to being successful as a software development entrepreneur. Though this post will not look at all seven in great detail, each one is still worth taking note of:
1. Assemble the Right Team
Gigilev maintains that the most important ingredient is actually the first step: building the right team to act as the core of the company. This group of people should not only be highly qualified and knowledgeable in the latest technologies but they should also be passionate about software development. Passionate people are the key to both domestic and nearshore software development.
2. Concentrate on Technology
Business solutions and technology often collide in the software development universe. Gigilev says focusing on technology is more important. Technology leads to better business solutions, so a young company needs to have its technology right first.
3. Selectively Add Team Members
Next on the list is growing the firm by adding to the core group. New team members should be selected based on knowledge, skills, and cultural fit. Gigilev suggests developing a tough interview process that separates the players from the pretenders.
4. Build a Partnership Network
Technology businesses succeed largely on the partnership networks they develop. Take Austin-based iTexico as an example. They offer both domestic and nearshore software development services, serving clients in the U.S. and eight other countries. They have a fairly extensive partnership network.
5. Build a Strong Company Culture
Company culture tends to evolve over time. The culture present when a startup just gets underway is in its infancy; it may look drastically different five years down the road. Entrepreneurs should be careful to build a strong company culture that remains solid during that evolution rather than falling apart.
6. Keep Up
It should be obvious, but the successful software development company will keep up with all the latest technologies. Technology moves fast these days; developers need to stay on the cutting edge.