Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Whatever happened to that Lachlan guy?

Short answer, I set myself up to fail and used a competitor who beat me to the punch as an excuse to quit.

Yes it was a promising start, I was even surprising myself with my progress. I had an idea who's time I thought had come and I may have even been right about that. I abandoned the Sydney project with probably about 60% of it completed though I doubt I'll ever go back and finish it.

Thanks to everyone who followed my progress here. I'm really sorry to have let you all down with such a poor showing. At least some of you seemed to be quite entertained by my story as it unfolded, it's just a shame I never got around to finding out how it ended.

For those few of you who tracked me down to make sure I was still alive and kicking after my sudden disappearance from the net I am especially grateful. To have had people from the other side of the world that I'd never met before concerned about my welfare was a unique experience that I won't forget.

As for what I have actually been doing I've been continuing with my own business doing consulting work to help small businesses in Sydney with their IT systems. That's Sydney the city, not the code name for some vapourware pipe dream project. On top of that I discovered I'm a pretty good half-marathoner, found and lost a girlfriend or two, moved house again and suffered a major health scare (doing fine now thanks).

So what was the big secret?

At it's heart Sydney was an email archiving add-on for a particular email server. You can see what I hoped it would be become by checking out this real product released early last year.

Their product, while slightly different to what Sydney would have been, is actually very good and received endorsement from the manufacturers of the MDaemon email server I was targeting (previously codenamed Geneva by me).

At the time I decided, probably correctly, that the market share of MDaemon wasn't big enough for a second email archiving add-on and with everything else that was going on, I let work on Sydney fall away completely.

So what now?

I'm continuing with my consulting work doing IT for local small businesses. I'm doing a fair amount of programming as part of that but I'd like to be doing more.

There's potential there for bringing someone onboard to work with me, handling the tech support work while I do more programming, though I'm being extra cautious about finding the right person for the job. The fallout from mistakes I made last time I hired somebody was still haunting me these past few years and holding me back somewhat while I was working on Sydney.

There's also one or two other new business ideas that I'd like to explore further. I'm not sure if they're viable yet but I'll be looking into them more closely over the next few months.

And for this blog?

Well it's pretty obvious I lost interest in continuing this blog as of early last year. To be honest it's now more of an embarrassment to me than anything else. It's obviously the first thing that comes up if anybody Googles me and a few times in the past year I've had new acquaintances asking me if I ever got around to buying myself a new pair of shoes.

I'm not sure that just because it's a little embarrassing means that I should be taking it down though. It documents a fairly significant time in my life, and the fact that it isn't documenting a huge success doesn't seem sufficient enough reason to be removing it. After all the point of the whole blogging exercise was for both myself and others to learn from my mistakes. I can't do that if I hide them away and pretend they never happened.

So I'll keep it here. FeedBurner is currently reporting just over 200 subscribers who have stayed with me since my last post in March 2005. While that's incredibly flattering I'm not under any illusions that you've all been sitting on the edge of your seats the last 18 months waiting for me to post again. Certainly many of you no doubt just never got around to removing me from the list of feeds you have set up to check.

So now's your chance to unsubscribe if you want to.

If you stick around I'll post again before the end of the week. Most likely it will consist of some more in-depth navel gazing, disecting the doomed Sydney project and my failings. After that I'll probably go quiet again for a while. Like I said earlier I do have some other business ideas but I'm not ready to talk about them yet and maybe I won't talk about them here at all. I did have fun writing this blog though so I'll probably start writing again at some point in the next few months.

I won't be blogging again though unless I'm sure I can achieve a different end result the next time around. There was far too much talk and not enough action surrounding Sydney. Whether my next venture succeeds or fails that's one thing that needs to change.