Can’t I just hire a freelance software developer from Elance, Odesk, Upwork, Guru, etc.?

By |Blog, Customers, Project Management|

Of course you can.  Often, a freelancer is the most cost-effective option if the custom application you have in mind is straightforward to develop.  However, unless you have experience running a software development project, interacting directly with a developer can be an exercise in frustration.  Especially if your project is complex, or you don't fully [...]

How much does a custom software application cost?

By |Blog, Customers|

I don't know about your industry, but in mine, I run across potential customers who think that we are actually a charity dedicated to the overall betterment of mankind.  That, or we are wealthy beyond anyone's wildest dreams, and just work out of the goodness of our hearts.  (Bill Gates developed software and now [...]

Is the customer always right?

By |Blog, Customers|

In a word, "No." I really like the concept of picking customers who are right for the way we do business, and believe that customers should have the same perspective when choosing a custom software vendor. I would argue that *all* businesses over about $5 million in revenue need custom software to help them run [...]

When to upgrade from Excel

By |Blog|

Excel spreadsheets  are perfect when you're first setting up a business process.  But how do you know when you should upgrade to a packaged or custom software solution?  Usually, you just know - it starts feeling painful to open up that spreadsheet to start your work.  Here are a few warning signs that your [...]

Access vs Excel

By |Blog, Tools of the trade|

Home Improvement Tools If you've ever had the experience of working on a home improvement project without the proper tools, you'll appreciate this story.  A couple years ago, I got the bright idea that I would replace our well-worn shower with a bathtub and tile surround.  Having never done a project like this before, I [...]

Project Management

By |Blog, Project Management|

There are many ways to make a project fail, but only one way to make it succeed. In the various companies I’ve been associated with in my life, I’ve run across quite a number of failed projects.  Each one failed for its own unique reasons.  In no particular order, here are some highlights: Lack of [...]

How to reduce the cost of custom software

By |Blog, Project Management|

  You’ve no doubt seen the old auto repair shop joke about their shop rates: Standard rate is $125 /hour If you want to watch, its $175/hour If you want to help, its $250/hour I’m frequently asked by clients if they can reduce the price by taking over some of the grunt work.  My usual [...]