As I’ve been writing my book on building a micro-ISV, I’ve noticed a set of problems that seem to afflict everyone starting their own software company. Brian Plexico has very graciously offered me the opportunity to post here about these issues and whatever small insights I can offer to micro-ISVs as to how to solve them.
Starting a micro-ISV means you’ve got a to-do list a mile long. I’ve long been a believer in the Getting Things Done approach David Allen has pioneered, so much so that the product my micro-ISV sells works that way.
But there’s a glaring hole in the GTD theory: what guiding light do you use to prioritize all those actionable tasks? For micro-ISVs, it has to be revenue.
Not the latest and greatest Web 2.0 technology, or refreshing your web site, or even tech support: successful micro-ISVs, like successful small businesses in general, focus on the bottom line. If you don’t, you won’t survive.
Julie Morgenstern, one of my favorite productivity authors, covers extremely well how to figure out how many steps each actionable task is away from revenue in her book (now in paperback, and renamed), Making work Work. The gest of the idea analyze those actionable tasks by the number of steps they are from either increasing revenue or decreasing costs and give priority at any given time to the tasks closest to the bottom line.
Give this approach a try the next time you have to prioritize your micro-ISV to do list.