Stealth Player Development

My MicroISV. Where software development and pornography collide...

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Friday, January 14, 2005

Welcome to My MicroISV Blog!

Welcome to my first blog! So what is Stealth Player and why am I writing a blog about it??? Well, Stealth Player is a software product I’m currently developing and it will be the first piece of software I’ve ever sold to the general public. You see, I’ve been an independent consultant for about 6 years now…I’ve built several applications in those years, but never an application for the general public. I’m writing this blog because I want to share my experience starting a “MicroISV” with the rest of you.

What does Stealth Player do? Seems like it’s a simple enough question, and I have a very good short answer for it…but I feel I need to preface the answer with an explanation of how I got here.

First, I’m an entrepreneur at heart. I’m an independent consultant because I enjoy the challenge and freedom of being self employed. That being said there is an inherent problem with consulting that can be summed up in a simple equation…

Hours Worked * Hourly Rate = Total Earnings

Let’s say I was getting a killer rate of $100/hr and I didn’t eat, sleep, or crap – so I worked 24 hours a day. Oh, AND my client has no budget and I work weekends! Then my total yearly earning potential for one year is $868,800. That’s a lot of money, BUT (not only is that scenario impossible) I can’t earn more unless I bill at a higher rate…Let’s look at a better equation…

Units Sold * Unit Price = Total Earnings

OK, I know what you’re thinking…you see my point…if I can sell 300 units a month at $10 a unit I make $3,000 a month. I’m now not limited by my time spent working. HOWEVER, the most important point is what you don’t see in the second equation…"Work". That’s not to say there’s no work involved, but this leads to the following thinking as outlined in the “Rich Dad, Poor Dad” series of books...

A business owner can be defined as someone who owns a business system; that is, the owner can leave the business for a year, come back and still have a business earning revenue. In my case, if I were to leave my consulting business for a year, my Total Earnings would be 0! So I don’t own a business – I am the business.

OK, I know I still haven’t answered the original question, but I will – and I’m glad you’re still with me. To summarize where we're at...Geting payed lots of money for an hour of work - bad, Selling a unit of software on the internet while surfing in Costa Rica - good.

Referring to the equation above, I wanted to maximize the first part of the equation, Units Sold. In order to do so, I need a large market. So I did some critical thinking…which reminds me...I would like to thank Eric Sink for his excellent string of articles on MSDN and his great blog. His writings are a must read for anyone considering the ISV business.

Critical thinking...deciding what to build is difficult... I know general business...but this space is filled with stiff competition... and I don't have any specific advantage...

Also, I need a large market of people who use computers and spend money online, perferably a market with little competition…Hmmm...What is the biggest market on the internet for that? Well, in case you didn’t know, it’s pornography.

I believe this is a large market that’s under served by the software industry, it makes sense though; I was hesitant to even consider it. After thinking about it, I decided that I could make software products to solve problems people experience surfing the internet for porn.

Stealth Player is the culmination of my extensive “research” in this area…Yah, like you don’t know what I mean! StealthPlayer will be the first application of its kind…that’s not to say it doesn’t have competition, it does indirectly, but I believe StealthPlayer is the start of the next generation “Killer App”. There I said it.

Internet Aggregation and Dissemination – You heard it hear first…there is nothing in Google about it. SEE no result as of 1/14/2005.

There is an inherent problem with search engines…They generically spider the internet, indexing pages, media, and other files. They lack focus and context. To prove my point google “Free Porn”…Did you find free porn? I found a bunch of links that say free porn, but are really advertisement filled web sites. If you actually find a site with links to free galleries you’ll find these sites redirect you to other advertisement fill sites…some times these sites can even take control of you’re browser using java script and start launching windows everywhere. So you see, that's just the start of the problems found in surfing the web for porn, and this is just one of the problems my software solves – no nonsense browsing of free pornography.

There is another inherent problem with search engines...let's say the "free porn" search returned lots of great links that weren't absolute garbage. Now let’s say that search returned 123,198 web pages… you only looked through the first 34 results…the next time you want to look at porn you search google again. Now the search yields 145, 743 web pages. How do you know what you’ve already seen? How do you know which entries are new? Imaging if your email worked that way… if the order of your email was random and ever changing, and you couldn’t delete it, you couldn’t sort it, and you couldn’t tell old from new. It would drive you nuts.

Internet Aggregation and Dissemination is mining the internet with focus and context then delivering the results in a way that complements the specific scope of information mined. I can think of many uses for this paradigm, but porn seems to have the largest market... so here we are.

I’ll be writing more about Internet Aggregation and Dissemination and how Stealth Player fits into that model in the near future…Stay tuned.

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