I was incredibly inspired by reading Pixar’s Brad Bird on Fostering Innovation (tip of the hat to Wil Shipley). There’s so much packed into these nine simple rules, but the final one really struck a chord with me: Making Money Can’t Be Your Focus.
I truly believe that rule and try to live by it every day. My little software company was created to make a significant difference in people’s lives. For the past 30 years, I have made a decent living writing software, but this time around I wanted to make an impact as well. I do get frustrated when sales are low or when we haven’t finished the new major release that will bring in higher revenues, but not because I’m dying to buy a yacht and retire: I want, no, I need to fund more cool software development. It’s part of my DNA now.
What we create at No Thirst Software should be seen by our customers as amazing software and no matter how good it is today, I don’t feel it’s anywhere near amazing. There is so much we can do and so much potential to give people tools that can change their financial future that I physically ache for progress some days. This is why I’ve reinvested so much of our profits to grow this company even though the risk factor is high. I know that by myself I will never get everything accomplished that I have planned.
We have three major software releases scheduled for 2011 and years of ideas beyond those swimming around in my head. The day I start doing this for the money is the day I need to hand the company over to someone who still has passion for the product. Luckily, I can’t imagine that day right now.