I like to make things
I spend a lot of my time making things.
During the week, you'll find me working as a software developer.
At weekends, you'll find me in my workshop making something out of wood.
I like to make things.
But there's more to it than that...
... I like to make useful things
This is an important distinction.
I'm not interested in creating art.
I'm interested in providing utility.
The things I make have to be useful.
The things I make have to be used.
My first job was in Research and Development.
I spent my days in a lab. Experimenting.
I wasn't very good at it. I didn't invent a damn thing.
My second job was Product Manager.
I designed brackets.
The brackets were made by an external supplier and shipped to our warehouse.
And then came the really magical part:
The brackets were shipped to paying customers.
My third job was Marketing Manager.
I didn't design brackets any more.
(Which was a shame. I liked those brackets.)
But now I could make sure that more of those brackets - among other things - left the warehouse on their way to paying customers.
In 1999 I left the world of Industrial Marketing. I moved to IT.
I became a Business Analyst.
I wrote a lot of specifications.
Too few of them turned into code.
I stopped writing specs and started writing code.
At first, I wrote code for tiny websites.
Later, I wrote code for enormous websites, such as BBC.com.
Over time I began to see that good code wasn't enough.
I started to see that profitable software requires a delicate mix of factors.
Get the balance right, and the result is great software. Profitable software.