I’ve been on the product development side of the software consulting business for almost 5 years. I’ve worked one-on-one with first-time entrepreneurs, well-funded startups and numerous Fortune 500 development teams. My main focus is helping companies accelerate design and development of new software products and create sustainable revenue models around these products. To date, we’ve delivered over 30 cross-platform software products and generated $250M in new revenue for our clients.
This is a blog about the business of software development; from designing and developing new products to running a software consulting company. I personally consider the business of software to be fun, challenging and rewarding. My goal is to share what I learn along the way to help people dominate their market.
I grew up around computers since I was little, mostly because of my dad – we built computers together and spent countless hours gaming (mostly Doom). I had programmed in high school for about 3 years and I thought a degree in electrical engineering was the perfect fit. This turned out to be false. After a few years of beating my head against the wall, I transferred to Mays Business School. Learning for me is a hands-on process; there was just too much theory so I lost interest.
The light bulb went off during my junior year at Texas A&M. I took a job as a software tester on campus because my construction job was running me ragged. I didn’t know it at the time, but I was surrounded by a team of consummate software professionals. Everyone approached their job as craft. I had never experienced anything like that in my life. Software development wasn’t just their job, it was their passion and their hobby. There was no concept of 9-5.
Fortunately, I had a boss who wanted me to spend time learning things I was interested in professionally. Software design, testing and project management were new and exciting for me. He let me manage a few small projects internally for an engineer who needed work done. It was after these initial hands-on experiences that I knew I found my calling.
Despite my lack of discipline in the classroom, I managed to graduate on-time in the summer of 2010. Before graduating, I was asked to continue working at the university as an independent contractor on a suite of energy efficiency software products for the same group that I worked for as a student. In my mind, this seemed like a great idea. What 21-year-old wouldn’t want to hang out in a college town a few more years and “be their own boss?”
After a few months on the project as the only FT contractor, I realized I was in way over my head. There was no way we could meet their deadlines without building a high-performance team. I approached my client and proposed that I could hire and manage a team if he would contract under my company. Morelco Technologies LLC was born. The next few years of my life are a blur. Somewhere along the way we merged with FrogSlayer Software Company and hired several dozen people along the way. A year later, in January 2013, I bought out my partners worked on overhauling the company and re-positioning FrogSlayer as an innovation services shop. There’s definitely been some tough times, but I’ve enjoyed every second of it. Each day is a new experience with new opportunities to learn, improve, and create what’s next.
About This Blog
This isn’t your typical software blog – you won’t find any technical jargon or code snippets here. This is a place for me to share my ideas, experiences and the occasional rant about starting, growing and running an product development services firm. I’ve broken up my writing into my two areas of interest and experience: software consulting and bootstrapping software products.
Early on, I found my role shifting quickly from a technician and day-to-day manager to handing the “softer” parts of the business like marketing, business development, product management, and building high-performance teams. The problem is, there’s just not a whole lot of material to learn about running a boutique software consulting firm. The challenges I faced weren’t the same as the big guys and the hustle of running a company was way different than being a freelancer.
I made up lot of things as I went and still do today, taking my lumps as I go. But, I can’t help but obsess over finding ways to improve every facet of running a software company and being a part of a great team. I experiment A LOT with FrogSlayer. Thankfully, my team has the patience to put up with me, and challenge me, along the way. Now, I hope to pass along what I’ve learned.
Who should read this?
- Startup CTOs and founders
- Product managers or product owners
- Development managers
- Project managers and team leaders
- Freelancers and independent software consultants
Why do you blog?
To be honest, I write mostly to get ideas out of my head. Most of the challenges I face on a daily basis involve problems that intersect people, process and technology. Being a “process guy” in a constantly evolving space has been tough. I like lists and systematic approaches for solving problems. Good luck, right?
How can you contact me?
I hope that at least some of what I write will be interesting enough to spark a bit of engagement. I welcome any comments and email that you have to share. My email is Ross.Morel@frogslayer.com.