Side-Business Software

Ran across this article by Jason over on and found it pretty interesting.  He thinks that the “most innovating” software in the future (at least in the next 10 years) will:

  • Be Web-based
  • Be built by small team
  • Be self-funded (as far as the company behind the software)
  • Be for “side-businesses” (or at least tiny companies he says is 1-10 people)

He points out that this market is greatly overlooked and people looking to start a side-business want a new type of software that helps them do business without the learning curve of scaled-down enterprise applications or the IT overhead associated with larger packages / non-web software.

I’m hoping that Jason is right on this…that’s one of the motivations behind the small software company I want to have.  Although I do have to say I believe the first assetion, that the software will be web-based, is not one I agree with.  I can understand what it looks that way, but I really do believe smart clients are the future.  Web Apps are certainly getting some amazing capabilities and with browsers supporting more advanced features (although the stuff known today as AJAX has actually been around quite a while – I wrote an application that used VML – which is long gone now – and async web service calls via JavaScript 3 years ago…granted there were some bugs, but it worked…anyway, that’s a bit off topic.).  But I see so much potential out there for smart clients.  They just provide a much better experience to me.  Plus, if your net connection goes down or you are on the road, you can take your data with you…but that’s a discussion for another post. 🙂  Interesting article though…so if you want to build software, keep the side-business market in mind.

Home of the Future

This morning I saw Joe Calev’s post about a morning in the home of the future.  This is something I’ve really thought about too – especially since it’ll be time to buy my first house in the next couple years (or even year…depends).  I know the first house I get won’t be anything special – technology wise – but when I get to build my own house though, I really want it to be capable of basically everything Joe Calev outlined.  I’ve got an even more detailed wakeup routine I’d like the house to do:

First of all, it knows the time I need to wake up based on the day – e.g. on a workday I’d typically wake up around 2 hours before I need to be at work – but even better would be for the system to know the weather is bad today and several accidents have happend that I will run into on the way to work, so it compensates for that and wakes me up extra early to make sure I’m on time.  When the times comes to actually wake me up, the system can raise the lights in the room to simulate sunlight (or open the windows depending on how everything is setup).  The system can also verbally tell me to wake up and get out of bed – perhaps it even has the ability to see where I am in the room and if I fall back to sleep, it could continue the verbal prompt until I get out of bed to make sure I don’t over sleep.  Then it’s back to the same routine Joe outlined, except I’d like the system to also summarize what I have going on that day (e.g. my agenda & any tasks I need to complete or needed to have completed) to give me a feel for how things are going to go.  Of course while I’m getting ready, the system can also preload my car’s system with music / podcasts / etc. for the drive to work, plot a new route in the car’s navigation system if needed because of traffic,  and sync my pocket PC with all the blog entries & news I would be interested in for the day.  I don’t see why that couldn’t be doable in 5 years or so – I really don’t see why it isn’t doable today – all of the parts are there, the software just needs to be created to enable this (well, maybe a little more hardware work is needed, but not much).  I know Microsoft’s Smart House project (I think I saw it on HGTV one day a while day) was quite interesting and very much along the lines of my ultimate vision for the kind of house I’d like to have one day.

So what about you?  Any thoughts on what you’re future home will be like?  Would you even want it automated?

Google Maps Gets Upgraded

Wow, I must say I’m really impressed with the mapping technology Google has going right now.  They have been able to combine the satellite and map views into a hybrid view – and that results in a really useful map.  I used the satellite view when I moved to Knoxville this summer to check out where everything was, how to get to work, etc – and it was really useful.  I know Microsoft has had TerraServer around for a LONG time and I used to check that out every once in a while, but this latest google hybrid map is one of the most useful maps I’ve seen.  Check it out here.