An update on my professional life

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Published on 17.04.13 13:40 Age: 11 yrs

Letters : 3719 Words : 680

By: The author

If you ever read the article on what I do for a living, you should have a good idea of what my life consists of.

I make money on maintenance contracts for my old software, but also for custom modules. Once again, the hardware my software works with isn't cash registers, but it's a good analogy, so I'll keep it.

Since I managed to secure the rights to be a reseller for them, I mail a monthly check to the company that now has the rights to my software for the sales of licenses of my software. Let's call them ACME.

That is the extent of my relationship with them: they don't care about my software, they just want the money I mail them every month. They just had rules and limitations I had to respect, such as ensuring that my customers could migrate to their software but without allowing the opposite migration.

Since I am the only guy selling it and since I have limited contact, the checks I have been mailing them has been smaller and smaller.

You see, a client only needs to buy the base software once for each of his devices and he is licensed for life.

When I release new versions, they need to pay me a maintenance fee for the new version, but otherwise, the only time money will go to ACME is when they increase of the number of devices they have or when I sell to a new client.

With the recession, there are no new clients and existing clients do not increase their number of machines, causing months without any revenues for ACME from me.

Fortunately for me, that doesn't mean they can stop paying their maintenance fees or that they stop needing custom modules.

Last December, ACME flew me to their head quarters. This was the first time I met them in person and I was rather nervous.

They explained that they were running a deficit for 2012 and that my software was no longer bringing the revenues they expected and that they wanted to sell it to someone else, possibly me.

We spend 2 excruciating days negotiating a price and a payment plan, but after I remortgaged my house and borrowed money left and right, I was finally the owner of my own software, which I had begun writing over 15 years ago and which is now installed in machines around the world.

The good news is that now, I control 100% of the software, not just the code, but also how to name it, how to price it, and I get 100% of the revenues.

The bad news is that for now, I am almost completely broke, since I didn't start magically selling licenses just because I am the owner. I did run a few promotions to bring in revenue so slowly, I am repaying my debts.

The best news however, is that I am now 100% free to do whatever I want, including allowing their customers to migrate to my software, given me access to an previously untapped customer base.

I am seeing the light: I have a few of their customers in my list of leads and one of those flew me to New Zealand to perform the migration. I managed to spend perhaps 20 minutes on a nude beach on my day of departure but otherwise stayed indoors the whole time.

For ACME, this is actually a good news: my software was slowly starting to become a de facto industry standard and even though they have a big market share, they were one of the rare companies not supporting my software in any shape or form (support is not universal even if I am making every efforts for it).

What does it mean for this site however? No new stories for now...

I am looking at this moment between 2 contracts to see if I have a nearly completed story that I could finish for giving you something to wait, but I fear it is not the case.




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