Start by writing software for smaller companies, because it’s easier to sell to them. It’s worth so much to sell stuff to big companies that the people selling them the crap they currently use spend a lot of time and money to do it. And while you can outhack Oracle with one frontal lobe tied behind your back, you can’t outsell an Oracle salesman. So if you want to win through better technology, aim at smaller customers.

They’re the more strategically valuable part of the market anyway. In technology, the low end always eats the high end. It’s easier to make an inexpensive product more powerful than to make a powerful product cheaper. So the products that start as cheap, simple options tend to gradually grow more powerful till, like water rising in a room, they squash the “high-end” products against the ceiling. Sun did this to mainframes, and Intel is doing it to Sun. Microsoft Word did it to desktop publishing software like Interleaf and Framemaker. Mass-market digital cameras are doing it to the expensive models made for professionals. Avid did it to the manufacturers of specialized video editing systems, and now Apple is doing it to Avid. Henry Ford did it to the car makers that preceded him. If you build the simple, inexpensive option, you’ll not only find it easier to sell at first, but you’ll also be in the best position to conquer the rest of the market.

It’s very dangerous to let anyone fly under you. If you have the cheapest, easiest product, you’ll own the low end. And if you don’t, you’re in the crosshairs of whoever does.

Sage strategic advice from Paul Graham on running a software startup. He wrote it in 2005, but it is true today.

Jason Fried @ Big Omaha 2009 from Big Omaha on Vimeo.

We don’t want to own 100% of many things because the collaboration has been enormously beneficial…We would rather have 40% of a big success than 100% of a failure.”

Carl Johnson, cofounder, Anomaly

Friend Featured in Indy StarAndrew Smiley, a friend from our small group and local southsider, was featured on the front page of the indystar today (he’s on the left in the picture above).  Nice work, Andrew!

Too many men I have known live lives seeking fame, fortune, recognition and rewards, comfort and meterial things, and financial security.  Their priorities begin there, and – since those things don’t tend to leave time for anything else – they usually end there.

Tony Dungy, former head coach of Indianapolis Colts and author of Uncommon

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.  Thanks for living with uncommon priorities by placing people before possessions.

What these bailouts are really costing us.

What these bailouts are really costing us.

Running a start-up is like being punched in the face repeatedly.  But working for a large company is like being waterboarded.

Paul Graham, Y Combinator founder and Start-up guru