This has been an interesting thread, and I've learned a thing or two.
TRB and Huge have had some very enlightening things to say and I am not qualified to challenge them in any meaningful way but I am qualified in other things (hey, we all have our own areas of expertise) and as such I understand that communication on any given subject can be quite challenging when conducted between the neophyte and the guru.
Sometimes when asked for advice by family and friends about something 'to do with computers' I'll end up talking to them at length about whatever it is, then realise they don't have the background knowledge that I unconsciously assume is present in everyone at birth. Whereupon I expound on the theory behind what I'm telling them and before I know it they have gone to sleep, glazed over, jumped out of a window or had to suddenly rush off for an urgent appointment with the vet that they'd forgotten about. If we're talking about computer security I've probably put the fear of Thor into them in the process because I'm talking about the possibilities rather than the actualities.
I exaggerate of course, but in reality you cannot convey half a lifetime of education and experience in a conversation no matter how hard you try. My point is, Eddie has obviously worked really hard to get to where he is now and in his field he's as well qualified as anyone else in this thread is in theirs.
He's not asking to change the world, how to become rich overnight or to become a multinational corporation, he's asking about how he, as a one-man band, perhaps with a little help going forward, can improve on those aspects of the business that aren't his forte in order to make a decent living from it.
This seems to me a perfectly reasonable question, and if I may wear my heart on my sleeve for a moment (which, to be fair, I do most of the time anyway) while he's getting some jolly decent input from you guys (which is great :thumbup:) there's also a bit of the doom-and-gloom 'you need to change everything' message, which I'm not yet convinced is completely necessary.
Maybe I'm out of line, and of course Eddie can speak for himself, I'm only commenting as a participant in this discussion. But is there not some middle ground where we can collectively focus on the positive, be sympathetic about the negative and honest with the necessary without the 'you need to rip and replace or else' message?
Sure, seems changes are needed, but he knows that, which is why he asked for help.
I may view the world in a slightly different way than some people but frankly I've not done badly as a result.
A few anecdotes have been cited in this thread, so let me add mine.
I am the co-founder of a software company. I took a large sum of money from investors, looked them in the eye, promised them results and then rejected the advice of experts and did things that I swear few other people would do. I chose technologies that are unfashionable and 'outdated' (I put that in quotes because much of the fashionable and current stuff is built directly using those technologies) but which I believe in. The result was software that's harder to write, tough to debug and thus takes longer to develop but significantly outperforms anything else in its class and is now kicking the efforts of competitors 50x our size into the dust when it comes to comparisons.
I fought tooth and nail to find obscure talent to work to the strengths of those technologies and stuck to my guns. And it worked. We are a small company, we have 15 employees but after only 18 months of trading we're about to fully repay the investment and turn a profit this year and we've got more business than we know what to do with. We're in our 4th office because we've outgrown the others and we have getting on for a 7-figure annual recurring revenue which is increasing all the time.
I'm not saying I was the cause of all of that. I now work with a team of people who got much of my vision (some of them took some persuading), took the baton and ran with it, and the results have been significant.
Sure we've got ways to go. Bring it on.
I have nothing but respect to anyone pitching in with thoughts, comments, input and everything else, but I think it may be that some changes, overhauling and refinement of Eddie's approach will work wonders without having to tear down the edifice and rebuild Rome.
I think input from experts and qualified people is invaluable but never underestimate the potential of someone doing something they want to do and don't make all the conversations along the lines of those that made my family jump out the window or rush to the vet.
If I'm out of line, my apologies, I'm just wearing my heart on my sleeve, as I said earlier. Also, Eddie, apologies if I'm speaking out of turn on your behalf. That's not my intention, I'm just thinking aloud.