Jump to content
RESET Forums (homeservershow.com)

An open letter to the Home Server Show community


msawyer91
 Share

Recommended Posts

Friends,

 

Over the last several months I have pondered whether or not to continue forward with the development and sale of my WindowSMART 2013, Home Server SMART 2013 and Home Server SMART Classic software.

 

When I first wrote Home Server SMART Classic over three years ago, I did it for fun, and made it donate-ware. Later on I saw the opportunity to make a paid version, which later became WindowSMART, to supplement my income.

 

I've worked full time for HP (Hewlett-Packard) for 15 years (the first 10 of those years were with EDS, bought out by HP in 2008). That is where I still work. Being a father of two young children, ages 5 and 3, working on a side project consumes a LOT of time that my family would love to see me.

 

The result was that I typically spent a great number of late nights, often until 2, 3, or even 4 in the morning, working on my software. I got by on junk food and coffee, and this had negative effects on my health--I was gaining a lot of weight and a visit to the doctor said I was on a collision course with a heart attack by the time I turned 40. That's not what I bargained for.

 

I love my family--my wife, my children--and I want to be there for them. While I've got my weight back under control, there are nevertheless demands with my software--end user support and continued development--that are very difficult to manage, especially now that I've added exercise to my daily routine.

 

That said, I would like to make it known that I intend to sell the full rights to all of my software -- WindowSMART 2013, Home Server SMART 2013 and Home Server SMART Classic. This would include the full source code, copyrights, rights to distribute, license key generator and customer lists. While I currently offer my software as a buy once, free upgrades forever model, there would be no obligation that you do the same.

 

If you are an ISV, adding my SMART software should offer you a handsome opportunity to increase sales. For me, having a full-time job already means trying to develop and support software on the side takes way too much time from my family.

 

If you are interested in acquiring my SMART software, all source code and rights to distribute, please send me a private message.

 

Kindest regards,

 

Matthew Sawyer

Owner, Dojo North Software, LLC
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm sorry to hear about the toll on your health. That's definitely not a good thing!

And i'm sorry to hear that your setting out of the game!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks Christopher. Fortunately it doesn't seem that I did anything permanent. I've spent the better part of this year exercising more, eating better and getting back into good shape. I'm actually running a half marathon this coming Sunday (the annual Detroit Free Press marathon). Adding daily exercise, of course, took away from the time that I could work on the software.

 

HP has a "conflict of interest" policy and naturally I had to be sure I didn't run afoul of that by having a side business, but in general they discourage such activities. I discussed this at length with my father-in-law, and he said the main reason for such policies is they don't want their employees to wind up in the position I'm in now--stretched so thin that I risk jeopardizing the quality of my work at HP.

 

I really wanted to hire an employee--someone to help with the day-to-day tasks. Things like following up with end users by email and in the forums, examining test results, assisting with debugging, etc. I just wasn't generating enough sales to justify hiring someone. Sure I made enough sales to put some extra money in my pocket, but at the end of the day, I came to the realization that I was missing time with my family and risking my health. And for what? To make a few extra bucks? I embarked on the endeavour to help out my family, but in the end it seemed like I was just being selfish. It wasn't an easy decision, but I think that pulling the plug may be the best decision for my family and me.

 

I certainly won't be leaving the community here. I just won't be putting out any more new releases of the SMART software. I'm hoping a fellow developer will be willing to pick it up and run with it.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Come on Msawyer!!  Its all about time management!  Get a nice tablet and code while your running.  Think of all the wasted time you have by doing things like sleeping at night!!  :)  

 

 Sounds like you already know 100% you can work on a software project down the line but you can never go back and relive a minute missed with your kids. The age they are is one of the best ones to for everything.  And when they get older you can put them to work on your project!!  Have you given any thought to looking for a couple of partners maybe?  I know there are all sorts of start a biz kind of websites out there I am sure there is a place to link up with talented people willing to work on / become a part of a good project for a part of what the project MAY become.  That could free you up for your family & still keep your "other baby" under your wing.  

 

All jokes aside though I wish you the best in whatever direction you take your project. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Absolutely devote the time to your family. Software comes & goes; your family is forever. I'm glad you found the light before anything more serious happened. Good luck with everything.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Good luck and stay true to your diet and exercise program.  I went through what you did years ago and it has really paid off.  I used to weigh 240 Lbs and changed my diet and started exercising.  30 years later I weigh in at 155 and can run circles around folks in their twenties as well as having my blood pressure and other vital systems under control.  Thanks for all you have done. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Matthew,

​I sympathize. I'm glad my developing never got beyond a hobby, specially now that I've gotten married and now have a step-daughter. My work on software has almost come to a stop because of them and the new house and that I'm still trying to keep my other hobby going (car racing). 

 

Good luck on the sale and with your health and family.

 

Bill

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As a developer, it's always sad to me when someone has to quit working on a project that they clearly love. But family and health absolutely do come first.

 

Wishing you all the best.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you everyone for the kind words. Very much appreciated. While I very much enjoyed developing Home Server SMART and WindowSMART, in the end I realized one thing -- I am human, not Superman. Working two full time jobs while still trying to be a good husband and father, and throw in daily exercise to stay in good health, just isn't practical. At the end of the day it came down to whether I was really helping the family by forging ahead with my software, or if it was more for selfish gratification.

 

As I said before, I love my family. They mean everything to me, and my kids are only little once. And before long they'll be participating in sports and/or school activities, and I want to be there for those. While it was not an easy decision to make--to give up development of my software--now that it has been made, it is one I feel comfortable with.

 

I will continue to provide support for the software until it is sold and it becomes the responsibility of its purchaser. Also, if you have used our free Home Server SMART Classic or 2013 software and would like to show a small token of appreciation, donations are always welcome @ https://www.paypal.com/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=_s-xclick&hosted_button_id=2GTBSX3MMGMHL

 

Matt

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...