The game has changed. In 1977 this business was fun--the sellers and buyers were hotshot techies like ourselves, everybody spoke the same language and knew what was going on, and technical excellence was recognised and rewarded. Today, the microcomputer industry is run by middle manager types who know far more about P/L statements than they do RAM organization. They are the people who determine whether you succeed or fail, and their evaluations are seldom based on technical qualities. Hence, the first thing any venture in this field has to be is businesslike.
What this means is that, first of all, any person who is unwilling to assign this venture a priority equal to or above his current employment does not belong in MSP. That doesn't mean you have to quit your job to join MSP. What it does mean is that if you say you agree to a certain share, then you will deliver that share week after week, month after month, year after year regardless of other commitments except in the case of total catastrophe which would cause you to equally neglect any other job you have. In working with people associated with Marinchip, the following conversation has occurred more than once:
``When will it be done?''
``Well, I don't know.''
``Well, I know I told you it would be done by now, but a lot of
stuff came up at work and I...''
``Isn't this work? Don't you get paid for it?''
If you view your work with microcomputers as a hobby, if you look on the microcomputer business as a way to write off your home computer on your taxes or mollify your spouse about the money you spend on computers, if you're looking for a supplementary income to pay for a disc drive or outboard motor or whatever, you do not belong in MSP. MSP will be composed exclusively of people who intend to develop quality products, aggressively market them, and reap rewards far greater than those available from their current employment. We don't expect most people to start on a full-time basis; in fact, we're deliberately organizing the company to provide full time support services to moonlighting implementors, but if we're successful, we expect those involved to increase their commitment as the business grows.
If you feel, as I do, that a competent software person with the marketing connections to decide what to do and how to sell it is in the best possible position today to become very wealthy, then you belong in MSP.
Editor: John Walker