Ubuntu for Small Business

John Richard Moser nigelenki at comcast.net
Fri Sep 9 18:56:51 BST 2005


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Barry deFreese wrote:
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "John Richard Moser"
> <nigelenki at comcast.net>
> To: "ubuntu-devel" <ubuntu-devel at lists.ubuntu.com>; "Ubuntu Users List"
> <ubuntu-users at lists.ubuntu.com>
> Sent: Friday, September 09, 2005 12:56 PM
> Subject: Ubuntu for Small Business
> 
> 
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>> My aunt just frantically put together a package of PrintMaster,
>> Microsoft Money, and Microsoft Windows to create a small management
>> computer for her franchise business.  I can't come up with an
>> open-source alternative to Money, although OpenOffice.org (for a skilled
>> user) can replace PrintMaster with work.
>>
> -- sever snippage --
> 
> John,
> 
> I think this is an excellent idea.  I have actually long considered a
> business around this very type of thing.  With the skyrocketing costs of
> licensing, I would love to be able to set up small/medium sized
> businesses with Free Software.
> 

Excellent.  Then I'm not (completely) crazy.  Now the question is, can
you find the support of developers whose schedules aren't already
stuffed full of other tasks (it does no good to allocate more time than
you have), pick out good existing software, and design things to fill in
the gaps?  If not, this idea will have to spin for a while until the
community is ready to tackle it.

Meanwhile, I have a business plan to work on writing (trying to get
funding to start MY business).  Excellent idea as this may be, it will
have to benefit some other entrepreneur; I'm not waiting around ;)

A little insight though:

 - Draw up some sort of storage standard for anything going into a
database.  If it's stored in an SQL database, it should be migratable to
another application.  If you have to design something, write down a list
of table names and layouts so that any other implementations can import
the stuff using an sqldump (no vendor lock-in)
 -  A few things like the employee kiosk probably doesn't exist anywhere
as LGPL software (I've seen similar things commercially, not integrated
with forums or webmail or a resource manager like gForge).  This means
that when drawing up a team you have to account for the hard fact that
there is probably going to be some significantly complex software that
will run its entire development cycle in this project.  Drawing from
what's out there is great, but eventually an idea is going to be born,
designed, coded, and maintained; be prepared to split the project up
into subprojects.
 - Does anyone here have their own business?  What kinds of tasks do you
run into in a start-up?  What kind of expandability is needed to
transition to a large incorporated or internationalized business?
Whole-team involvement is an extreme programming (XP) concept, but it's
also the core of open source software; customers, end users,
programmers, everyone is a part of this, and everyone has some form of
useful input.  Don't wait around for it; go find it.

I must go, I have college work to do and shouldn't be telling people
what to do until I have a nametag that says "President" or "CEO" :)

> Barry deFreese (aka bddebian)
> Shiny New MOTU
> 

- --
All content of all messages exchanged herein are left in the
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    Creative brains are a valuable, limited resource. They shouldn't be
    wasted on re-inventing the wheel when there are so many fascinating
    new problems waiting out there.
                                                 -- Eric Steven Raymond
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