I was half way through my senior year in college when I knew I didn’t want to work in accounting, my major. I had a minor in computer science and had programmed since I was 13 but it wasn’t the same as majoring in it. I picked accounting because I figured 1) it was a good grounding for life in the business world and 2) I could always get a job in it.
In essence, I came out of college not knowing what I wanted to do. As I have written about in the past, a friend of mine was working for a software publisher locally who had an interest in PalmPilot applications. I wanted to see if computer science was better for me and signed on to write a couple of applications.
I remember feeling lost most the time. It was so different than anything I had ever done before from a programming perspective but in those first few years I wrote our original financial calculator, FCPlus Professional, a couple of dedicated apps for loans (Loan Pro) and leases (Lease Pro), and personal finance and investing applications (WalletMate and InvestMate). In all, it was five applications encompassing nine different releases over the course of three years.
Starting and running Infinity Softworks intrigued me but it wasn’t until recently that I put my finger on why. At the time, I thought it was the potential to make lots of money, but frankly money in and of itself has never been a big motivator for me. I thought it was the ability to run my own show. I like that but many times over the years the headaches have far outweighed the benefits. I thought it was the versatility, writing code one day, answering support another, building partner relationships on the third. But doing all of these things means I never really get great at any one or two, just okay at everything. And doing all the stuff I don’t love is a drag.
I have come to realize what I love to do is invent. I love the thrill of the hunt. I love aligning the right people and companies to make something successful. I love creating products that excite people and make them want to use the product. I love great design and can spend hours thinking about the details of customer interaction. I love talking to people about how they use products, watching them use it, and trying to get a good gut feel for what will make a product successful or not.
Over the years, Infinity Softworks has released many products with many more versions. Some have been highly successful and some have been a waste of time and resources. Mostly I have had a hand in design and direction but not actual coding as I was kicked out of the developer room many years ago.
January marks the 11th anniversary for this little company, quite an accomplishment if I do say so myself. It’s good to know that I am still learning something about the business and myself after all these years.