So close I can smell it

I haven’t blogged for a while, as I was waiting for the newly minted Australian Anthill website to go live. Now it is here, I hope to be able to share our ups and downs as we attempt to grow a brand new business.So where is the prototype I hear you ask?

It is close. Real close. If it was a freshly baked loaf of bread, you would be able to smell it rising in the oven right about now.

While our regular consulting work has taken priority many times over the development of Trickytix, if we are honest with ourselves we have also neglected to properly embrace the notion of constraints.

he team at 37Signals put it best in their e-book Getting Real:

There’s never enough to go around. Not enough time. Not enough money. Not enough people.

That’s a good thing.

Instead of freaking out about these constraints, embrace them. Let them guide you. Constraints drive innovation and force focus. Instead of trying to remove them, use them to your advantage.

Constraints are limitations that actually improve the likelihood of a successful outcome. While we have embraced a number of important ones (restricted budget, small development team, tight deadlines, no wireframes just jump straight into the User Interface), we may have built “too much” software for the first prototype.

That is not to stay that the first cut will be a perfect, bug free solution (far from it!). But it may do some kind of cool things that it didn’t really need to do for the first launch. Your customers won’t thank you for spending 4 hours to make the background of an element light up when it is dragged and dropped on the screen, if by doing so you miss your ship date.

But enough of that, and back to what I promised the Anthill guys I would blog about. Everyone wants to know what things cost, especially if they are considering making the leap into self-employment themselves.

With that in mind I will get my next post out by the end of this week, with details of what it costs to build a prototype web application in Australia. Development costs, hardware and software, legal fees, accounting fees, trust companies, food, beer and everything in between.

eep in mind we are boot strapping the initial build from our own cash reserves (no VC funding at this stage), but we are an established company and so have tried to do things properly.


  1. If you are a freelancer in your bedroom thinking of building your own app, yes you can do it cheaper than what we have (divide our cost by at least a factor of 5).
  2. If you are a business unit within a large ASX listed company, hire 30 more people, multiply our cost by a factor of 25 and spend the next 18 months building your product. You too will miss ship date.

See you next post.


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