What Does Open Mean For Business Today?

photo credit: O'Reilly - Oscon 2002

The advent of open source software has sparked a big debate in the global economy, an economy that is so used to secrecy for the sake of control. Open is a trend that is not going away. Open source software is created by volunteers from all over the world at no cost to the end users. These volunteers work for free because they need something, not because they see money in it(ie: http://zenfoc.us). They help themselves while helping others in the process.

But what does open mean for business today. Does open reduce the potential for profit(aka making a living)?

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Ask and You Shall Receive

This powerful quote has proved very true in my personal endeavors to financially support my wife and I.

For a long while, I’ve been researching how to operate a business correctly. I’ve read books from the local library(one of my most valuable resources)¬† as well as online. I’ve tried to learn from my freelance experiences as well as from working with a group of professionals in the last firm where I was employed. I’ve tried to watch others make choices and see how they react.

The Point

Of all the things I’ve done to learn, to ask others is the most effective method.

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Advent: Choosing my path

I never saw this coming.

Here I am, figuratively standing on the edge of a gaping abyss with no where to go but forward. Ever seen Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade? If not, then find a way to see it and you’ll understand that this leap of faith isn’t easy.

There is only one difference. I have to choose between more than just one path, unlike Indiana Jones.

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Small Presence Update

This is quick update on what I’ve been doing with Small Presence. Some of what follows is somewhat technical. I’ll try to highlight the main points for each.

I have been messing around with BIND 9 DNS for ns1/ns2.smallpresence.net which is where all our client sites will be pointing their domain names. I have worked with DNS before, but it’s been so long. I’ve now been able to get everything resolving well. I’m going to be looking into getting a 3rd party DNS server somewhere on the East coast of the US so that SP can take advantage of geo-diverse redundant DNS lookups. Yay. Till then, using the same authorative server is working for both ns1/ns2.

Tonight, I setup and tested a very basic Asterisk setup. Made an outgoing call on my laptop with its built-in microphone and everything was great. Asterisk didn’t even register 1% CPU usage on the VPS, which is awesome. Next, I need to do some voice prompts to build the interactive voice response menu. I also will be recording ALL calls with clients for both our records. I feel it will be a huge benefit of using Asterisk for phones. Being able to hear what we discussed will alleviate me having to talk and type when it’s not convenient. What I learn here will correlate directly to providing VOIP services to my small business clients in the future as far as a simple IVR system for their use. At that point I would use a dedicated Asterisk server. But ya gotta start somewhere.

I also have been working more on the work flow procedures for new clients and projects. Some of what I’ve come up with has been heavily influenced by my experiences at Raster Media. Right now I’m using a wiki-based system called WackoWiki for my initial client, project, and internal organization. I’m actually enjoying using such a flexible and abstract system. It’s helping form my vision for what SP will need as far as a custom management system. Very cool.

I’m still waiting to get my SP debit card in the mail. I should call the PMB center and ask if I have anything in, heh. At least the bank account is open now, though.

In other news, I’ve decided to open SP as an LLC as opposed to the current DBA structure. I’ve consulted with my Boss, Michael Smith from Raster Media and The Neo CEO, and he suggests that an LLC is worth the extra money since it buys me legal separateness from SP. I don’t foresee legal issues ever arising from SP clients, but no sense in pretending it doesn’t happen, especially now that my new home is almost closed(my first home actually). I don’t think my Fianc√© would like that. Oh ya, I’m getting married March 6th. So that’s one reason why I haven’t finished editing my drafts nor publishing them lately.

That’s it for now. Keep coming back for more. Be sure to leave a comment if you have any suggestions or words of wisdom!

First Project Post: Small Presence

In keeping this blog up to date with my personal start-up efforts, I now proudly introduce to you Small Presence.

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