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Interviewing Software & IT Leaders
In the second issue of Avangate Digest, we had the pleasure to talk to Eric Sink, who coined the term micro-ISV, who he's been writing about the business of software on his blog for several years, and wrote a series of articles for MSDN . He has also published a successful book called "Eric Sink on the Business of Software."
He is also one of the hosts of The Business of Software, a discussion group which comes highly recommended for software startups. He led the group that created the Spyglass web browser, which later became known as 'Internet Explorer', he created the AbiWord open-source word processor, and now he's one of the principals at SourceGear, which is a leading vendor of version control tools.
Adriana Iordan: Can you tell us a little about yourself, your background and how you came to write "Business of Software" and found SourceGear?
Eric Sink: I live in Champaign, Illinois, just a couple of hours away from where I grew up. I came to college here at the University of Illinois. A couple years after graduation I ended up at Spyglass.
My experience at Spyglass was very positive, but I reached a point where I felt like I was done there and ready to move on. The turning point was a men's pancake breakfast at my church. The speaker that morning told us: If you don't like your job, then you either need a new attitude or a new job. I tried to get a new attitude and failed. So I quit and started my own company. My only real goal in starting SourceGear was to create for myself a job that I liked.
Eric Sink: The impact has been positive, although I consider that to be an accident. I didn't start blogging to benefit my business. I just wanted to write. I'll confess that my blog articles do seem to be an asset to our company's presence, and I'll further confess that this is now part of my motivation to blog. But it didn't start out that way, and if it had, I'm not sure I would have been successful. I think people want to read blogs which are written with a very genuine voice, and that voice is hard to find when your primary goal is money.
Adriana Iordan: You've created AbiWord an open source word processor. How do you feel about Open Source software in general? Should the software vendors consider using open source as a revenue building strategy?
Eric Sink: I'm always reluctant to give short, pithy tips, but I'll do it anyway:
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