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Make Money (as a software company)

Make your business more profitable by focusing on the parts that make money and using cost-effective solutions for everything else.

A business is most profitable when focusing on the parts that make money. Everything else needed to run the company should have the best cost-performance ratio and be easily usable with as little manual maintenance as possible.

Of course, any company may have its recipe for infrastructure, services to use, and, ultimately, what to sell. However, right here, we will share our take on it.

Publish parts of your work as Open Source

  1. Use Open Source and publish Open Source.
  2. Choose free licenses like the MIT license for as much stuff as possible.

A lot of Open Source is free software, meaning you don't need to pay anything to use it. We use Open Source software with free licenses because its quality is controllable and often even better than paid products. On top of every dime you don't spend, you don't have to earn back later.

We also publish a lot of Open Source Software. Modules we can't directly sell to customers; we try to open-source them under the MIT license (... if it doesn't lead to any real-world major security concerns. Yet, security through obfuscation is a really bad idea). As a result, others can use large parts of our software for free for mostly whatever they like to do with it. This includes selling it to third parties. One can't change the license, though.

You might ask: Why? The answer is: Software you don't sell and don't publish is lost cash flow. Open-sourcing those software parts will make sizeable amounts of money in the long run because downloads on npm and interaction by the community are a credential we can use to appeal to actual paying customers. Additionally, Open Source builds trust. Tech-savvy people can look at our code and decide if it makes sense, and if our code quality is maintainable and future-proof.

Use Third-Party Services

Use third-party services if you can't automate something easily yourself or need too much time (and thereby money) to implement it yourself.

We use a lot of third-party services.

  1. Cloud Resources: We buy cloud resources and don't possess any servers of our own. This allows us to scale flexibly. New VPS servers are provisioned within a matter of seconds in today's world, so one can keep costs low and yet meet the demand of new customers at any time (given your software stack supports scaling)
  2. Accounting services: Get a tax accountant: Tax law is complex, and you don't want to be accused of tax evasion. On top, you profit from society. It is the infrastructure that allows you to make money in the first place, so you have to pay the correct and fair share of taxes. If there are legitimate ways to save money, you should do it cause the competition does it as well, and you need to stay cost-competitive.
  3. Travel Services: Business people need to travel. It would be best if you had some easy ways of booking tickets. Ensure those services give you valid VAT invoices billed to your company so that you can get back VAT for those expenses.
  4. Amazon: Use Amazon for everything you need in terms of supplies. It makes your invoice trail neat: You can set up purchasing policies only allowing purchases with downloadable VAT-compliant invoices.
  5. Hardware: Don't buy too much hardware on your own. Only loyal employees are worth their own machines; otherwise, start with rentals to keep the initial spending bill as low as possible. That makes it a lot easier to shift gears when you route your business in a slightly different direction.

Automate repeatable tasks

If there are steps that can be automated reliably, do so if the amount of time saved in a month warrants the cost of doing so. We have automated everything from finance flows, invoice recognition, and invoice matching to new code deployments. This way, we concentrate on what fails due to ML's lack of confidence or tests not running through for new code.

Validate ideas

Often people say you are crazy, even when pursuing excellent ideas. That can make it hard to validate ideas. However, if you find the people that would benefit the most from your solution, you are in the best position to validate your idea beforehand. Don't be shy to talk freely about your idea. For every idea stolen from you, you can weed out 100 ideas that wouldn't have made it anyway. That still leaves enough room for you to pursue something worth your time. Often, only if you solve real problems will you make real money.



AI and Open Source: A New Era of Software Development and Security

AI and Open Source: A New Era of Software Development and Security

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly becoming an invaluable asset in the world of open-source software, with the potential to greatly enhance development, security, and transparency. As we continue to invest in open-source initiatives at Task Venture Capital, we are particularly interested in the intersections between AI and open-source solutions, which