When I was completing my Master's in Computer Science I took several classes on Software Engineering. Software Engineering deals mostly with the lifecycle of software from conception through maintenance. It is different from core CS classes because it does not focus on the software itself. Instead, it focuses on everything that goes into and around the software to make the project successful. I took classes on software process, maintenance, standards, testing, etc. All of this was in addition to my core CS classes on operating systems, networking, graphics, etc.
I found that I already knew a lot of what was being taught in those classes through my experience at my former companies: Project Technology, Inc. (acquired by Mentor Graphics) and Raytheon Company. Some of it was also common sense. However, common sense is not always common practice.
One of the things that I thought I understood well was the concept of vision. Communicating your idea about a product as a whole; what it is and what it will become. As you carve up your vision into manageable chunks, or projects, you define the project scope. That is, what portion of the overall vision is addressed by this particular project. Vision shouldn't really change much, whereas scope may be more fluid and adjust as needed.
So now that I am shifting into the entrepreneur's seat, I see parallels with this line of thinking and the business entity itself. I realize that not only do I have a vision for this particular product (a niche social networking website), but I have begun to shape a vision for the company that will create the product. This vision includes ethical and moral codes of conduct that are modeled after my own personal thoughts and feelings on the subjects. I have thought about how the business entity should conduct itself when dealing with members, clients, etc. I have also thought about employees and the culture I would like to see in the company.
All of these thoughts happened subconsciously and then bubbled up to my conscious thought. Maybe it is all coming about because of my pursuit of the business side of the company in recent days. Regardless, it is comforting to know that my brain has already thought about and formulated an opinion on these topics that I can use as the basis for building a solid company.
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