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Life and Death of a Software Company (Part 1)

In my last blog post I talked about how many developers build a product and then try to market it. Isn't the news full of articles about people making it big writing iPhone apps?

The poster boy for this process should be Jason Short of VistaDB (we reviewed VistaDB in the July issues of Visual Studio Magazine). Jason's story sounds like the archetypal story of the developer turned product vendor: he acquired the VistaDB product technology after using it to build some major systems at the company he worked for. The owner of VistaDB at that time was looking to move on and Jason was looking for something new to do.

How archetypal is this story? I remember it thirty years ago! Back then, it was for Remington shavers and it featured the company owner staring into the camera and saying, "I liked the product so much, I bought the company."

But, after three years, it's now Jason who's looking at selling the company and his story is worth telling -- and worth stretching out over several blog entries. I interviewed Jason last month, before he decided to back out of the company, and he talked about the difficulties of running VistaDB. My next blog will be that interview: a snapshot of the company before the end.

Posted by Peter Vogel on 07/19/2010

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