Working at software-focused startups is an interesting career and has given me a lot to think about over the years. Whether we’re talking about the business side of things or the technology side, one mistake that many people and companies make is to try to get things “right” at the expense of simplicity. There’s almost always a simple, standard way of doing things that will save you a lot of time and trouble down the road.

Over the course of about a year I’ll try to distill down some of those hard-leared lessons. Keep in mind that I did almost none of these things correctly the first time through:

Platform 101

These days building a highly available, highly scalable platform-based solution can be as easy as – or easier than – writing a trivial PHP app was a few years ago. Still, there are some points that it helps to get right from day one.

Tech Startup

No matter how good you think your software is, if you want to make a real go at it you’ll need a company, preferably with offices, health insurance, and all the other modern conveniences. This forthcoming column will cover how you get from zero to a real going concern.