I really liked this story told by Bob Hearn about Spartacus Software and the origins of ClarisWorks. For those who do not recall, ClarisWorks was a suite of productivity applications written for the Macintosh in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It lived on as AppleWorks into the 2000s before it was ultimately replaced with iWork.
I just loved the idea of two former Apple employees taking off from their employer, starting their own company, and pursuing the projects that interested them. They were trying to build the best software that they could and the program they wrote as Spartacus Software ended up living on, in various forms, until 2007.
While I am looking forward to the day when I am doing more science than coding, there is something romantic about quitting one’s job to go off and do what you want to do. As Hearn stated, nerves frayed at times, but they kept at it and ended up selling a great program to Claris. I have no doubt that starting one’s own business and trying to be an independent developer can be harrowing at times.
I have been involved in projects that lasted longer than anticipated, as well as projects that turned out something awesome that lasted for years. Unfortunately, they were never projects that I was that interested in. I would love to find a friend, buy a couple of new computers, and get to work on some awesome piece of software that will make others’ lives easier.