Just like Ian we have noticed that the MicroISV scene has become quiet over time and that there aren’t many MicroISV blog postings written or ideas exchanged anymore. Ian mentions one of the possible reasons that the MicroISV movement isn’t as visible anymore as it was a few years ago. He thinks that the MicroISV idea is often confused with the strong startup movement going on at the moment. I think it’s a very good point, but there are other reasons why the MicroISV scene has become quiet in my opinion:
Time is money
I think many of the initial MircoISVs that shared business, marketing and MicroISV ideas on their blogs realized that blogging about their products and target markets is often more effective than blogging about their businesses. Although there are many benefits of blogging about your business (customer loyality, SEO, exchanging ideas with others), a day has only so many hours. And because we all wear many hats as a MicroISV, we have to think about how we spend our time. Sometimes other things than blogging about your business or participating in business communities feel more appropriate.
Learning by doing
Although I learn new things every day, I have learned the most about starting a MicroISV in the first 2 years or so. All the little details you have to care about in the beginning lead to blog postings, asking questions, giving tips and just exchanging ideas (registering a business, creating a website, building a shop, beta testing your product, researching additional marketing ideas, getting the first customers, providing customer support, price finding and 500 other things). Now that many MicroISVs either managed all the initial tasks or failed with their business, a lot of MicroISVs are now concentrating more on their products and customers.
Fear of competition
I noticed that more and more new and established MicroISVs in the Business of Software forum are posting anonymously because of fear of competition. Transparently blogging about their business and exchanging ideas in context (i.e. with their name and website address) would probably be the last thing they would do and this is another point why the MicroISV scene isn’t as active/visible as it used to be. Although there are really some new competitors who have been inspired by our .NET logging tool (we know of at least 2 products that were developed because the vendors saw that we have success with our product), blogging has been much more useful than harmful for us. And I’m sure there are new help desk software products that were inspired by HelpSpot, but I believe Ian has benefited a lot from his blog as well.
We have been guilty of not blogging about the MicroISV life and business in the last months, but we intent to change this to play our small role in making this community more active again.