What funded most of the development of Mockups was my day job, as I worked on Balsamiq for many, many nights and week-ends before "making the jump".
Like I said in the post, I am counting as costs only what's in Balsamiq's bank account statement at the moment...I am only just starting after all.
And this for sure is another form of cost.
By his maths, my first business was profitable in the first week, including my salary.
What makes product businesses unprofitable upfront is not the ongoing costs, it's the development costs.
I never once heard it or saw it written like that before Hacker News / proggit.
I cringed when someone on proggit recently said "Do the maths!" I don't think that's a saying anywhere.
It seems that "maths" is the semantically correct option. To take your quote, "do the math" expands to "do the mathematic" - which is surely wrong.
I don't think of code as being divisible into discrete units, it's like a fluid. Like "water", you rarely say "waters". There are "programs" and "libraries" and "frameworks" that are made up of "code" or multiple "files containing code"... but they are not "codes"!
If you want to use the word "codes", you'll need to give me an adequate definition of the word "code" as a singular noun (which I will most likely disagree with).
In my mind "code" means programming language code, and "codes" means cryptography related codes.
One of the funnier differences between Italian and English is that in the former, you say "hairs" - it's not uncountable, which to us sounds pretty funny, as I'm sure we do when talking about our "one hair". "My hairs are all messed up!"
I find 'plz' and 'thx' and 'tks' and '10x' and so on the most annoying though; how the fuck is it polite if you can't even be bothered to spell the complete word? If you want to show gratitude, 'thanks' or 'thank you' are much better, and english already provides 'ta' as a short form.
Sigh. People treating IRC like AOL make my sad.
Re: ads: I haven't done any AdWord-style advertising yet, just through bloggers and twitter. So far so good.
Nonetheless, killer accomplishment and I think it's a kickass tool. I am leery of the non-recurring revenue (I read the authors post on why he made that decision, but I still think he's wrong)... Every customer adds a touch to the support overhead and doesn't add to the revenue line but once. Customer acquisition is hard, and fixed price software has to do it constantly or die.
SaaS is golden. Low risk for the customer, beautifully aligned interests, and you cease to be a slave to the launching new versions just to get your current customers to give you more money.
Is it just me or is your site a lot like 37signals?
I personally had some trouble finding my way around. To me, it's not clear what confluence is, what the flatworld thing is and how the mockup app ties in. No big deal though.
Re: trouble with navigating the site: I keep hearing about it, but I haven't been able to find the time (or inspiration) to drastically improve it. I'll keep at it.
I would not call it profitable yet. You are considering your salary $0, but that is not really true. Your time has value.
The idea seems great, It seems useful for my current work. I will look into it.
Thanks for the kind words everyone, I'll answer questions in-line.
Congratulazioni! Thank you for sharing. Your blog is inspiring. So many people talk about living abroad and working for themselves - you are doing it..
What is it like? (working part-time but full-time on your mISV in a land where they value relaxation and enjoyment of life more)
Balsamiq makes complete sense now!
As for "Balsamiq", you got it: scroll to the bottom of http://www.balsamiq.com/company for the full story.
It's also not a given that we'll stay in Italy long-term, we are giving it a try for a year or two.
That, and liability, and taxes, and I have big plans for Balsamiq, so I thought I might as well incorporate right away.
And I highly doubt his desktop gui is going to be liable for anything right?