#18 Jason Haley, Life as a consultant

Jason Haley talks about the good, bad and ugly of life as a software consultant.

Background, why go independent, working and hustling; getting the first customer; liability and setting up a company, being self employed vs an entrepreneur , get a lawyer and an accountant, networking, business bank account, branding, contractor vs consultant, confidence in presenting yourself; getting paid, income as a consultant, long dry spells, have multiple clients, saying no to a client, fitting with a client; judging what you can deliver, best clients understand software; being a generalist vs a specialist, finding a niche; picking a rate, factoring in costs, charge what you deserve, keep a rainy day fund, watch expenses; support network, billable hour trap, taking advice; managing the client relationship; pick a good company name, importance of referrals, don’t negotiate a rate, don’t keep a bad client; review if consulting is for you after a while.

#14 Piero Toffanin, outdoor coder

Piero Toffanin is a software engineer and user experience designer who left his job this year to travel around North America, coding as he goes.

Why give up the day job, inspired by Live on the Margin, preparation to travel, selling stuff and buying necessities, camper van vs hostels/hotels; practicalities of working on the road, charging laptops, getting internet, working offline; finding work, referrals; where Piero has travelled; splitting the day between work and adventure; compromises in the wandering life, meeting other travellers; remote working; how long will he keep going; challenges on the road; books choices and how to perform a tracheotomy.

Book Recommendations
Live on the Margin

SAS Survival Handbook

Insider Buy Superstocks

Code Complete 2

Don’t Make Me Think, A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability

Team Geek: A Software Developer’s Guide to Working Well with Others

#13 Christopher Marston, consulting and startups

Christopher Marston is the founder and CEO of Exemplar Companies, Inc, we discuss the legal aspects of going out as a consultant and getting a startup running.

Christopher and I discuss what Exemplar Law does, fixed pricing; going out as a consultant, protecting against personal liability, LLC’s, SCorp, CCorp; startups, vesting, roles and responsibilities; equity in startups, dilution, removing a member of the team; protecting intellectual property while promoting yourself; patents vs trade secret; raising capital, business plans and other paperwork; growth of venture capital firms in Boston; shutting down a startup, common reasons for failure, under-capitalization, founder disputes, lawsuits; closing down a business.

Christopher’s page on Exemplar.

Book recommendations
First, Break All the Rules: What the World’s Greatest Managers Do Differently


The Firm of the Future: A Guide for Accountants, Lawyers, and Other Professional Services