A Modern Small Business: 1 – Rules

Because this is my own blog, I can define the criteria (rules/assumptions/general landscape/objectives) that I, as well as others (if there are others), want to hold myself to. However, I want this page to represent both the initial criteria at the beginning as well as a place to document the criterion that will inevitably evolve.

Here is the current criteria (as of this blog post published date):

  1. The business will operate under the laws of:
    1. City of Oklahoma City
    2. The State of Oklahoma
    3. The United States of America
  2. The business makes a widget
  3. The business provides a service that the widget uses
  4. Customers can purchase this widget and subscribe to the services that are compatible with the widget

I know this seems pretty vague but it is supposed to be; I just came up with the criteria. A few other thoughts:

I want others to critique my writing and spelling as well. I used to be a decent writer in college and high school but I have noticed it going downhill because, as technology users, I have tolerated it, both from myself (lazy) and from others.

I will most likely obscure sensitive data like user names, passwords, urls and others’ names (unless they consent to being part of this journey).


A Modern Small Business

When I first started working in an IT focused job, (as a paid intern for the Social Security Administration in Golden, Colorado, USA in May of 1994 as a high school student) my job involved a fair number of things. I was required to sync the local mail server, cc:Mail, which updated our branch office as well as downloaded emails from headquarters. This involved a 14400 baud modem and a fair amount of coordination with the office secretary so she would not pickup the phone or send a fax. The other Social Security employees used some type of main frame system (IBM 3270) to look up peoples data. I was also responsible for maintain some type of Lotus 1-2-3 spreadsheet but I can’t remember the data in it. These were held on multiple 5 1/4 disks that I had to load and work with.

Fast forward 21+ years, we have a different looking landscape. Mobile devices with amazing connectivity and performance. We crave for connections to people close by as well people far away. We anticipate data and creating and consuming it.

At the same time, there are lots of similarities. We have devices in front of us, with both local and remote sources of data, services running on systems in data centers and connections between them.

I started a new job about 6 months for a company that was less than two years old. I came to help with SharePoint, but again I hope to be more for them. This company made lots of decisions with systems, software and even people. I agree with some of their choices and some I don’t. I don’t know their industry very well so that most likely factored into their decisions where I differed.

After attending a conference on my day job around web development and SharePoint, I made a commitment to myself to write more blog posts and really build my brand. I also have some goals to do more than just SharePoint and I hope to use this vehicle to write about that as I do it. To accomplish this, I am going to write about building a modern small business that uses modern systems and keeps as much off premises (deferring to the cloud as much as possible) while explaining and documenting the process, choices and costs along the way. My first pass is going to focus on Microsoft technologies (Azure, Office 365, Accounting?/ HR?, IoT) just because I am more familiar with it. I hope to defer to open source solutions in some key areas and call out where there might be other choices and why. I hope people who read this point out other options and argue with me. Posts in this topic might stay here or move to other blog system.  I promise to not moderate discussions except when it gets spammy or crude. I hope people argue with me (constructively.)

I plan on forming a company to really push this journey to the extreme and call for discussions and questions and get help from the community.

So I think I am making my own IT director school?