Anyone who comes up with a concept and sees it all the way to release doing all the work involved is an owner-developer. Sometimes it is a partnership, but most often it is a one creative person putting in his or her heart and soul.
A fair proportion of software products that you use today were originally conceived of and implemented by an owner developer. Why is that?
- Low overheads: Moving from concept to release takes little more than a time investment – putting it in range of anyone who likes to code.
- Low risk: Until an owner-developer drops the day job, the time investment will not cost the house.
- Efficient communication: The costs of communicating concepts, designs, practices and experience are just not there – or more accurately happen and the speed of synapse.
- Flexibility: Without expectations of others, an owner-developer is free to try new approaches and ideas.
- Creativity: Creativity means new ideas. It is difficult to prove a creative idea is practical without building at least a first version and see how it is accepted. Very few investors when weighing cost against benefits will consider something they can’t quantify. An owner developer can because they don’t have to spend time on a balance sheet and they do have an emotional investment in the idea.