And then it turns upside-down in an instant.

Cartifact is in the business of making print maps for high end real-estate companies, and I was brought in to help build a technical team, to make Cartifact a tech-oriented company in order to position it for an acquisition.

But sometimes things don’t work out the way you plan.

At the same time we brought in a new company President who spent the last several months going around and talking to different companies with whom Cartifact had a pre-existing relationship. And after doing this for several months, the conclusion was that Cartifact made beautiful maps, and so Cartifact should continue making beautiful maps, increasing their exposure via better marketing and trying to capture more of the market for making hand-drawn beautiful maps.

This means the idea of building a technology team and positioning Cartifact–well, that went away. I’m not sure exactly what happened behind the scenes, but the feeling I get was that they didn’t want to continue bleeding red for something they had no intention of building. And so there was no more money for me.

It’s troubling when you find out the opportunity you left a rather secure job for no longer exists. And it’s troubling to discover this opportunity no longer exists with perhaps a half-hour’s notice. But that’s the way of the world sometimes.

And the important thing is to re-orient yourself, shake out your contacts, and see where you want to go.

Ten years ago, nearly to the month, I wound down In Phase Consulting, a consulting company I had run with my wife for 9 years and took a job at Symantec for two reasons. One, right after 9/11, the market for freelancing was drying up thanks to the Dot Com crash and the worries over 9/11. And two, I found that I was bumping up against my limits: I had never managed a team, I had never hired people, I had never really learned how to delegate tasks or break down larger projects into smaller components.

And I wanted to get that experience.

Now I’m back to where I was 10 years ago, but this time, the market has changed. No more picking up the phone and making cold calls; we now have Facebook and LinkedIn and blogs and mailing lists and MeetUps. It’s easier now than ever to circulate out there and see what projects are there. And while this does not alleviate the marketing process, it does provide better avenues for searching.

And I’ve changed: I’ve successfully built a team from scratch. I’ve successfully hired and brought people up to speed. I’ve successfully delivered large scale projects, and for the most part when I’ve had enough control to keep things from going haywire, I’ve managed to consistently bring projects in on time and under budget.

So a few hours ago I filed an S Corp app with LegalZoom and created a very basic web site, Glenview Software Corporation, along with ordering business cards. I figure I’ll give the freelance thing a try again, but this time not be afraid of going after the larger projects.

We’ll see where this lands.

If you need a highly qualified software developer with 25 years of professional experience in mobile, embedded, web, desktop and client/server architecture software, please send me an e-mail.

Meanwhile I’m going to go back to what I do best: create damned good software through solving very hard problems. Like that LISP interpreter which I now have running embedded on an iPhone and an iPad which I plan to turn into a symbolic programmable calculator for those archiectures.

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