What’s up in the Offbeat world?

As our massive corporation nears the honorable operating age of two months, it’s worth taking a look at what’s going on.

Founding and kickstarting a new company is an interesting endeavor given its natural unpredictability. Even though the field of IT consulting (i.e. selling our own hours) isn’t the most risky business, it is one that makes you feel the uncertainty in your very life. Not only do you not know the date or sum of your next paycheck, but you also have no idea where you’ll be working the next day.

Luckily, it’s been a relatively successful start with quite a few very nice clients taking a leap of faith and employing us. We’ve had the luxury of working with a very disparate set of technologies, further broadening our view of things. To give an idea of what we’ve done in the first two months:

  • Maintained a custom line-of-business application (.NET, Windows Forms, SQL Server)
  • Written a few articles for Finnish IT magazines
  • Helped a customer prepare for switching vendors
  • Audited a modern Azure/Silverlight application for security vulnerabilities
  • Sketched out the key features of a large information publishing system to prepare for an implementation phase
  • Developed and maintained some PHP applications (!)
  • Resolved browser compatibility issues with modern CSS layouts

A rather varied bunch, I’d say! And the list only includes stuff we got money for. There were more than a few tasks required for our own operations. For example, beforing getting our own website up, we ended up evaluating quite a few open source CMS solutions before zeroing in on MojoPortal.

During the fall, we will focus on implementing a large-scale modern web application with ASP.NET MVC and other cutting edge Microsoft tools. As the project starts unfolding during the coming months, I’m sure you’ll be able to read quite a few technical posts from the Offbeat team.

Organic growth strategy on the roll

imageWhen setting up Offbeat Solutions, we made a conscious decision on limiting our growth. We have no desire to hire anyone at this point, but do look forward to excellent opportunities in the future once our operations have stabilized.

However, we never excluded biological growth. With that in mind, our fourth partner (my wife Riikka), gave birth to a baby girl three weeks ago. While neither of the ladies is billing hours right now, the Offbeat Mansion is definitely filled with action these days! And yeah, today is my first day at work after three weeks of paternity leave.

Following us

Right now, we communicate in English through our blogs (check out Sami and Lauri, too). If you can read Finnish, we also have a web site (www.offbeat.fi), and yeah, it’ll also be available in English one day. And since liking is a universal verb, you can always check us out on Facebook.

Thanks for all the interest and attention during the first two months – we are deeply honored. We hope to contribute back to the community as we get our wheels rolling. Enjoy the beautiful autumn!

October 18, 2010 · Jouni Heikniemi · 11 Comments
Posted in: Entrepreneurship

11 Responses

  1. Janne Toivola - October 18, 2010

    Good to hear that everything went ok with the baby and that the professional things are looking good as well. Take care!

  2. Santtu Laine - October 19, 2010

    Congratulations and warm hugs for newbie and the parents. I bet kickstarting a new company and a new family on a same time isn't the easiest way to start :)

  3. Jouni - October 19, 2010

    Janne, Santtu: Thanks for the wishes :-) Agreed this wasn't exactly the smoothest start, but the two changes actually fit together decently: Working for oneself allows lots of leeway in organizing your working hours and conditions. I'm suspecting the long-term benefits will clearly outweigh the slight short-term inconveniences.

  4. Marja - October 19, 2010

    Congratulations! Todella suloinen pikkuneiti :)…and for your work too.

  5. Michael - October 20, 2010

    It's always great to hear about others succeeding in their own business — especially when starting my own just a month ago. Helps keep me focused/motivated :-). Congratulations with the company and the baby.

  6. Jouni - October 21, 2010

    Cheers Mike, hope your business starts rocking :-) (at the very least you already have that espresso machine we're still talking about!)

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