I am embarrassed that I never got around to writing this post sooner. Over Christmas I took a whole week off from work and from being online. I needed it and enjoyed it immensely. I came to the conclusion that consulting full-time, writing a book, trying to start a community and launch a start-up all at the same time is not possible (for me at least) and somethings needed to give. I also realized that I needed to change some working habits so when I got back in the new year I made some decisions.
Seconauts is on hold for the foreseeable future. While I still believe there is room and need for a different type of software security community that appeals primarily to developers, I just don’t have the time to do it. I spent some personal money last year on a developer to work on the site and had a great group of folks lined up to help grow the community. We even had some impressive sponsor commitments but a community is more than a few people and more than money. That’s a marketing effort and there are enough of those out there. If it’s worth doing its worth doing right. It’s not dead but it it on ice. I will open source the code (Rails) if anyone wants to hack on it (we were close to doing that anyway). We needed a Wiki and a few other things added to make it a good base so there is list to work down. If you are interested just let me know. On that note with the recent shift of Google+ to create community software I am now not convinced that building a community site as opposed to using a community site is a great investment although that is another topic. I always wanted us to eat our own dog food.
My priority for 2013 are very much focused on SourceClear. We have the first few developers (my co-founders) ramping up, a wonderful academic data scientist / mathematician and a very strong advisory board who believe in what we are doing. We are building a product (nothing like it exists on the market today and we are solving a very compelling problem) but we will be leading with services and training (some of which we plan to sell through an indirect partner model). We will launch a public website sometime in the next month or so, probably after RSA) and have some neat free tools / code brewing! It’s time for some innovation in the software security space and we are going to bring it!
I am woefully behind on the Practical Software Security Book although making steady progress. I am going to stop predicting publication dates at this point as I can’t seem to finish the content that will allow my co-authors to start their work in earnest but it is coming along and will happen. What I have completed I am really happy with and have been using on some consulting projects working with developers with great success.
I also enjoyed my time away from Twitter and realized that while I value social media, I don’t have the mental capacity or fortitude anymore to filter the raw noise from the raw signal. Zite may not be perfect but it does a ‘good enough’ job when fed my Twitter feed of only showing me stories that I seem to always find relevant.I have pruned my Twitter lists (culled them really) and am almost exclusively using Zite for news. Some may say ‘that just shows you don’t get Twitter’ and they maybe right but it works for me. I have found over time that I like stories from established press sources and a few selected individuals although totally appreciate people who have found the exact opposite. I know there are lot of people with a lot of important and valuable things to say but there are only 24 hours in each day and I am not able to process it all.
On that note I have actually managed to find 26 hours for at least five days a week (working days) and its a neat personal hack that you might want to consider. In November I moved into a new office which was a perfect time to change my daily pattern. I read that many successful people are early risers and struggling to find time to get everything done I started getting into the office at 7am. I always try and leave by 7pm even if I often continue working at home. From 7am to 9am I try and write and while consulting work often gets in the way I have effectively created 10 hours a week of extra working time.
OK back to playing with SalesForce, cash-flow spreadsheets and stock plans!