PEF began a few years back by Brian Hall, who is the head of Mark/Space Softworks, a software firm in the Bay Area. The forum caters to Palm entrepreneurs, allowing them to share ideas and ask questions such as methods to boost business or choosing the right software distributor or provider.
We had a turnout of about 11 people, from various industries within the Palm Economy. My co-workers, David and Carl, also rounded out the group, which included long-time Palm developers such as Steven Pratt from Stevens Creek Software. Over pitchers of beer and munchies, the group discussed various issues concerning the Palm developer, including how to boost sales, getting help from Palm, and organizing a consumer trade show for Palm products.
In many ways, I see the handheld industry as still being in its infancy. Only 11 million Palm devices and a few million of other handheld computers are out on the market today, compared to the hundreds of millions of computers being used worldwide. This nascent industry is poised to grow tremendously in the next few years as more and more people acquire handheld, portable devices. The question is, how does one take advantage of this young industry in a way to better the community and industry and to better one’s own personal and financial well-being?
This photomusing is not intended to be a discourse on how to make it big in the handheld industry. That being said, I would like those who are reading this musing to think proverbially outside the box for a moment. As a developer, or someone or might be interested in making a career in the handheld industry, what are the reasons that you’re doing what you are doing? Is it for fame, fortune, or both? Do you have a solid plan of action and a schedule? Are your reasons perfectly clear or are you going by the seat of your pants? Do you have someone to help you, to answer those common questions that are bound to come up?
Man, that sounds like the opening sequence to the A-Team TV show from the 1980s! If so, you need the Palm Entrepreneur’s Forum! Seriously though, if you’re looking to make a change, make sure that you do so knowing, more or less, what you’re getting into. Find someone who’s been in the industry for awhile, someone that you respect, and get their feedback on their experiences. It’s nothing to get the advice of those who have walked the path upon which you’ll be travelling.