Is my code startup-worthy?


I created a pretty complex piece of software a while back for a client. I own all access rights to the code and can do anything with it.

In a very brief summary, this code can connect to a database, aggregate values (data points), categorize them, and then put them in formulas.

Sounds simple but there was nothing out there that we could find at the time to do this. The power of it is in the hierarchical nature of the data points (infinite parent/child data points) that can be used in calculations to return values. Allowing managers to create complex formula from a raw database of numbers.

Anyway, should I pursue this as a side project? I wouldn't quit my day job but I was wondering if it's too niche, too generic, too simple...etc.

Obviously you can't really give a real answer without seeing the product but I was curious nonetheless.

Thanks for any opinions.

Ideas Business Model

asked Feb 12 '11 at 08:10
135 points
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4 Answers


Can you find anyone outside of your original client that would be willing to pay for it? If you can't find them now you probably won't be able to find them after you've done all that work to build it out. Let the market decide if you should pursue this further or not.

answered Feb 12 '11 at 09:22
Ryan Elkins I Actionable
894 points


seems like you have build some kind of analytical tool. Lot of planning applications like Hyperion work with hierarchies. If you plan to work on it then add budgeting, forecasting etc because that is where it could be more useful. And a nice front end is always a must.

Without seeing the product you can't tell much but I believe your tool may fall into OLAP engine that does cubes, rollups, groups based on hierarchy.

answered Feb 12 '11 at 10:02
420 points


You may also want to consider releasing it as open source code.

answered Feb 12 '11 at 10:15
Kenneth Vogt
2,917 points


There are three things you can do depending on how much time you want to put in:

1.As Ryan Elkins said you can try to find more similar clients and judge your the size of potential market.

2. If your potential market is uncertain, find a market which is related and change your software to suit their needs and sell it then.

3. Find a friend or fellow programmer who interested in developing this idea of your with more dedication and time and sell your software to him/her.

If all these fails, take Kenneth Vogt's advice and make it open source.

answered Feb 12 '11 at 17:45
51 points

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