re: We're Stephanie Hurlburt and Rich Geldreich, ask us anything! VIEW POST

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Thanks for doing this you two. πŸ€—

How did you get into this specialty and how would someone doing, say, web development, transition into this area of software development?

And how did you end up settling into this business model of consulting and also working on a product?

Will it forever be a two-person thing or are there plans to expand?

 

I fell into games because I loved playing them, and because there are just so many cool problems in this field. From path finding, to networking, AI, data compression, animation, rendering, etc. - the problems are almost endless.

I've always wanted to be more independent. Working corporate gigs is good to help build your early career, but they are more risky than most people think. I no longer like working with just one company, because doing so puts you at risk of getting laid off, or the company going under, corporate politics, etc. I like to spread my risk around multiple companies, in case any one company doesn't work out. One of my goals is to have a small set of companies that we can work with over time on cool projects, like working at Valve but out in the real world vs. a tiny office in Bellevue.

Also, I've been working on improving the market for data compression software since around 2009. I've always wanted to have a product of my own. I first started writing open source software (like LZHAM, crunch, miniz) at night after work, to help establish the market and improve our credibility. Now we've transitioned more into a product company, using this software as a base to build upon.

On expanding, it could happen but right now we're happy staying small.

 

On web developers transitioning into C++/graphics: Absolutely possible! The land of C++/graphics loves seeing demos above all else, and that makes it so you don't need some fancy education to get a cool job. Focus on building up a demo of work you can do. I got a job in C++/graphics without much prior training, and was able to learn it on the job. I wrote more about this here:

On how we ended up settling on this business model, I wrote a blog post on my view on that too! Blog posts for everyone. :)

stephaniehurlburt.com/blog/2017/6/...

We don't have plans to expand now. It's pretty cool how we are able to be totally sustainable with just two people-- we balance business tasks and programming tasks between the two of us. It works. Take business advice people give you with a grain of salt. Grow slowly, see how things work for yourself. Investors (we don't have investors, but I sometimes take meetings with them to learn/network) have told me over and over we needed to grow or needed investment money, and they were wrong. We're doing really really well with just the two of us.

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