Design and finance?

No.001 Welcome to Designance

The University of Kent sits on top of a hill overlooking Canterbury, England. From the campus you get a great view of the city centre, cathedral and my then student home.

My journey to campus each day was filled with the kind of characters whose back stories my housemate and I could only imagine. To pass the time, we often did.

My favourite was the bus spotter. In his mid-sixties, he wore a grey suit with a brown trench coat and trilby. He moved about the bus station slowly but deliberately, and with notebook in hand, he had the air of soviet spy; a disgraced agent, deployed on a this assignment as punishment.

Spy on the bus

Occasionally busses wouldn’t turn up, pulling off the clever trick of creating both a mild inconvenience and an excuse for a pub breakfast at the same time. For this man however, a bus not running to schedule (let alone at all) was an affront to his entire understanding of the system and cause to interrogate the bus company employees.

I’ve spent the majority of my career helping companies create and scale new products in pursuit of revenue growth, only tinkering with my own version of bus spotting – investing – as a side interest.

Like bus timetables, the stock market appears to be based on logic, yet choosing shares still feels like gambling; designing a successful software product from scratch however, doesn’t.

Like riding the bus, building software takes time. Not only that, but an investment in engineering, design, marketing and sales; investing in shares is just dollars in and dollars out (or not).

What I want to know, and what Designance is about, is which path provides the most efficient return. Could I be a little more intelligent when investing in software companies, or should I use the cash to bootstrap one instead?

Let’s find out.

© Jonathan Roberts 2019
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