Since November 2015, I had been really busy because our most valued client International Color Services started a new project with us. Then, at the turn of the year, I become the new CEO of the family business, Drobnik KG, when my dear father retired.
Half of our revenue had come from real estate, but now all of that had been sold off. What remains is a pure software company, dedicated to world-class level iOS and Mac development.
On my German company blog I referred to this transition as re-launch of the company because in my mind it is like we started a whole new business.
The original Drobnik KG was had been founded by me, my father and my brother on November 6th, 2001 because I had gotten the idea from author Robert Kiyosaki’s teachings that you should not be self-employed but a be a business owner. And that real estate is a great thing.
Exactly 8 years later, I was forced to go full time after having gotten laid of from Amdocs where I had been acting as their Windows helpdesk for the Vienna office. At that time, my one year old iOS contracting had grown to a level where I was pondering reducing my commitment to Amdocs from 5 to 4 days a week. But the decision was made for me, when I got laid off with 3 months pay.
So in December 2009, I started my Cocoanetics Parts Store and found that I was making enough money right from the start. The learning from this turn of events is that you sometimes have to jump into the deep end of the pool just to learn that you can swim.
In the 6 years since then, the income from software development came to be on par with those from real estate. The main reasons for this development were many, but the most important ones where establishing long term business relationships with ELO Digital Office (Germany) for developing the ELO app for iPhone and (later) iPad and then International Color Services (USA) for developing the iCatalog system.
But true to Robert Kiyosaki’s word, in both cases I found somebody to take over the day-to-day work for these clients to free myself up for new endeavors. The first one is René Pirringer (self-employed with ciqua e.U., started November 2011). The second one, my first full-time employee, is Stefan Gugarel whom I hired in April 2012)
After these happy accidents business stagnated for about 3 years, but at least it was stable enough to allow me to work on a book for Manning Publications. That made it impossible for me to do any personal contracting throughout 2014 as writing this tome took much longer than initially planned. Nevertheless I was excited to hold copies of my book that I had worked so long and hard for, in January 2015.
In April 2015 I co-founded two more startups. I founded ProductLayer with 3 other guys to establish a free-to-use product database on the Internet. And Buschenreiter KG was a friend’s trading business into which I invested. From this you infer a certain longing to be surrounded with smart and successful people.
Ever since my being downsized 6 years ago, I never again wanted to be employed. Not by Google. Not by Facebook. Not by Badoo. Those where the company’s whose recruiters contacted me during this time.
In May 2015, Stefan Eipeltauer from Fokus Kind approached me about making a series of baby-related apps. Surprisingly, he ended up acquiring iWoman, which was the first app I ever had on the app store. And this was the beginning of the third important business relationship.
Fast forward to the turn of the year. I had an instinct that I might be able to hire a new guy after taking over the company, so I made a video ad to act on this feeling. In January I put together a business plan for 2016 where I planned all the probable incomings and outgoings and found that should be able to afford to hire a new junior developer.
Lukas Weinwurm become this new employee on February 1st, 2016. We comes out of the world of boring web development and started his journey to become an awesome Swift developer with me. I put him in charge of developing the apps for the Fokus Kind, while keeping a watchful eye and lending a helping hand whenever necessary.
The Immediate Future
I like to be looking at advanced iOS development topics and to consult as an expert on areas that I have knowledge in. I like to share my experience and knowledge. I love to be building long-term fruitful partnerships. I love to be part of profitable businesses.
So far, after the first Quarter of Drobnik KG 2.0 has almost passed, things are looking very promising. Hopefully this trend continues to go upwards and I can continue to build my dream team of happy Apple experts, also known as Cocoanetics.
It’s a great feeling to be able to work successfully for yourself.