About halfway into my year of doing this solo entrepeneur thing, I realized a lot of my work on tCMS was not done out of a desire to outdo wordpress, ghost or any of the other CMSes which are a part of this cambrian explosion of software most of us have lived through.
Instead, it was actually done for the same reason carpenters build their own house. By god, I'm gonna do it the way I want it for once! What you get is indeed quite satisfying. Though when you zoom out and think of the long term perspective, does it actually mean as much as I feel it does? After all, generations of my ancestors built their own homes and barns. Those now living in them (if they weren't razed) now have no idea what went into it or why it was built that way.
It will be the same with software and the brands and businesses built around them. Like with houses, the only ones that will remain standing will largely be a function of what particular families, towns, firms and industries managed to stick around. As such the "0 code" grifters, for all their embarrassing obviousness are essentially right when they focus almost exclusively on building their customer pipelines.
Now that I'm out in the world of general contracting, I actually see this everywhere. The biggest and most successful businesses tend to run lean and hard on their creaking and ancient facilities be they real or virtual. Even obsolete software, hardware and real estate work just fine, and usually with great margins now that they've long outlived their depreciation curve.
What I'm trying to say here is yet another reason to not get too wrapped up in your tech. So what if it's a mountain of garbage? Plenty of money to be made mining that heap! Using a dead language? Necromancy tends to have pretty high margins! Lots of people make their livings with run-down trucks and dilapidated real estate.
Which is ultimately why I'm sticking with my little CMS. Sure it's using Perl, and probably an evolutionary dead end as far as CMSes go. But it's mine, and at the end of the day you have to live like nobody else to live like nobody else. As long as it delivers where I need it to, I'm not gonna sweat about the future. Having seen several people build successful business with worse tech up close and personal, I'm confident that I can actually build a business atop this little house for my data.
I'm quite blessed to have had good advice, prudent planning, discipline and a patient business partner which has allowed me the ability to putter around until I figured out how all this works. I'm grateful for the clients I've had up to this point and their ongoing custom. I think this next year I'll be able to finally add in a software offering of my own.
I'm also quite happy with how well I've done keeping up with my open source projects. Now that it looks like I've actually got a credible hourly rate I'm beginning to wonder if setting up a charitable OSS foundation (or getting sponsorship from something existing) so I can use this pro-bono time as a writeoff will make sense in the future. I'll have to look into this, and hopefully can get a good article and video on the subject in the future.