The Business

When I was a young programmer I thought that business people were evil parasites doing easy work. I started Alien Skin Software in 1993 and grudgingly handled business tasks while spending as much time programming as possible. Eventually I learned that the business issues are as important as the products. I also realized that business is interesting, challenging work that can be done in a non-evil way. Now I work full time on management and marketing and have not programmed in about five years.

Over the past 18 years I learned many lessons (usually the hard way) about running a business well. Hmm, maybe some people wouldn’t say that I run my business well because I haven’t sold out for a zillion dollars to Google. By the zillionaire standard I’m only a moderate success. But money isn’t our only measure of success. We (I think I speak for the whole team on this) also value happy customers and collaborating with smart, productive coworkers in a comfortable environment. Personally, I value those things even more than the money.

I’m going to write a few blog posts about these hard won lessons that guide the way we run Alien Skin these days. If I see that you are interested then I can write many more articles on this topic. To show interest, just post a comment under the article you like.

Jeff Butterworth
CEO (or Queen Bee depending on who I’m talking to), Alien Skin Software

P.S. To quickly find the articles, look at the Categories in the sidebar to the left.  Click on Alien Skin Software, Business, or Philosophy.

About the Author:

Jeff Butterworth is the founder of Alien Skin Software. He used to create the products, but now he does marketing and gets coffee for the programmers.


  1. Mitra Pratt July 22, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    Please keep it up! Cool photos rock but there is also real life!

  2. Shabnam July 22, 2011 at 5:59 pm

    I like your idea, please do post your experience!!

  3. David Henley July 22, 2011 at 6:19 pm

    I’m interested.

  4. Andrzej July 22, 2011 at 8:27 pm

    More! more!

  5. Colm Costelloe July 23, 2011 at 6:58 am


    Great article. Would love to hear more about the business side of (from an external perspective) a great product. It’s also good to hear that engineers can make the transition to “Queen Bee”.

    — Colm.

  6. Joy Gates July 23, 2011 at 1:02 pm

    Yep, I’d enjoy knowing y’all a bit better from any angle you want to present! You guys are rare folks, a treat to read about ~ makes me remember San Francisco in the 60’s and 70’s.


  7. Eddie July 23, 2011 at 3:01 pm

    The younger generation who spent too much time in front of the computer painting, needs to know that there are also things in life such as employees, customers, suppliers, process, vision, planning and change. Without these interesting challenges, one only eat handouts or leftovers from parents or the boss. 18 years of experience is too valuable a lesson not to share. Please be lavish and give those kids reaching a hand. Thank you. Bless you.

  8. somerset July 25, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    Perfect timing! My goal this year is to work on strategy and begin managing others, in addition to my role as a graphic designer.

Comments are closed.