Tom Ramcigam (magicmarmot) wrote,
Tom Ramcigam

Rampant ugliness

I have a rather tight focus on the projects for the immediate future. Mostly house stuff, repairing the foundation and the other repairs that need to happen, cleaning, things like that.
When I think beyond the pale time that I am ensconced here in Iowa, I don't know what I will be doing.

I hate the way the software industry is going. Some of this is a reaction to the way business is done here, but in general there are a lot of decisions that seem to be industry-wide that frost my cookies in a big way.

I am a craftsman. I like to make strong things that are designed to last. I like making quality products. The industry is making active steps away from quality in favor of shareholder value and time-to-market in an attempt to maximize profits.

I understand this. At least on an intellectual level. But it is not compatible with my interests and the way I want to live my life, and in some ways it is antithetical.

Creatively, I like to make spooky stuff. Movies, props, animatronics, set pieces. I'm good at it. I can design and build hardware and software, and I'm good at that. I can integrate these things together into complex systems, and I'm very good at that.

What I'd like to do is to have my own business designing and building systems like this. What I don't know is if I could actually make a sustainable living doing it.

I need health insurance. Trying to get health insurance as an individual is a bloody scary proposition, particularly with a pre-existing condition. I'm currently paying something like $400/month for medication; I could probably get health insurance for less, but would they cover prescriptions for something that exists previously? Or would I end up paying for the prescriptions in addition to the insurance?

I should also have disability insurance.

Add to that the basic living expenses of a house payment, bills, car insurance and the like, and just a maintainable income for me becomes a pretty significant chunk of change. Add to that things like wanting to make repairs to the house, and it's looking astronomical.

It's daunting.

I've had failed businesses before. I know that I have weaknesses in the small business sense. My strengths are technical and artistic, not accounting, marketing, or sales.

I don't want to work for other prople. I like to work with other people. I know there's a way to make it work, but I don't know how to get there from here.

Making movies is I think a good marketing tool for my expertise. I can use the movies to "show off" some of the skills as applied to special effects. If the movies are successful enough, they could even become part of the income stream.

But how do I get there from here?

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