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19 March 2006 @ 04:59 pm
Paul's ideas  
Had a drink with Paul Fray on Thursday night. He's currently attempting to get some clients for his startup business advisory service (currently promoting itself as a finance system consultancy), and working for Virtual Consulting Group.

He was also mulling over a few ideas:


  1. Spreadsheet with various statistical tests implemented in it in an easy-to-use way.

  2. Hosted ASP hotel booking service for guests and hotels to use in place of existing offline booking mechanisms.

  3. Decent Microsoft Word version control.. something better than track changes that actually does diffs ignoring stupid stuff, and that people understand how to use.



It was also prompting me to mull over writing a hosted, web-based basic small business finance system. It could use UNSPSC for product and service classification and a secondary tree-structure for your own account codes. Because of the use of UNSPSC you probably wouldn't need very many of your own account codes to still get good reporting out of it since mostly your account codes are for product type. It could have a basic standard set out of the box and the tree structure would avoid the nasty numeric groupings people normally come up with when left to their own devices.

I don't think it'd be too difficult to write.. probably use something like Ruby on Rails with an AJAX interface to make sure it's interactive enough to look good next to client-installed systems. I like the MoneyWorks system I use for Tapina, so I'd probably look to that for some inspiration on how to make tasks easy but with a better underlying structure.