In September of 2004, Erik Sink wrote an article on MSDN about the "micro ISV" -- the one-person ISV. One of the things I've been contemplating is whatever happened to these companies. Fifteen years ago, the world seemed to have dozens of them building applications we all used every day. Today I'm challenged to name one. Yet about one-fifth of the ISV segment is the one-person shop. Bill Dunlap, the Visual C++ product manager, recently asked our research team to work through our primary research to find out whatever there was to be known about them. Here are a couple of points research came back with:

  • Micro ISVs are not on the cutting edge of technologies -- with about twice as many micro ISVs saying they're targeting Windows 3.11 or before vs. "big" ISVs
  • Micro ISVs are much less likely to be creating Web applications than the "big" ISVs

I have to say that I was surprised. I would have figured that the smaller ISVs would be more likely to take a bet on the latest technology in the hopes of becoming the next big thing (Visio or Groove as examples).

What do you think? Who are today's hottest micro ISVs?