How software can help you tell your boss where to stick his job

PlanetSoho believes that all you have to do to leave corporate life and start your business is to get your hands on one of its toolkits. Can it really be so easy? CNET's Chris Matyszczyk wonders.

This is what IT guys look like? Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Summer is the time when you lie on the beach, consider your increasing girth and decreasing bank balance, and wonder where it all went wrong.

As the warm rays beam down upon you, you begin to wonder what you might have been. As the heat increases, you even begin to hallucinate that you could walk into your boss and say: "Please take the first paddle boat to Hades, you filthy little exploitative worm."

One enterprising company would like to help you with this. It's called Planet Soho, a name that, I understand, has nothing to do with London's red light district.

Instead, it stands for Small Office/Home Office.

The idea behind this planet's inspiration for your eternal happiness is that you can have a ready-made platform that gives you everything you need to start a business.

The creators claim that their platform provides you with an invoicing framework, a storefront, inventory management software, as well as many other ingredients that will help you focus on the core of your business -- the idea itself.

Planet Soho's founder, Ron Daniel, told the Street.com earlier this year that he isn't one of those who thinks starting a small business is easy.

"The time each stays in business has dropped from three-and-a-half years to two. It's getting worse out there. Progressively worse," he said.

And yet Planet Soho's own figures insist that 53 percent of people who start their business feel healthier, and that 83 percent claim they even have time to take a vacation every year.

It's frightfully difficult to succeed (unless you have a great idea for a poking widget, of course). It might well be that just one element of your business brings all the other elements down.

Which is why I found myself marginally disturbed by a video Planet Soho released recently to YouTube.

Its Web site is full of real-life stories of those who have set out on their own and used Planet Soho's services to at least survive, if not thrive.

Yet the YouTube video offers an unctuous, manicured artificiality that seems to have nothing in common with the brand's gritty aims.

Still, if you are lying on the beach this week and wondering if you can bear to look at your boss' face ever again, perhaps it's time to start a new chapter -- or even a new book.

Your sanity just might depend on it. And just imagine your boss' face when you say goodbye.

 

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