I work as an architect in a successful product company. I am passionate about doing something of my own like building my own IP. Right now i do not want to just quit my job and do something of my own as i think i am not yet ready for such a thing and also i cannot take this risk now because of personal problem. However i want to prepare my self in advance for this journey. I am thinking of contributing to a startup as a part timer. I have posted a similar question but did not get any straight forward answer. If you are one such guy who has started a startup or planning to start and if you are looking for a guy who can help you in engineering aspects please contact me. Also if you are aware of such a forum, can you please point me over there.
I was in your position a few years ago. I was not happy with my day job, my friends were all getting involved with start up companies that were doing some really exciting and interesting things.
I began working
on the side with several new companies, then several more, then the next thing I knew I had quit my full time job to freelance. I have to say, it was a rather interesting and unexpected ride. I was not doing the extra work for need of money, I was just really interested in what they were working on.
So .. be careful :) You may end up freelancing or (EEK) putting the word 'Consultant' on your business card.
I would encourage you to branch out. You go to work for two reasons. One of course is monetary compensation, the other is personal esteem. You can only go so far in the esteem department if your thoughts always drift to what you could be doing.
Just do it gradually, don't resign tomorrow in search of the MOAS (mother of all startups).
Together with a colleague of mine, we are considering setting up a new Startup. We have a good idea of our initial target market. Total global potential market is order of magnitude between 200 Mio USD and 500 Mio USD for the initial target market. We are in the phase of conceptualizing a startup and we are in early phases of preparing a business plan. Both of us have significant management experience in the IT organization of a very big US owned company, however, we need help from an IT architect who can help us with some aspects of shaping the startup:
- Assessing the best technology framework to achieve our goals in a fast and cost-effective manner.
- Based on a description of a scope and functional requirements for proof-of-concept and initial product and later additional modules, estimate resources, timelines and cost.
- Once we go in the proof-of-concept phase, technically steer the development of the modules and integrate them to a working solution.
The technology framework should allow us:
- To run the solution in a cloud of choice (should not be restricted to 1 supplier) and to offer it as a SAAS.
- To provide the multilingual software to the customers as a multi-tenant service which is customizable by the customer to their needs. (datamodel, logic, UI)
- The tools need to be robust and comprehensive. We want to use rapid methodologies, but also we need solid tools for testing.
- Technology should be as open as possible with minimal lock-in, while not compromising our ability to charge our customers for use of our solutions and services and should not be available to other companies without licensing the software from us.
- Modules should be made available as WebServices that can be used individually, or combined as part of a bigger process.
- The interface has to be rich, intuitive and attractive.
- We need a mobile version as well, offering selected functions on mobile phones (iPhone, BlacBerry, WindowsMobile), not only in browser mode, but also in off-line mode synchronizing with the server.
- The whole architecture must be secure and must be able to create some trust with IT organizations in big Fortune 500 companies (as well as in smaller companies).
Like you, we are both still working in the company, and I am a bit cautious in not publishing my identity here.
First half of 2010 the company should start with a proof of concept. Until then, we won’t be able to attract any interest from potential customers or venture capitalists.
I will follow this discussion to see if this sounds interesting to you.
One caveat: review your employment contract with the company you are now working for. If the IP you want to develop is related to their business, and you've signed an "invention assignment" agreement (which would be pretty common), anything you develop could belong to them. Certainly, they'll be able to claim that it does, which could cause you enough headaches to kill what you're doing, whether the claim turns out to have merit or not.
If you're unsure, talk to an IP attorney.
If you have some ideas you may want to do at Tim suggested and work on them, on your own time, as that would help you to learn how much time you can dedicate to a part-time job. The difficulty is that a start-up wants to get a product out, if they are paying salaries or have any extra expenses, as they are bleeding cash, so a part-time employee will be less helpful.
If you could come in as a consultant when your skills are needed that may be useful, as then you can do it quickly, but for a shorter period of time.
Any time you are asking a question such as this the more information you can give the better response you will get.
For example, I would assume you are a software architect, but that is a big assumption, then something like the skills section of your resume would be useful, as well as locations.
But, this is not a job forum, as much as a way to help those trying to get a successful mainstream business going, or a start-up successful enough to be acquired, so the answers will tend to be along the lines of go and try to do something yourself.
Depending on your skillset this can be done with minimal cash outlay, if you have the tools, or you can flesh out your idea and get it as far as you can on paper, or, if a building architect, with Styrofoam models, and you may be able to excite others about your idea and you can either start your own business or merge your idea with another business and perhaps be a partner.