My Entrepreneurial Spirit


So it comes down to this. I'm not suited to work for someone. I have had an extreme entrepreneurial spirit for as far as I can remember. I need to be doing my own thing, calling my own shots, and making things work for myself.

I have a full time job at the moment as a software developer. I love software development, but I hate doing it for a "boss", or a company that I "work" for. I just always day dream throughout my work day about making the next best thing that sells for millions of dollars, or inventing something, patenting it, and selling the patent, or just becoming big somehow, somewhere, and hopefully sometime soon. Is this unhealthy? Should I just be shutting up and focusing on work? I've heard from many people that I should just shut up and do what I need to do to support myself, and not keep counting on things such as this, but I just can't bring myself to do it. I really can't. I've tried, but that spirit just won't leave me.

I have so many ideas for things like Android/Iphone apps, however, there has only been a handful of those that have gotten single developers rich. I keep thinking of the ideal situation, for example, I create an app and then it gets so big, with millions of users, and then I get an offer for Google to buy the name and the code for millions of dollars. Like, how often does that even happen? Does it go unnoticed most of the time?

There's either that or a year long side development project that will hopefully turn some peoples heads and make a splash as well. I would love to be my own boss and start my own business, but I would love even more to create something and then just get bought out and use that money as startup money instead. I think in the world of software this is less impossible than other industries. Am I wrong?

Thanks guys.

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asked Feb 10 '11 at 11:36
31 points
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6 Answers


I wish that my software business was all the fun softwaresy stuff.

There's so much other stuff you have to deal with. Taxes, licensing, HR crap, the IRS, office space, internet, hosting, Apple Why U No Approve My Update, finding clients, hiring employees, vacations.

So avoid all that crap and overhead for as long as possible. Keep your day job, but treat it as such (really, really 9-5 it, brown bag, etc to limit the amount of waking time it takes up) and "skunkworks" some projects. Finish them. Release. Perhaps form a quick LLC to limit your personal exposure.

But if you do have a success? Be ready for all the business-y crap work that's going to come.

answered Feb 10 '11 at 15:04
1,149 points


Sorry but your 'Entrepreneurial Spirit' seems more like 'I would like lots of money'. If the latter is the case - just keep buying lottery tickets. If the former is the case do what another poster has suggested - do your job, but leave it at work. Spend the rest of the time developing applications you want to work on (you mentioned iPhone and Android apps - these are both great revenue generators even if you don't make it to the top 100 download lists on the relevant stores).

Try writing and releasing some apps for those platforms, see how it goes. Don't expect to be (or be disappointed if you don't be) the next 'Angry Birds'. The cost is fairly minimal (compare it to what people spend on other hobbies like model railways, stamp collecting or golf). Set an income goal (say your current cost to live + some leeway) at which stage you can quit your job and concentrate on it full time.

You may very well get to your dream (consumed by a larger organisation for many $$ and live in happiness forever after) or you might find yourself with extra income above and beyond your job that will give you more opportunities or you could find yourself not working for 'the man' any more and being in control of your own destiny.

To be fair I am halfway through this process - I've written a number of Android apps (with backend web services where required) but haven't got to the point of releasing them. Once I've 'solved the problem' (ie: writing the program and making it work) I tend to lose interest in it (the hard parts: making the graphics and audio nicer, doing a suitable logo and landing page, advertising/promotion and monitoring things like conversion rates, a/b testing, etc have zero interest to me). That's why I'm still looking for a co-founder, someone who enjoys these things and can force me to collaborate to make them work.


answered Feb 11 '11 at 23:32
Shane G
341 points


Don't procrastinate on ideas. If you really feel, start building something. Why not start something on the side like a weekend or evening project. Not everyone who is making money will announce it publicly. People who make money are generally quite about it as they are busy building stuff.

  • Generating ideas is super easy
  • Software development could be easy depending on your experience
  • Building a packaged product that people will use, is not so easy.
answered Feb 10 '11 at 12:05
420 points


I don't believe that the "Get-Lots-Of-Users-And-Bought-By-Google" business model is a good one. I prefer to have a business model that actually makes money. If it happens, great, but I wouldn't count on it as my main source of revenue or bet my day job on it (not that I have one anymore.. I've taken the leap).

answered Feb 11 '11 at 09:06
Big Tuna
349 points


I believe all of these answers are good stuff for you to think through. I think you need to realize when you start your own entrepreneurial endeavour you have to work for your customers. Also you need to work well with your own team. Almost nothing can go long way without a well-oiled team. To start with, take your best idea and start working on it. you will realize most these things.

Good luck!

answered Dec 7 '11 at 09:38
Sakthivel Nachimuthu
1 point


Some fantastic answers here and my own 2p worth is you need to work out what your goal is as thats not clear from your post.

  • Is it "millions" then thats running a business which invariably means less "coding" and much much more of everything else.
  • Is it coding someething that you love? Then do it as a hobby with less regard for commercial success as this gives you more freedom in your decisions, e.g. Do an iPhone app just because you fancy it even though the chances of it being a commerial success at 99p a time are vanishingly small. Do an open source app just because it will give you some kudos and something to show off. Do a Rubiks cube sorting robot just because its freaking awesome!
Long story short - what is your ONE goal?
answered Dec 7 '11 at 22:05
1,365 points

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