New job to bootstrap startup?


Context: I started a SAAS based platform for small and medium sized companies around a year back. To save some time I intentionally took this underpaid job close to my home. I have successfully completed private BETA of the product for selected customers and planning for public BETA with a month trial period. Unfortunately, I am running out of funds for this phase of the project and I am thinking of taking a new job as contractor so that I can continue to bootstrap.

Question: I acquired lot of skills as part of this startup and I am wondering whether I need to mention this in my resume? I am hesitant because a potential employer might think I am focused more on my startup than on my new job or he might think this new job might temporary engagement from me.

Any advice? As always your advice is greatly appreciated.

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asked Mar 2 '11 at 23:56
197 points
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  • I work more like VP of architecture and my role is very critical for the success of the project I involved. I don't want to give a half serious impression to employers and hence this question. – User8226 13 years ago

5 Answers


You seem to want everything to be perfect. You want a "VP of Architecture" role without the appropriate level of commitment to that role. So don't go for that kind of gig. Go for the kind of gig that matches your commitment level. Then the rest will be a non-issue.

answered Mar 3 '11 at 13:15
Kenneth Vogt
2,917 points


I think you should be honest about what you've been doing for the past year. Since you're looking to be a contractor which usually is billed hourly there shouldn't be as much of a conflict as long as you are honest about your time.

Side projects for developers are common. There are many reasons why some developers are not productive. Your site shows what you have to offer. Just make a genuine effort in your job. If an employer is overly concerned, you may not want to work for them anyway.

answered Mar 3 '11 at 03:50
Jeff O
6,169 points
  • If I work as developer what you are saying makes sense but NOT sure how employer will assess me when they are hiring for critical roles. As you said "There are many reasons why some developers are not productive" which is what makes me worry though I would like to work seriously during office hours. – User8226 13 years ago
  • If you're going to be an analyst, architect, or PM, it will be a temporary contract. Just let them know you are aware of the terms and willing to make a commitment. This may limit you to projects lasting 3-6 months; that's up to you. There are no guarantees someone who has historically been an employee will stay on a job. – Jeff O 13 years ago


So you educated yourself with new technologies in nights and weekends. To an employer that would only mean good things -- means you're a real "geek". you love what you do and you're probably good at it. You are making an effort to educate yourself and broaden your technical horizon. I'd hire you.

answered Mar 3 '11 at 05:19
Ron M.
4,224 points


I had two options, work as senior technology executive Or work as Senior Software engineer.

  1. Senior Tech executive: Pros: Good for career, make more money. Cons: don't have time.
  2. Senior Engineer: Pros: Enough time to concentrate on project, you are hands-on, high degree of motivation as you have only this option to succeed in life :). Cons: Not great money, Not good for career.

I decided to go with option 1, I spend around 2 hours a day, partnered with another firm for development with equity and contribute partly to the salaries of the programmers. In between, I take a month break to focus on product.

answered Apr 9 '13 at 02:25
197 points


I definitely agree with being honest - you don't need to throw yourself under the bus, but no client wants to feel like they are being taken advantage of or lied to.

If a concern for a potential client is that you aren't devoted to his/her project or that you won't see it to completion I would suggest getting creative with your billing scheme. Consider breaking up payments into milestones where larger percentages of the job are paid out later in the development process. This can serve as a sign of good faith to the client and also potentially a motivator to get projects done in a timely manner.

answered Mar 3 '11 at 12:39
David Fioretti
21 points

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