Should a University student attempt ISV in between school terms?


I'm a University student, at a school where every other 4 months we do technical internships. I will be working this Junary~April, but I'm at a bit of a cross-road of what I should do.

I have a couple of interviews with large corporations, which would be a new experience and good for building connections.

I have a couple of interviews with various startups (which are fun, but it's kind of more of the same thing (having worked with startups for the past while)).

From previous work terms, I have enough capital to pay myself to take 4 months off to pursue my own ISV (and school will give me credit for it). It seems viable to design and develop an app/game for the iPhone platform (and wouldn't really have do much sales myself).

It's an interesting though to try my own ISV now, but would this path create a valuable enough experience (experience, not necessary profit ) in light of other possible options?

Decision Career

asked Oct 11 '09 at 07:08
358 points

2 Answers


So, if I understand you correctly, you would spend four months on a startup and then either abandon it, or, at a minimum, set it aside for a while?

Hard to say without knowing you, but that doesn't seem like a useful way to spend your money (or time).

It's four months. If you can get a big company internship, take it. Even if the first thing you do after graduating is start your own business and never look back, big company experience is extremely valuable. It also adds a recognizable name to your resume, which will be useful should you, at some point in the long career that lies ahead, find yourself looking for a regular job.

Good luck!


answered Oct 11 '09 at 09:42
784 points
  • The idea was to come to some kind of a logical conclusion within 4 months, but I suppose the scope would have to be set too low to learn all the really valuable parts of working for yourself. Thank you for your insight. – Tony 14 years ago
  • Right -- you're not going to get to the meat of what it's like to start and operate a venture within four months, so there's not that much value there. There's also the question of who wants to buy an app from a company that won't exist by the time spring returns... – Scott 14 years ago


I would have to agree with the Scott.

I have always dreamed of starting my own business more specifically creating my own product even when I was in school 1994-1999. However at the time I had lots of ideas but no clue on how to run a business, how to really develop a product, how to really work in a team how to really to requirements/design etc. Off course at the time I thought that all my ideas where the next killer application that everybody wanted to use.

At the companies I worked I really learned all the skill I really needed to have a half descent success at creating a product.

However since you are in school and I never did this while in school I really regret not getting involved with the school entrepreneur program (I know that Waterloo has one) get involved with off school entrepreneur programs and network like crazy meet as many people as you can and start building your network.

If you are in a technical field take classes about business, entrepreneur and gain as much knowledge as you can on how to start a business.

Secondly when I was first starting my mind set was to develop it first and then market it. This is a hard mindset to break for programmers. Before you start coding your product check out some competing products check out newsgroup and see if people are searching for what you want to develop. Try to find one client who is interested and wants to use it.

answered Oct 11 '09 at 10:48
John Soer
596 points
  • I already try to meet people at Waterloo's Velocity, and it seems like I have a chance to jump ahead and try something (failure or not)... but perhaps I'm indeed just getting ahead of myself. – Tony 14 years ago

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