I'm the cautionary tale on this front. There's a huge issue in this area because only the winners write history. No one ever writes best selling books about the hundreds or thousands of folks who went down in flames for the every one that makes it (or the tens of thousands for every one that makes it big.) If you work hard and create an amazing product, that's not at all a guarantee that you will make it. But lots of people don't understand that because they've only heard the stories of the writers of history.
Not that I want to discourage people, but you have to have reasonable expectations. Most businesses fail. There just isn't enough room on the top of the public mind-share mountain for all the folks who want to do it. And just because you have a good product doesn't mean it's a given that people will buy it. It has to be a good product with a viable market, that can compete against others doing the same (often with more money and visibility.)
And of course viable means in the long run. Often it starts off nicely, then you suddenly realize that maybe the market for your product may be in the range of thousands of users, or maybe a couple tens of thousands, and once you've sold to that many, the income drops dramatically to a dribble, but you still have all of the expenses and obligations.
You'll have a lot better chance if you get in bed with the money changers, but you'll also likely not end up controlling your own company in the end. If you get rich, that's probably not a bad thing, go enjoy your gotten gains and let them deal with the headaches. But for some folks it can be a real problem. And of course if they come in after you have put in a lot of your life, they are just risking money while you are risking a large chunk of your time in this mortal coil.
Anyhoo, I went out on my own the early 2000s, worked like a psychopath, created a really powerful product, and just went and more broke till I was living in a 35 year old single wide trailer behind a convenience store. Ultimately I have ended up such that I'll never be able to retire and anything that should leave me unable to work is likely to see me living on the streets.
Partly it's because I wasn't able to face the reality of shutting it down, and hung on far, far longer than was intelligent. Partly because I'd put so much into it. Partly just because I'm a technical entrepreneur and not a real 'business' man, so dealing with all that messy business was just more than I could handle.
Mine was a powerful and robust product that just didn't have a viable market. It was too small to support a real business, and it was hemmed in below and above by competitors that couldn't be pushed back. I created what I did because I wanted to, not because I had figured out if it was going to be viable. That's not really what you should do, at least not if you are going to depend on it as your main gig. I made the mistake of assuming that, you build it they will come. But they won't necessarily.
* Obviously there's a big difference between service and product related companies. They both have their challenges, but a service oriented company is probably easier to get into and out of.
I had been running my small but own development business.
Some years ago I became seriously ill and had to stand a lot of surgeries and will stay the rest of my life chronically ill.
Nevertheless I found an international software corporation that employed me despite my illness.
And today I am working there for nine years now. I am so glad to be employed because I have a fixed salary and needn't make sorrows about the next one...
I ran one for about 3 years. Lots of ups and downs. At the height we had 5 developers. All blew up when at the same time we had one employee cost us a months worth of work that a client was not going to pay for, another client trying to change the goal posts and wanting free work for 6 months, then a 3rd client placing all their work on hold.
Got offered a job by a mate and am now earning more money working for a larger company than I did working for myself.
Many years ago in a state far, far away, I tried to start my own IT business. I found that I was spending all my time advertising and talking to potential clients and almost no time doing actual development.
It is the same reason why I hate being a manager. All meetings and planning and no time to do what I love — developing software.
I had a shareware distribution business, expanding to CD's, as well.
Back when internet was via 14400 modem my prices+shipping were cheaper than a download.
I knew that wouldn't last and added CD's (mostly games).
What put the nail in the coffin is that it was the early 90's and people began to transition from wanting a good price to "I want it now". So, $5 above wholesale for a CD (extremely cheap at the time) was just not making it.
So I got a job - programming. Thus the comment in my "bio": "Doing now for money what I used to do for pleasure . . . just like a hooker.
(This, transition, having been noted in an earlier post not long ago, is approaching a Leslie).
I started out part-time while still being employed.
However, a year ago, my employer didn't have work for me anymore and an opportunity presented itself.
So I quit my job and went working for myself full-time, making custom software for businesses.
Things were looking up with some interesting prospects and projects coming up and then COVID-19 happened
Luckily I still have enough work to get through the month, so things aren't that bad
But, should you need custom software, libraries, frameworks or consulting, you know where to find me
That's a big part of why I've never been interested in going down the path. Bean counting I could outsource to an accountant; but sales, etc I'd need to do myself and that's something I know I'm not suited for.
Did you ever see history portrayed as an old man with a wise brow and pulseless heart, weighing all things in the balance of reason?
Is not rather the genius of history like an eternal, imploring maiden, full of fire, with a burning heart and flaming soul, humanly warm and humanly beautiful?
Training a telescope on one’s own belly button will only reveal lint. You like that? You go right on staring at it. I prefer looking at galaxies.
-- Sarah Hoyt
The contracting was necessary, instead of being a regular employee, for some complicated reasons - in all aspects I was an employee except for a few nuances to make me "legally" an "other".
However - the real thing: Had my very own shareware business. Possibly the first, anywhere at the time that did not charge extra for 3 1/2" floppies. Because of their larger capacity, they were often cheaper to use then DSHD or even regualar 360K. Back in a time when you paid for your connection time by the minute (plus telephone costs, if applicable) we were cheaper than a download.
Very loyal customers - but not enough of them to cover the cost of advertising (no store front doesn't mean free). Basically, I found myself really working for the magazines, so - time to get a 9-5'er and stop the leak of money.
At the time, there was a toll free number: 1-800-PC-DISCS - also an expense. And, of course charge cards hitting us up for 7% off the top.
Most of the contracting job is stupid and boring, what I like to do requires resources, people and research. Would open one in a couple of sectors but not that much.
Also, customers that don't pay are a huge problem. With the backing of a 700+ people company who can give them the shiort end of the stick, has other projects and can threaten to smash the felon company reputation to the other suppliers, well, I rest easier.
GCS d--(d+) s-/++ a C++++ U+++ P- L+@ E-- W++ N+ o+ K- w+++ O? M-- V? PS+ PE- Y+ PGP t+ 5? X R+++ tv-- b+(+++) DI+++ D++ G e++ h--- r+++ y+++* Weapons extension: ma- k++ F+2 X
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