I'd spend the days thinking about building and how you would do it for 90% of the time but only spend 5-10% of my time executing. The rest of the time is thinking, planning, and re-thinking things I've done, imagining the tweaks and enhancements I'd get to pump out when I have the chance.
The best code I write is when I have it all figured out ahead of time, the problem is paged-in, and my fingers are merely transcribing the stream of consciousness. I just need a couple of moments to get it out.
Dissimilarly, I would imagine that, being deployed in Iraq, this guy doesn't have much time to think about his startup when doing his non-technical job (as it IS a demanding one) but imagine being a sniper spending your time hiding in the brush thinking about what you would build when you could build it. I'm romanticizing war now though...
I'm writing a SaaS for biomedical data analysis, while completing a graduate degree in Experimental Medicine. I don't anticipate graduating any time soon, but I see it as an opportunity to develop the foundation of a start-up while supporting myself.
It's sort of a way to avoid having to go the fundraising route (at least for now), and can potentially allow me to onboard large clients without even talking to VCs.
I was happy to find that PG wrote about this sort of thing (albeit fairely indirectly):
"Another way to fund a startup is to get a job. The best sort of job is a consulting project in which you can build whatever software you wanted to sell as a startup. Then you can gradually transform yourself from a consulting company into a product company, and have your clients pay your development expenses."
The code I write for my employer, I could re-engineer any of the pieces within a week or so if I needed to. If they told me to stop using it, I could satisfy the demands and not even lose steam.
But it's never going to happen because my employer doesn't think of code as valuable in and of itself except as a vehicle to solve the business problems.
(2) Where a literary, dramatic, musical or artistic work[, or a film,] is made by an employee in the course of his employment, his employer is the first owner of any copyright in the work subject to any agreement to the contrary.
So not sure the point here... but maybe you dont need to find the job, you can create your own fantasy?
Even just a 1 hour run is amazing for thinking things.
The longest I've done was a 5 hour run ... after running out of things to think about, I was mostly just in pain.
To this end, because I can't install a programming environment on my work computer, I installed Linux on my 15 year-old Dell and use the secure shell extension for Chrome to connect. Being forced to do everything in a terminal has really sharpened my Emacs skills. I typically spend a good portion of my day secretly hacking away.
I come up with ideas and debug when I step away from the computer. Ass in chair is not a good measure of productivity.
Sometimes I'll spend the whole day just thinking about the best way to implement something, and then a couple of hours at the end of the day to actually write the code. I find I'm much more productive this way.
Often when I go there I'm the only customer there, and I've never seen more than 3 other customers present at the same time.
The office is almost continuously manned during business hours (+ weekends), but hardly anyone goes in there. Even when I go to grab stuff from my unit I don't go into the office or talk with the staff - I just pick-up/dump-off my stuff and go.
The guys that work there must have some sort of side project/hobby to prevent them from going insane.
There were times I felt like I was about to loose it though. I had a bad panic attack at a facility in Daily city one Sunday. It weird how being isolated can play with the mind. Even for someone as myself, who is not a people person. You basically sit in a room, and make a run around the facility every hour, or so. If an owner has you doing busy work--leave the job. The wage is not livable, so you should be free to presue your hobbies.
To renters, don't keep your stuff there more than a couple of months. I saw people loose so much money I over junk. If renting, get the manager to get your rental date on the first/last day of the month. The owners make so much money off late fees. I don't think I've ever heard of a owner losing money on a mini-storage.
Don't you wonder what they think of us?
You'd be surprised how much of a workload just sorting and text recognition is.
Glorious! Great story.
Source: I used to work in a factory.
Here's the original HackerNews launch post from 4 years back for context: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=3470977.
I'm happy to answer any questions about Lean Domain Search, the deployment, etc.
Typically, I would find it difficult for get into the zone to get work done within 45min period.
Huge congrats to you for being pulling this off in such difficult circumstances.
It also becomes easier the more you do it. I've been doing side projects for many years.
1. Affiliate sales: when you click on a domain and register it through GoDaddy, Namecheap, etc, I get a % of the purchase price.
2. Premium accounts: Lean Domain Search only showed the top 150 results for free. You could pay $79 once for two months of access or $199/year for access to all 5,000 results.
Each was bringing in around $1,000-$1,500/month with the premium accounts growing quickly.
After the acquisition, we made the site free but left the affiliate links in place. The site has grown a lot since then  but the affiliate revenue still brings in the same $1,000 - $1,500/month because GoDaddy (the main driver of affiliate revenue) made some changes to its affiliate program that led to lower payouts.
And thanks for your service...!
His work looks clean to me...I'll leave it at that...
People are probably downvoting for this. These type of comments are more suited for reddit etc.
P.S. I didn't downvote you BTW
Now that you are working full time as a developer, how much time do you spend on your side projects usually?
I don't mean to diminish the accomplishments of the author, Lean Domain Search is a nice tool he built, and may even be a good way to test a market. Doing so while distracted by military service / a full time job certainly shows impressive drive/willpower. However, to build a company that might (someday) involve more than a 1 man show requires more than 45 minutes per day of attention, especially if other people's livelihoods are(/will be) dependent on you.
Thanks for your service. And a sincere !Congratulations! on your success. But the title is link-bait which exploits the experience of those who had it much tougher than you. Stay in your lane.
I applaud the OP for getting shit done while on deployment and having the courage to talk about it. And if he wants to get a little bit more attention by using the Iraq word, than by all means do it, because he was “deployed to Iraq.” The military beat into us not to self promote and not to bullshit. Both are somewhat a hindrance on the outside, especially in entrepreneurship. Good on the OP for trying to both build things and promote them.
The point is that he built something in less than an hour a day during his free time.
As for me, when I read the title, I immediately assumed that the author was stationed at a base in Iraq and worked on his project during his down time. Upon reading the article, this assumption turned out to be correct.
Didn't know that he was active duty in the military at the time, though...
There was no mention about revenues or even users. I found the story very inspiring but the terms need to be clarified else startup is going to be used very loosely. We might as well all call ourselves founders/ceo's/entrepreneurs in which case.
Begging the question is an informal logical fallacy (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Begging_the_question). You mean this raises the question.
> what is the difference between startup and side/pet projects
It's a very large and fluid boundary. Lots of startups take less time than "side" projects, lots of side projects turn into incorporated startups, etc. If in doubt, just say you're working on a project.
> We might as well all call ourselves founders/ceo's/entrepreneurs
Lots of people do that. I would suggest not so much focusing on your title, but rather focusing on your work, and bringing it to the point at which you can proudly call yourself by whatever title you deserve.
Usage dictates meaning. More people use and understand 'begs the question' in the GP's context than in the logical fallacy context. Few members of the public could even tell you what an 'informal logical fallacy' is (even the idea of it without that specific label).
Edit: your own wikipedia link even points out this same point, at the end in the Modern Usage section.
Great product, btw -- I've seen it on here before I think. And thank you for you service.
I'm in a similar situation where I'm working full time whilst trying to finish off a game in my spare time.
I find what helps is to have a clear goal for each work session. Even if it's tiny like 'fix this bug' or 'update this text', you finish working and feel like you've made progress. Too many times in the past I've just started working, lost focus and ended up trying to look at several things on the game and finishing none of them.
I used LeanDomainSearch many, many times and this proves that a single guy with so little time can accomplish great things.
The tool he built (Lean Domain Search) is great for finding hidden gems if you're looking for a new name for a project with the .com available.
Even the author of 4 hour work week in the end had to work an incredible amount of hours between marketing and networking. Getting to the point of break even is not a piece of cake.
It is still an inspirational story somewhat similar to path taken by patio11.
Are there any side projects which actually have turned into sustainable lifestyle businesses or better?
You were shooting bad guys, I was typing code for hackathons. Guess we both won?
I actually think Taleb some very important things to say. Or at least, he seems to be the loudest and most popular of the folks who are talking about epistemology, and it's an important topic. I think it's reasonable to call him Taleb, without specifying a first name, because there's no other Taleb that makes sense in this context (no other Talebs that have authored a book called "Antifragile"). You didn't experience any confusion, did you?
He has a perfectly legitimate argument against GMOs. If you don't agree with his argument that's one thing. But this sort of argumentation style, the same type of ad-homniem attack employed to discredit people by labeling them conspiracy theorists when the don't go with some status quo usually corporatist agenda, must stop. It's lazy and dumb.
> If a GMO-imbecile ask you for "a citation", answer: "Pls provide a citation about requirement for a citation for a logical argument."
He finally deleted the idiot tweet in question, but it's preserved here: http://web.archive.org/web/20150924032003/https:/twitter.com... Note also the responses citing his own university's instructions on how to cite stuff for a logical argument.