A while back I was in a dead end job and working on a side project that was an image search engine that had nearly perfect relevance in a time when both Google Image Search and Bing Image Search were both embarrassingly bad -- at least at the time I started.
It took about a year to get the product really ready populate the database, and by that time the big guys had come a long way.
This got the attention of a company in LA that had ambitious ideas for an intelligent social media aggregator and they had explored several dead ends in terms of building the brains of the product so they brought me in. They were hoping I would relocate but they had to start getting traction.
It lasted about a year. A prototype of what I built was picked up by the team and developed into a "MVP" that didn't really get product market fit.
I moved on to another company that was based in Rochester, NY that hired remotes, but that is another story.