As a day job I'm a full time resident of orthopedic surgery. Busy days. I've done most of the programming of the website (custom theme on wordpress), product comparison engine and other custom pages. And server admin for discourse, mattermost etc
Some important findings:
- You have to care otherwise it becomes a chore. In this case it keeps people healthy. We give free advice that i think is pretty good, e.g on the forum, I love that part. The link with the day job is here. Lots of stuff i tell people during clinic hours applies here as well
- As its completely different it still feels like a hobby. Learning to do stuff is fun
- Clear separation of responsibility, do stuff you are efficient in
- A ticketing system for jobs, pick up stuff when you have time. Anybody can add to the ticket list but the list owner decides what comes first.
- Keeping the tickets bite sized. GIT to deploy, deploy often
- A time tracking system (Toggle) tracks time spent.
- Mattermost for private discussions and planning
- Meetups and fun activities to keep the group focused
- Managed main server (websynthesis) in case the website goes down and the other technical guy or me are unavailable. More expensive but less stress this way.
An example of this is Bioware, a gaming company was started by doctors.
Is this about the doctor or the programmer?
BreezyPDF - https://breezypdf.com - Dead simple PDF generation from URLs. Comes with a rails middleware so all you have to do is add .pdf to the end of a URL to download a PDF of that URL.
HOALife - https://hoalife.com - A CC&R Inspection and Enforcement tool for property managers.
First users were usually contacts that I had made within the spaces prior to building. Then old-fashioned marketing and sales pipelines.
I can do that because I have no social life and everything is optimized so that I can work all the time. But I don't think I would recommend that to everyone.
Benefits are :
* You are never bored
* If one of your job annoys you, you can always balance with the other one
* You have a lot of money, because you have two salaries, but you also don't have the time to buy anything
* And you dont waste time on useless things
* No social life
* No time with familly
* No leisures
* Very tired all the time
Honestly having a startup is usually not only something you can focus on only the night, you need to answer clients during the day, you need to monitor everything all the time. But if you love working, this is definitely something that you can enjoy
At least this is the case with kids.
I have been doing 70h+ per week for 4 weeks now, and I don't think I can do much more, you really feel that working ask a lot of energy.
But to be honest, 55-60h is possible to maintain a very long period of time, since the 26 of september last year, I worked 2682 hours, which is in average 7,34 hours per day, 51,4 hours per week, and I'm not dead (yet)
I sleep a lot, average 8h30 per day, I really need to sleep a lot
EDIT: jobsandjobs, sorry to have derailed your good Ask HN question but I thought this was an important and often-overlooked pitfall that people should be aware of.
If there is serious money at stake, or a reasonable prospect of serious money at stake for you, use some of that money to pay a lawyer admitted in your jurisdiction and familiar with the law on IP agreements and nocompetes to look at the agreement and advise you. It really won't cost all that much for a consultation and a bit of contract reading just to see where you stand. Then make a decision.
(Source: IAAL (law professor actually), though I don't currently practice and am almost certainly not admitted in your jurisdiction.)
It would be foolish to think you can run a business without legal protection.
That shouldn't prevent one from chasing their dreams though.
I think OP's message paint a darker than necessary paint regarding this.
(Source Currently doing this with a lawyer as a cofounder)
Definitely build things on your own equipment, using different technologies, on your own time and nowhere near said company.
In California, noncompetes are rarely enforceable... but again IANAL and do you own homework.
That's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard. Assuming you're not stealing technology, or doing it on their time or machines, there is no way a court would uphold that. If I build a house, or rebuild a car in my off time, they own that too? Corporations don't own your entire life.
After I moved and started working.
I made a small stink about it but they were adamant and eventually I caved. These laws are important.
Anything I do in my private life I keep on the down low.
If your home project gains a little traction to financially support you then you quit the day job, and don't tell them anything. If not then it's some private home project you do.
Can't believe you are making decisions on what you do at home based on some company that could easily disappear, lay you off, get sold, etc etc, before your side projects ever materialize.
Surely there is some middle ground between a $22 billion dollar company and a lifestyle business that generates $500k-$1m a year in revenue. Also if your company is WhatsApp level pretty sure you can afford a team of $500 an hour lawyers.
Even if you are running a decent sized business, just don't be the face of the company. The purpose of business is to make money, not become "famous".
That sounds illegal.
My current employment agreement specifically states I can run whatever enterprise I want outside of work so long as it doesn't interfere with my duties (and presumably their business).
I asked them to remove that line and some others, and they did without discussion or trying to pressure me into signing.
They didn't actually notice the line being there when they downloaded it from the internet and it was consequently removed for future contracts.
On the first day of his job, he filled out a form declaring his current IP. Some HR/lawyer reviewed it and a week later he was let go. No real reason was given. But he spent his first week answering questions related to his projects, so it is pretty obvious they were worried about it.
The key here is having a clear demarcation between work and personal projects.
It’s a great litmus year to see if your employer is a bully or not.
(I don't like the fact that people put these kinds of clauses in in the first place either, but at least you can often opt out, fwiw)
You can also put in "we own your kidneys and your first born child"
Just because it is in a contract, it doesn't mean it's enforceable.
I agree with your point that one should be aware of it, but to go as far as not creating an awesome company and living comfortably because it's "risky" is ridiculous.
One should not be chained to a corporation forever if chooses not to.
Also to add more to my point, litigation CANNOT be avoided.
If an entity (a person or a corporation) wants to come after you, they will find a way to do it.
Running any kind of viable business requires legal work and protection. It would be foolish to think otherwise
If your side project grows enough that you have either massive traction, VC funding or a good amount of cash, you can easily fight these in court .
And even if you don't fully win, it can be dragged on for years and meanwhile your business can continue to grow.
So it's a none issue.
It's profitable month-to-month, but until it recoups the purchase price I'm thinking of it as a really expensive hobby. I recently purchased a better domain (https://intromaker.com), and at some point in the future I'm planning to build a more dynamic render engine and do some sort of subscription service (less targeted at youtubers and more geared towards agencies).
And good luck with your hobby!
In retrospect, it was a much safer way to start a business because it took much of the uncertainty out of the equation and eliminated the financial stress. It was possible for us because our startup is a SaaS business, not all businesses can be bootstrapped or built with only nights and weekend efforts. I often wished it would go faster and still think we could have been profitable a year earlier than we were but with time being our biggest constraint it didn't happen. That was the tradeoff we made for financial stability. You have to be OK with small successes and slow progress that evolves into a business/product over time rather than one massive sprint to get an MVP ready to ship in a couple weeks/months.
There were definitely a couple months of pager/ops overload where I hit 100hr workweeks and multiple hundreds of pagers per week. Hypervisor bugs meant that some tasks were hard to automate, and that automation would stochastically fail, so I stayed up til 4am watching the logs and correcting issues, then went back into the office at 10am.
Basically, it was a reasonable hedging strategy against either company's failure, but given both succeeded, I lost a good chunk of what I would have made if I was "all in" on either. Plus, it was about as miserable as it sounds, though I learned a ton.
More generally, when you claim in system design that you have invariants, if you aren't using automation to enforce your invariants, they will inevitably be bypassed to your detriment by eager and/or lazy engineers. You will find this out at the worst possible time.
On the sell side (breeders), I can just google for new customers! Many dog breeders have their own websites. I search for dog breeders and then contact them through their website (either their webform or their published emails).
On the buy-side (people looking for pets), I pay for google ads on certain keyword searches. As my website became more relevant, the cost of the ads dropped significantly and I started getting more organic searches. Getting buy-side is more difficult for me. Once you find your new pet, you don't need to visit my website anymore, so customer retention is bad... something I need to work on.
At the time I quit my job the startup was profitable and growing really fast. A few months later we started negotiating an acquisition and closed the deal after working less than a year on it full-time.
It gets easier to balance with time as you learn how and when to squeeze in some time to work on it while still maintaining a normal life with job, family and friends.
Not sure you could classify it as a startup, but it makes me a few hundred dollars per month. I'd actually love to grow it more but I'm not sure what the best direction to take it in is. If anybody has any feedback or feels like getting involved, feel free to drop me a mail at "tom @ artpip.com"!
How is the legal situation with these paintings? They are from well known artists (van Gogh, Monet, ...) - is it now possible to sell them because the artists are dead for a long time - I thought that maybe some descendants hold the (exclusive) right to sell them, but I may be wrong ...
Good luck with your endeavor.
See the section at the bottom of https://commons.m.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Van_Gogh_-_Starry_... for an example.
hasn't made that much money but allowed me to get paid more at work and tipped our income over the edge so we could get a mortgage on our first house which was nice :) great decision and learning experience building products from the ground up and exciting/grounding interacting with customers who always like to push the limits of your product :)
I have noticed others who have a lot of job experience coding but not the business/product experience can find it difficult to prioritise things from a users point of view and or build reusable/extendable systems by anticipating how things are going to change in future.
Even if it fails terribly i think its a good learning experience and can work out in your favour... Word Smashing made some money from ads but $0 from listing on the android app store :D -$20 on app store ads actually...
I actually wrote a blog post about balancing side project and full time job: https://starterstory.com/blog/full-time-job-and-full-time-si...
Not sure if that's what you're looking for but hope it helps.
Mr. Grant scoffed at the founders meekness at not going full ahead and passed an opportunity to invest. After WP became successful Mr. Grant realized he had no idea how to gauge peoples tendency to succeed - which prompted him to write the book. Which is an excellent read.
For the record, I don't charge my students to use the platform :P
Why the @#$% does some web designer think it's a good idea to disable mousewheel scrolling?! What does this accomplish? What feature do you gain? What was the goal?
I just can't for the life of me grok what would be going through someone's brain when they decide "Hey, you know what would make this page better? Disabling scrolling with your mouse wheel!"
Windows, Desktop, Chrome: Clicking the scroll bar works; mouse wheel, arrows, page up/page down do not.
Mine is about, uhm, me being a disillusioned 30 year old developer hating how things are done now? Rants like this https://medium.com/commitlog/how-to-design-for-the-modern-we... tend to alright.
Throwing in an amazon link when its appropriate, or funny in the above case doesn't hurt either. Kinda got an on-going thing with always pushing K&R books.
As the software guy, I also found I spent much of the rest of the week subconsciously thinking through issues and solutions anyway, so by the time I did get that six or so hours to code I was pretty damn productive.
Talking with people, the first barrier we see is that people think they can't get or don't deserve grants. They give excuses like, "Oh I never been to country X", "I'm not a resident there", "It's just an idea", etc etc.
Most grants will ask you to go to country X, incorporate there in some cases (to attract talent), or get involved and help the ecosystem of that region. For others you just submit a proposal with milestones and you have check, presentations and writeups (and ultimately you do the things you promised).
Some examples of grants are, startupInsertXCountry (e.g. StartupChile, StartupPeru, Startup Puerto Rico - P18), LaunchKC (Kansas City), EU H2020 (hard) but also H2020 sub-programs that got H2020 funding for a cause and pass it on to startups as a challenge (robotics challenges, Big-data challenges), HotDesQ (AUS), and many many many more countries that want to be like Silicon Valey)
Hope this helps!
As has already been mentioned, make sure the IP is in your name. My employment contract is one of those generic 'everything you think is ours' kind of affairs. I don't know if it would hold up in court but wanted at least some security. I'm in the UK, so this may not be appropriate to where you are.
After I proved the idea will work but before I started building the product for real, I went to a solicitor (lawyer) and explained my situation. They draw up a Deed of Understanding and Assignment. This is a document that gives scope to the work and states that my employer has no claim to any work inside that scope. My employer (eventually) signed it, as did I, and a witness. It wasn't free, but I feel safer having it.
Even if you're building a product that won't compete with your day job work, do all you can to make sure your employer can't claim it. If you do start making profit and your employer isn't (or is just greedy), it's not outside the realm of possibility that they could find out and claim all rights to it. I also don't see why this couldn't happen after you've left your job, if you built the product while employed.
If you think it's going to go somewhere, speak to a lawyer as soon as you can.
I have around 300 members currently but it has been slow growth. Every photographer I've told loves the idea but there's no place to really promote as posting on Facebook groups or forums is seen as spam and deleted. So I'll keep on growing slowly I guess using Instagram to contact photographers and see where I am in a few years.
While it worked for me, it came at a cost and I did not have a family at the time or any other obligations.
I'm currently busy launching a SaaS tool http://blockedby.com but having two small children, a full time job and Shoptimate.com limits the time I can spend on this.