>> Get your spouse or SO's buy-in. Until that happens, I'd suggest not going forward.
Agree completely. I think one key to gaining my wife's incredible support was the understanding we both had that Limelight came after her and the kids. Once we had that discussion, she made time for me to work on it once the kids were in bed.
>> Something has to give, and it's usually your hobbies.
I miss Japanese. :-(
(I assume the downvoter wants a translation? It means "do your best!" [on your startup])
I can't imagine there would be any satisfaction to be had in that kind of stretching.
Are you doing a startup with a cofounder? I'd be worried, from an emotional standpoint, about doing a startup under those conditions without any moral support (from either a spouse or cofounder). Everyone is different but the dark secret of startup life (especially bootstrapped on the side) is that it's tough, and you can get depressed easily for a number of reasons. Having someone in the trenches with you is a great help, emotionally.
However, I will say this. If you're thinking about starting a startup on the side, don't. That's my advice, don't do it. If you're a young hacker without kids, make a full-time go at it. If you've already got kids, save until you can. While I admire the poster's ability to juggle so many things, this cannot be maintained for more than a year, maybe two before you will come to resent one or more of your job, your family, your partners.
If you do go ahead, make office hours and stick to them. That's the only thing I've ever found to be effective in terms of relieving the need to work on it.
Of course will I take my own advice? Probably not, once you start, it's hard to stop, the allure is too tempting to scratch an itch, solve a problem, or learn a new technology. But, don't say I didn't warn you.
Support of your spouse is a must, no doubt about that. If your spouse see's all of your time spent on the computer as just that, "being on the computer" forget about having a startup the support isn't there. I'm fortunate enough to have a supportive spouse who understands I want to succeed not only for us, but because I'm tired of making other people money and have untamed entrepreneurial spirit.
An old, wise chicken restaurant founder (Truett Cathy) said in his book, Eat More Chicken, Inspire More People, (paraphrasing terribly) "Growing slowly allows you to grow into your success and your mistakes.". We still dream about success, about trend lines that go up (and they are), but focusing on the resources at hand to make that dream a reality has been our key to date. I'd love for everything to move faster from a growth perspective of course but keeping priorities straight means speed is exchanged for quality of life, agile and lean growth, and the unsung hero in the startup world, sanity.
Best of success to every spare time entrepreneur daddy! :)
> When you're with your family or friends, "be there" mentally
You know those ads for laptops with the perfect family plus dog on the beach or at the park, with one of the parents using a laptop?
What a horrible lie. Never do that.
It says to your kids/spouse that even when you're there you're not there.
> "By far the biggest win in my situation is the support of my wife. She not only tolerates my involvement in a startup, she actively supports me and roots for me. She wants to see us succeed."
Truer words have never been spoken. You don't lose your family by equal parts self-discipline but ALSO having a spouse that supports and tolerates that kind of craziness. It makes sense why doctors marry doctors, lawyers marry lawyers, PhDs marry PhDs...cause someone working the 9 to 5 cannot appreciate, nor empathize, with the other person's extended (and often erratic) working schedule. They'll feel neglected since they have more free time, and it will be tough to relate and feel appreciated. This I know first hand.
I've found that it's a much easier sell a side project to the family when you have a team mate believing in this idea and willing to work at it with you. That early "validation" goes a long way in justifying time away from the family to spend hacking/coding/selling.
Funny thing is as I get older and most my friends start having families, I end up losing friends. Being single sucks because they rather also hang out with other families too.
The challenge here is does SO really understand a priori what [s]he is buying into.
I started a bootstrap startup on the side while married (but before kids) which I eventually sold. Not a huge exit, but we don't have to worry about money anymore.
Here's what I can tell a spouse:
- Prepare for your startup spouse (SS) to be mentally distracted pretty much all the time (even when they're just hanging out with the kids).
- Expect your SS to be really tired. They'll probably try to steal time for their startup by sacrificing sleep. They'll need understanding and kindness when they drag their ass out of bed on under 5 hrs of sleep.
- Expect your SS to be more excited about taking a stay-cation to code than traveling thousands of miles to go on vacation with the in-laws.
- Once your SS has customers or employees, you probably will not have a true "no devices" vacation for 7-10 years.
- Don't pressure SS to get a partner; if they don't already have a partner, recruiting one likely will NOT relieve their workload and allow them to focus on you more. Also, don't expect SS to see value in partnering, since the other person may or may not be good, and could very well create more stress and pressure (not to mention dilute your upside and introduce conflicts over vision/direction).
- Expect NOT to go bed at the same time as your SS.
- Expect NOT to watch the same TV shows (if any) as your SS; once the kids are down, SS will be coding.
- Expect your SS to be really bad remembering details about what's going on with the kids, house, pets, etc. Just remember, they aren't that way because they don't care, they just can't keep those details in their head. You'll need to be the czar of that stuff (or have VERY clear delineation of responsibility).
- Expect to need to plan date nights. I'd recommend buying a bottle of wine and not feeling bad about have a few glasses if that's what it takes to get SS to relax and forget about their project. In general, plan activities that don't let SS get bored-- otherwise you'll be hanging out with someone whose mind has drifted off in thought.
- If all goes well, SS may be able to quit their job, be master of his/her own destiny, and maybe even sell the business and walk away finally independent.
- Understand the upside will most likely be some payout between $1 and $10M which really won't change your lifestyle, but will make you very wealthy with time and options, which honestly, f---ing rocks.
To me, the toughest part is to focus on an idea, because the internet is full of inspiration.
Usually they seem to be middle-aged or older, IME.
People here are more interested in talking about creating successful startups than in being "right" about their spiritual beliefs.
I belong to the Christian + Hacker set intersection as well.
I think you have in mind a very vocal minority of Christians. Most of us would not even consider taking every sentence in the Bible in a literal sense, if not for the debate with those minorities.
So, no need of technical savviness, advanced degrees or even high IQ. Millions of average Christians will share your intuition of "common sense".
God however may be within the realm of history, if at just the right time, God revealed himself in history. That is the Christian claim: Jesus died and rose from the dead in history.
"And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead." - Paul the Apostle (a persecutor of the first Christians before seeing the risen Lord for himself, a Roman citizen, highly educated, he was himself martyred for his testimony, after being tried by several of the Roman magistrates, likely including Nero)
To reject the claim of Christ a priori because of naturalistic views of the universe is inadequate.
Better to examine the historicity of the accounts of Christ. How soon after the events were they recorded? What was the cost to those who gave their accounts? Did it happen? If it happened, what does it mean?
Here are some good places to start:
Paul Barnett - http://www.amazon.com/New-Testament-History-Paul-Barnett/dp/... and see also http://www.amazon.com/New-Testament-Reliable-Paul-Barnett/dp...
FF Bruce - http://www.amazon.com/New-Testament-Documents-They-Reliable/...
I have yet to come across an intricate system that did not have a designer, and it would be illogical for me to believe the universe just exists.
Most programmers should be smart and logical enough to reject that kind of bullshit, but my point is that some have their minds so compartmentalized that they fall for it hook line and sinker.
Everyone was shocked that Brendan Eich turned out to be a religiously motivated homophobe. He may be able to think logically about algorithms and programming language design, but his thought process about ethics and human rights is so illogical, severely flawed and compartmentalized that he's afraid to discuss it in public. That kind of religiously motivated irrationality is detrimental to a start-up, high tech company or open source project that needs to attract the best people regardless of their sexual preference, race, sex, etc.
In fact, none of the adherents to either Catholicism or Eastern Orthodoxy that I've met(I live in the middle east, so those two denominations constitute most of the Christian population in these parts) have held a literal belief in the Bible(ie, young earth creationism and all that crap).
There is something that irks me in militant secularism/atheism, it is this attitude of neither wanting to learn about something yet holding extremely negative views towards it and actively fighting it. People like Richard Dawkins are the the worst offenders in this respect.
Although I doubt I can change your mind on this, I hope you'd reconsider at least learning about what it is that you're criticizing here. A very good book on the topic is C.S. Lewis' "Mere Christianity". It is quite short, extremely well written and therefore can be read quite fast. It does a wonderful job of explaining -- with no denominational bias that I can detect -- what it is that Christians believe and what it is that they don't. I doubt you can read that and still come out thinking that Christianity is provably wrong or even that illogical/irrational. You may still disagree with it(in fact you almost surely will), but you won't hold the current just plain wrong attitude towards it(and by proxy all religions) that stems from ignorance.
And while I don't want to discuss this issue here(we've veered way off topic) let me just state that "does not think gay marriage should be legal" does not equate to "homophobic bigotry". You can have gay friends, have no problem with them as people, but still believe that marriage is something that has a very clear definition(sacred bond between husband and wife, for life, for the purpose of building family) which doesn't include same-sex relationships.
Bringing it back to discussion and finding relevance..
It's fine and wonderful to have different points of view to be able to discuss and learn from... but when one brings a "you are a _____ so i think everything you say is ____", it seems as presumptuous and blind as the blindness being pointed out.
It just reeks of the kind of closemindedness no one likes to see or put anyone through, and is frankly kind of embarrassing to have to read through. Respect as a currency gets so much further, no matter what the subject is.
This is called the Teleological argument for the existence of God . Its been around for a long time, is the basis for creationism and intelligent design, and criticism of it goes all the way back to David Hume. Its just a weak argument.
These are honest and serious questions, if you feel more comfortable talking by email I welcome it.
Are you saying:
- All belief systems are identical, incomplete and short sighted as the one you are speaking of?
- How much of what you believe is based on judging your own experience with one belief system and applying it to every other belief system?
- Have you actually learnt about each belief system yourself?
- Is there no other way to see things except how you see them right now?
- Is there no way anything can exist outside of your understanding?
- People compartmentalize themselves but it's different if you compartmentalize anyone who has a belief you don't agree with?
- There is no interpretation of any teaching that is remotely religious or spiritual that could have any scientific backing
- If a particular experience of a group involves a bible or a dogma, any other group that doesn't have a bible or dogma is as well painted with the same brush?
If you're curious where I'm coming from I'll try to clarify up front. I'm not a particularly religious or non-religious person. I don't have a clue what kind of trauma you've been through with the bible or religious dogma as it's not a belief system I've first hand experienced. I guess one could say my religion is curiosity that leads me to have insight on myself.
Fanatics look the same to me when they say their way is the right and only way.
Brendan Eich for example should be smart and logical enough to figure out that gay people marrying don't effect his own marriage or harm society. Yet he gave $1000 to the Proposition 8 campaign which successfully overturned the right to gay marriage in California, so his money had a negative effect on real people's lives. And that rightfully pissed off a lot of his co-workers and community.
As Tom Morris writes: http://www.tumblr.com/tagged/proposition-8?before=1333669269
"Brendan Eich’s actions are homophobic and disappointing.
Want to know why it is disappointing? Frankly, I expect more from techie programmer types. Being bullied mercilessly for being a spotty, out-of-shape loser who prefers Star Trek to sports usually helps instill some solidarity. As the Jargon File puts it: “Hackerdom easily tolerates a much wider range of sexual and lifestyle variation than the mainstream culture.” You have to be reasonably intelligent to do well in the programming game, and usually people become pretty critical and questioning and skeptical in the process, and outgrow the bigotry (even if they do occasionally have social awkwardness and cluelessness).
It is disappointing when that doesn’t turn out to be as true as one thought."