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Ask HN: Do you work part time gig while bootstrapping your own startup?
14 points by royalghost 941 days ago | 9 comments
I am interested to know how others view working a part time consulting while you are bootstrapping a startup? Is it bad because of context switching? Or, will it make sure that you have something in your hand if your startup does not work out.



I'm working full time, 60hrs a week, taking two MBA courses a semester and still finding time to work on my startup. I know there's going to be a lot of people who disagree with this, but as much as I would like to drop everything and get hack-crazy, I don't for three reasons:

1.)I have expenses that need to be paid. My current savings could get me through maybe 5 months? and then what? 2.) I like knowing I have a backup plan. I think its what, 5% of business launched that succeed? Despite working my way through the other 95% of fails already, having an incredibly solid business plan, and (for the first-time)a passion for the product; its still nice to know I can provide for myself and my family. 3.) This is the big one... I need money for my business!. II can hire faster, advertise easier. How's a little guy to compete with the big boys without a hefty budget applied to smart marketing!

With all that said, I have considered dropping my hours, or my job entirely, but why take the risk? there's nobody in my space. There's no rush! Why take a risk of losing everything, when there's no risk of losing your idea to someone else.

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I'm in a similar situation to you, I work 40 hour weeks, maintain a demanding relationship with my girlfriend, freelance in my spare time and still fit in a couple of hours a night for my private projects.

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More needs to be discussed about this group of entrepreneurs. So much emphasis is put on the full time, no-expenses-or-responsibilities-whatsoever early to mid 20s male entrepreneur s, but I think there are probably a lot more entrepreneurs like you guys.

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I think I can survive with what I have got for the next 1 year so I can focus on my startup. Yes, it's that little hope that keeps me focused and motivated too. But, I believe that it is worth putting more effort in the product development and worry less about marketing cost at this early stage. Anyway, how hard I try I cannot compete with big boys in marketing!

Thanks for sharing your experience.

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I've recently shut down my previous company and am working full time on my new idea.

I currently have ~4 month before I dry out, and am selling one of my cars in order to have a longer run way.

I really think that working full time on your ideas makes you X10(estimated) more productive, since not only do you have more time to work on it, your mind is also empty and totally focused on only one important thing.

Focus is something that people underestimate, but it's sometimes what makes the difference between success or failure.

If you are serious about entrepreneurship, and you can sustain a few month without working part time - my personal advice is that you do it.

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I agree with your point of working full time will make you 10x more focused. The other important thing when you are at your very early stage of product development is not to be distracted by other stuff like how you are going to do marketing, scale, etc. etc.

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I think it depends on whether the biz has been validated in some way or not. I think the first version of most products should be simple enough to not need 100% dedication in order to build it. If it requires that much focus, you might try shedding some features so that you can ship something while reliably making an income.

I WOULD NOT quit my job to build something which hasn't been validated in some way. I have done that and it was a huge mistake.

Imagine the following:

1.) you have a product idea

2.) you have talked to potential clients and find out they need it and are willing to pay for

3.) a percentage of them will agree to pay you, specifically you, when it ships

4.) those potential clients know other people in their field who also need your product and are willing to give you a warm intro to them

Here we have imagined a circumstance where you have a business with an unprecedentedly high probability of success. Furthermore, it's a circumstance which didn't require you to build or really focus heavily on anything. If you're worried about how long it will take you to get off the ground with something like this, don't. Making the above a reality is so valuable, you can afford to spend a little time on it.

After quitting my job and jumping into an idea-phase business, I've raised my standards quite a bit. An idea won't cut it for me anymore. I need validation.

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I tried to do part time to support my startup but ended up working on my part time gig full time in order to meet deliverables and dead lines. I find, its better to 1 thing at a time. In my opinion, It's better to take a hit for year and work on your startup full time.

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I freelance part time while bootstrapping and I have my degree to complete. Doing all 3 at once is quite difficult and all consuming!

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