From an entrepreneurial or self-initiated venture.
The great part about getting $10k from recurring payments is that it can grow beyond $10k pretty quickly (now $100k+/mo).
As for the real "how", I think the key is to first find out something you can solve which is truly a problem for some number of people, and then to provide it and market to people the fact it exists.
Over a year later I just said "screw it" I'm going for it. And threw in $2,000 to purchase my first 250 calendars & boxes & shipping supplies. I didn't know how I was going to sell them, it was already December so I was late, but somehow they sold. In a little over a month I sold a whole bunch on FAB.com and my own Wordpress e-commerce site I threw together. I sold out in 2 months and ordered another $6,000 worth of inventory mostly for next year. Upgraded their design so they were more premium and could be rolled up. Taking the packaging weight down to just 1 pound instead of 2.3 pounds. With the new design my packaging uses only 6 ounces of cardboard instead of 1.2 pounds like before. And redesigned my site.
The magnet pens I make by painstakingly by hand by boiling each and every cap in hot water so the plastic softens just enough to quickly insert a magnet into before the plastic cools. I searched all over the internet and Alibaba for magnet pens and just couldn't find anything economical or high quality enough. All the magnet pens out there were just weak or impractical. Plus with mine you can recycle the magnetic cap on other pens. I've been selling a bunch on ebay since last year. It took almost a year to become cash flow positive with the magnet pens and about 2 months to become cash flow positive with the calendars. I'm really bad at sales btw, it's my first time. But it's been totally worth it. The learning experience alone is worth more than collage classes.
Here's my store I opened up with my products: http://dayonepp.com/ I've got more original products on the way as well.
Just for you guys, use promotion code "hn" to get $1 off your order.
I wasn't making much money until I discovered I could park outside a local swimming baths, sleep in the car, and then wake up for a swim and a shower in the morning. Sadly as soon as I locked the car, the alarm was set. If I turned over during the night, the car alarm would go off.
I'm guessing you mean you "made money" because you saved on rent?
Worked surprisingly well as a strategy. Recommended, and gives a great start in life.
With all of that out of the way, I finally got a look at the source code. Fifteen minutes later, the bug was fixed (it was just a missing quote in an SQL call).
Of course, while they could justify hiring a consultant for $20 an hour for a three week job, management wasn't happy with the idea of paying a fresh college grad $10k an hour to fix a one character bug. Thus, I wound up writing another app that they had wanted, also in VBScript.
If there's a Hell, I'm going there for the SQL injection vulnerabilities in that program.
You fleshed this comment out, which is great, but I want to be careful to say I'm not endorsing the business model of wringing hours out of people's speculative hope that they'll reach the top of the pyramid. We don't have "work 60 hours a week and make partner" model, for instance.
But the general principle of developing and refining skills to the point where they enable you to ramp up new people and deploy all your people more effectively is a good one that works in a variety of different cases.
Tech is myopic (extremely) about professional services; many of the largest firms in our economy are effectively scaled-up professional services companies.
My first $10,000 ever made was playing video games. It was all made in one weekend at a Quake 3 tournament. It was my first tournament ever, so it was fueled solely on excitement, fun, and sheer determination. I completed 2nd place, took home a giant check, trophy, and was at that moment in time the #1 U.S. player.
2. I made more in college by making up a paid job with the student affairs department (one that did need to be done, not make-work), related to my role with the student government, and then doing it. Is that entrepreneurial?
3. After I dropped out of college I worked doing odd jobs / handyman work, and as a contractors apprentice, doing home renovations. Once I learned the ropes, I went out on my own and worked for myself doing that.
4. After I finished college I went back to doing freelance web development, again working for myself.
While I learned things at all of these, any of them could have been my first $10k if none of the previous had happened.
In between, I worked non-entrepreneurially at a series of non-profits / not-for-profits -- a summer camp, my university, a hiking club. I now work for a growth stage company, and it definitely has its advantages in stability and ability to focus on the parts of the job you like. No doubt I will work for myself, and for other non-profits, again in the future.
Back when I was in middle school (on AOL)
I think I earned $100 or so but was never paid.
Although not explicitly stated, I think there was a minimum requirement of $100 to get a payout from a given company. Checks were issued from each company individually, so you literally had to make $100 from a given company to get that payout.
As for a "consumer" product, myguestmap.org (2005 - about to go defunct in a couple of weeks due to changes on google maps' licensing) made 10k in donation revenue in its first year (it paid VERY handsomely for a product that took me a day to make, both in donations and in ads). It never generated enough revenue to sustain itself, though, but was a very fun ride (most donations came along with a great story on why they were using the service - and that included all sorts of groups, from cancer patients to sheep farmers trying to connect with fellow strangers).
At the time I was all about C++, wasn't very good at it and couldn't find any part time job to continue my CS degree.
One of my contacts proposed me a freelance gig to rewrite the intranet of a big french corp. It was written in ASP.net 1.0 and only worked on IE. I didn't want to take the job but when they offered me 5,000$ I said yes without knowing what I was doing.
After some consulting with friends I went with PHP5, smarty and prototypejs.
Since then, I learned to plan things more carefully (especially when I don't know the tech) and never stopped coding and working for the web.
The weight of his papers is quite staggering. I sometimes think it weighs more than he does. :)
I'd have loved to have had a bicycle on my round(s). (Sunday mornings were the killer day, here in the UK the Sunday editions of newpapers are 2-5x the size of normal editions.)
The one lesson that is extremely clear: networking is paramount. I only got the job initially because my name was thrown around by a friend and was only able to sell to the other studio because of a connection I made while doing the project.
It was never that easy again.
Do you recommend any other methods besides scraping? I've heard of people injecting DLLs into the process of the casino app, but I have no idea how to go about doing that.
I know what you mean. We did DLL injection, network protocol analysis, reverse engineering, etc. and almost always went with screen scraping in the end due to its easiness and universality.
If you are lucky tho, the client might produce logs real-time and you can get events simply by polling the log file.
And instead of taking the next F/T gig, I went to work for myself. 5 years and counting.
I used it to fund the development of larger, more ambitious projects (kept me from starving, paid my bills, and paid for multiple servers).
I think I got paid $9/hour or something like that, but I worked so many hours that I had a decent amount saved up after a while.
The work was really hard, and that's what made me decide to go to college for Computer Science. I respect people who can do that work their whole life, but it is rough.
Nearly doubling that rate for "consultation" for larger companies, from which I pivoted to...
Dumping about $15k of savings (made possible by a dramatic increase in income tied with a continued frugal lifestyle) in to an "enterprise" startup, which made well over $10k in the first sale (took about three months).
£10k would be a big chunk, don't think I'll hit it any time in the next 18 months. Never say never though.
But I have no complaints though. That company hired some very talented and loyal people who're still together to this day long after I left.
Didn't make it to $10k, but did have a net profit of a few thousand which wasn't bad for high school.