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Ask HN: How do I add $100k to my 2014 income?
104 points by randomnumber314 on Jan 26, 2014 | hide | past | favorite | 101 comments
I'm a serial wantrepreneur. I build things that no one wants. That's my problem and I know it. I respect the candid feedback HN'ers offer. So if I were your son, or best friend, where would you steer me?

Having read through all the answers here, I really think that HN is possibly not the best place to ask such a question.

   Solve a problem
Seems to be the largest response. Solving problems is hard. If you want to earn $100k this year, don't solve a problem, don't do a startup[1].

Startups deal with problems, are capital intensive, risky, and high reward. If you want to potentially make a lot more than $100k in the next few years then, sure, go find a problem.

If you simply want to make $100k this year, then my choice would be to start a simple service business. No need to build anything new or solve a complex problem. The majority of SME businesses fit this mould really, everything from software agencies to recruitment companies.

Pick an area you have some knowledge in, start on your own, and execute to the best of your abilities. The main challenges are usually managing cash flow and the day to day realities of running a small business. But if you end up with 4-5 employees and stable cash flow, you now have your own earning power plus around 20% of the people below you typically.

That or review your CV, and plan the most aggressive route towards a position in a financial / high yield company, adding $100k to your salary as an employee could be feasible depending on your background.

Either way, the people who just stumble upon money are outliers. So the really short answer is just work harder and accept more risk in you decisions.


If he is already working as a PHP/mySQL developer, it will be hard to build a service based business on the side. YMMV.

Edit: Those who downvoted, please provide the reason also. Happy to have a discussion. I wrote the above based on my personal experiences.

I didn't down vote you - but the way I always see it is a sliding scale:

[Lowest payout] Totally guaranteed money - [Highest payout] Risky very unlikely money

On the left you have a salaried job. On the right a shoot for the moon VC startup. In between you have the entire range from trying to build products for 'passive income' on the side, to going alone starting a small cash-positive business, or freelancing. Your level of risk is entirely up to you, and the reward will usually be fairly linear, within your own earning capacity and skill set (money is fairly efficient in that sense!).

Working more hours or quitting your job fits into that scale along with all the other factors. If your appetite for risk is on the lower end such you won't quit, then you will have a harder time competing with people who've positioned themselves with more risk.

There will always be the outliers who just break the model though.

Thank you for the response. I agree, more or less. In this case, of course, I made the assumption that OP didn't want to quit his job. His skill sets are fairly common, based on what he posted. Considering that, I thought he will have a better chance of building something on the side, since getting high enough consulting rates for PHP work is hard, especially when you are trying to do it part-time. (As you said, there are outliers for this also. I assumed OP falls close to the mean/median when I wrote that.)

You make an assumption that the PHP/mySQL role consumes all of his time. That isn't necessarily true, he may be in a position where he's just tweaking scripts occasionally.

Because side projects never ever ever become successful?

(Upvoted for discussion)

I agree that it is very difficult to find the required momentum. Some things which may help, based on my experience:

1. Divide the whole problem into subsets. Identify others who are having the same problem subsets, and partner with them to resolve them. This way, nobody has to divulge their whole business model/idea and yet can collaborate.

At the smallest level, this can be as simple as posting a technical problem on StackOverflow and participating in the discussion that follows. At a higher level, this can be something like identifying a common person to write content for multiple businesses.

2. Keeping intermediate easily reachable goals. This helps to ensure you have momentum, however small it may be. Reaching those goals also peps up your spirits, especially when you are working alone.

Nope. Solve a problem worth solving


With putting your wife on salary, are you stuck paying towards unemployment insurance since you've technically got an employee? Some places have started to crack-down on that, even when it doesn't truly have relevance.

Just curious, but what type of programming do you do for your investment bank? I've been programming for 30 years now, have done c/c++, Java, reverse engineering, have security clearance, etc but seem to have maxed-out at 130k. I don't know that I've ever seen a job like yours advertised, much less one that pays so well. Can you share what type of programming you do, and how you got into it?

It is insane that that 1099 wife thing is legal.

So, I think about the only way you are going to make that $100k is if you are going into business for yourself. In that light, you need to solve a problem. Here are a bunch of problems that I would pay money for(hopefully others too):

1. I need a cheap gpu powered pc, something like 300 cuda cores but with the ability to expand to 3072. I'm will to pay $1k for this plus the price of shipping.(Don't care if the parts are old)

2. I need to dress better. A service to pick out the clothes that I wear and should buy. Willing to pay $120 per year for this.

3. A book about how to make great conversation. The book needs to have tons of examples. Willing to pay $10 for this.

4. A book about 1000 ways to make people laugh. Willing to pay $10 for this.

5. A programmable human size android. That cost under $1k.

6. Designs to said programmable android. Willing to pay $100 for that. Should be able to hook it up to a 3d printer.

For #2, check out http://trunkclub.com

They set you up with a stylist, all the service aspects are free, then they send you a trunk of clothes to try. Pay for whatever you keep, send the rest back with free shipping.

you sure you are not looking for a wingman to help you with women? :)

Plot twist : OP is building the next generation social network using a damn lot of machine learning.

1. Really ? Build a such computer is really trivial and cheap (the 100$ GTX 650 has 300 CUDA cores whereas the 700$ GTX 780ti has 3000 cores).

I don't understand the motivation will be for someone to use a such service instead of building it by himself ...

Let's say, conservatively, that doing the research to know how to build this, having never built a pc before, takes 20 hours. I bill at 100-160 an hour, so let's take the low end and cut it in half, and say my opportunity cost is $50/hour.

The cost of building one of these is (20 * 50) + 700 = 1700. If someone can build one for me at $1000 I'm money ahead.

It's easy to forget that knowledge acquisition isnt free when you already poses the knowledge.

Couldn't you Google for a PC which has a graphics card with 300 or more cuda cores?

If you're not following hardware, that google result isn't going to help much (other than maybe giving you an idea of basic cost of such a system). There's lots of ready-made vendors, generally they're all crap (for a certain value of crap).

There's a big difference between building a one-off rig, and buying one, working with it for a year or so -- getting your code right -- and the knowing you can get 20 more (updated and/or cheaper) -- that won't have driver issues, heating issues or flaky psus. Sure, a contract can help, but whatever you get "back" in cases of failures are always going to be much less than whatever value you wanted in the first place (eg: the hardware ended up being free, but you weren't able to sequence the genome because of glitches).

In short, don't underestimate the cost to acquire the required domain knowledge to do such a task well.

One can always hope that the new Mac Pro will be successful enough that there'll be a decent Cuda story there -- but I'm not holding my breath. And after seeing what Apple did vs Final Cut pro and OS X server (esp: hardware) -- I'd be wary of trusting them with any production platform.

I've read from http://www.reddit.com/r/buildapc that low-cost computers are cheaper from ready-made vendors. Not sure if you can buy a cheap ready-made PC with 300 cuda cores, though.

>>I don't understand the motivation will be for someone to use a such service instead of building it by himself ...

Personally, I have no interest in learning how to build computers. I'm not into hardware[1] and have no problem paying a premium for someone else to just put stuff together, make sure it works then send it to me.

BTW, wasn't this Alienware's business model?

1. There is one exception though; the videogame console hacking scene.

Arguably this is all hardware vendors business model (Dell, HP, Sun (now Oracle) ...). But yes, I guess Alienware, pre-dell had that business model, and you might say Penguin Computing does something similar. I'm sure there are others.

It's probably more of a marketing angle.

I don't know/care that it's a gtx 650. Just a device that fits my needs. Apple abstracts/demphasises certain details to great effect.

He basically wants an off-the-shelf Litecoin mining rig, I guess. You can find those on Ebay etc.

> 3. A book about how to make great conversation.

There's an app for that: http://refresh.io. Better than a book since it customizes its data to the people you meet.

2. +1. I went shopping today and didn't find anything that I truly liked. 3. +1. The deeper I dive into the technology world, the farther I feel from my friends who won't work in this sector and it's becoming harder than ever to find something to talk about that isn't programming-related. Being an empty conversationalist is a surefire way to lose friends fast. 4. Goes with number 3, so I'd pay for this too.

The other ideas sound cool but I haven't ventured into hardware hacking yet ;)

2. Do you have look thread.com ? What do you think about it?

if you give me 100$ I will pick a fitting pc for you in a shop of your choice. ;)

I know every HN reader will hate this, but my advice, try to add $100M to your 2016 income.

Why so?

If you aim for $100M, after 3-4 years it is possible that you land somewhere between $5M-10M.

However, if you aim for $100k, you will land at around $0. If you aim for $1M, you will land at $50k. If you aim for $10M, you will land at $1M.

You need to aim for the stars if you want to land on the moon, because everybody and everything will try to prevent you from doing it. Aim for the stars.

I like your thought process. I guess the $100k mark was just to get ideas flowing. I would like to aim for $100M, but I can't think of a product or service people demand that would achieve that revenue (at least not within my skillset)

Wow thank you, when I get all inspirational and big thinking, I'm used to getting shot down by HN, so it makes me happy that it resonates with you.

How to aim for $100M? Try something crazy, something that other people will look at you suspiciously and whisper he's crazy is he?

Why? Because where is crazyness, there is magic and you will be the only one there, because somehow humans don't like to do crazy things, they like to stay within the norm, not create too much noise.

To become really successful, you need to be 1 out of a million. Some might it's very hard to become 1 out of a million. However, it's very easy if you're trying to do something crazy and that's all you need.

As for what to do, try to find a big problem that can be solved with a nice and sweet app that can be built within 2 months. It doesn't have to be hard to build, it can just be a little app, but you need to try to look for magic.

An example would be Snapchat, super weird, crazy, tiny app, magic.

Hope that helped.

I think you're playing yourself down here. You can build websites, so you have the perfect skill set to solve (almost) any problems.

Just get out there and find out what problems people have. Ask a bunch of people which websites/apps drive them crazy.

With a bit of luck they will mention ones that they use regularly or pay money for. Once you find a niche product idea, come up with a way you can test your hypothesis, Lean Startup style.

> I think you're playing yourself down here. You can build websites, so you have the perfect skill set to solve (almost) any problems.

The unsolved problem space that is solved by building a website is shrinking year over year. It would seem obvious that you need a larger skill set to solve problems no one has attempted yet.

No, for each new startup, there are two more startups that can be built on top of it. The funny thing is that rhere are not fewer ideas down the road, idea generation is exponential.

Go to Meetups in your local area & listen to the things that people complain about & create a list. You'll find out that people usually complain about the same things.

Cool, I'm going to aim for $100 trillion then.

You will laugh, but that's why we have Bitcoin now.

Someone took on all banks and all currencies ($100T/year industry). In 5 years, everybody will think that Bitcoin is normal, but it was just 1 big thinker that it took.

But that's how human history works.

I wasn't completely joking ;)

Are...are you Satoshi Nakamoto? :)

Solve a problem. Examples:

1. Find an area with a lot of questions and not many answers. Create a content site. Attract 834,000 visitors per month. Advertising should net you $100K per year (this is an approximation and can vary a LOT).

2. Find a problem large enough for which a solution can be built with PHP and mySQL (since you mentioned that's your main skill set). Build a solution which costs around $25/month. You need only 334 customers to reach your goal.

How do you identify problems? Do some market research (using Google Trends, Amazon Top Sellers, niche forums, etc).

Good luck.

Towards a steady job with a successful company with room to move up.

Agree. Entrepreneurialism is a slow and risky way to make money: if you want money in 2014, get a job.

I took it as though he had a job already.

Yes, Jobs are so hip right now.

I always hear this form of the request with a bit of bemusement. The simplest way to add $100K to your income is to rob a bank. You didn't constrain the problem to "legally" :-)

But setting that aside for a moment, why $100K? What does $100K get you? And why is money your goal? Do the thought experiment where "Poof!" the magic genie drops $100K on your bed. Sit there and look at it, now what?

You need money to pay the bills and survive, okay. But having it is rather fleeting, and when you die you cannot take it with you. Get past "money" and into "accomplishing something." When you have something you want to accomplish come back and we can opine on that :-)

$100k lands on my bed. Poof go my student loans and credit card debt. With enough left over that I could take a nice vacation and take a 6 month break from work if I live very frugally. Sounds like a worthy goal.

Edit: this is why claims of finishing returns with the ratio of earnings/happiness are unconvincing to me, or at least setting them as low as $70-80k (which some people do) seems wrong. Additional capital produces happiness because it provides security -- I can afford not just to service debt, but to eliminate it, making me free to take a lower paying job in the future. I can afford to buy a house outright instead of just a down payment. I can fund my own business ventures. I can provide for the people I love. I can bend the law and government to my personal interests. I don't see a real cap where more money stops providing more happiness and peace of mind, at least not before reaching sums that make you truly wealthy. Any middle class person in America is still incredibly subject to the vagaries of fortune, and the more money you have the more you alleviate your risk.

N.B., I personally can't afford any of these things.

FWIW I get/understand the goal directed version (exemplar: I'm looking to pay off credit debts (student loans, CC) and save for down payment on a house.)

The fastest way to make money "now" is to sell something you already own.

The second fastest is to create a service business which pays for your labor.

The third fastest is to sell things for someone else, where they let you keep a commission on everything you sell.

The fourth fastest is to take a professional job (Doctor, Lawyer, Engineer) at a large firm, and work your way up to a senior position.

The slowest is start a company, build a product, make it successful, and then sell the company.

The tricky bit is navigating the path in a way that you enjoy or are fulfilled by. My observation is that not doing so puts you in a less useful place at the end of your life. But I by no means have a statistically valid sampling of that.

An extra $100k in annual income could make the difference from maybe never retiring and having enough additional income to invest in a quality retirement where you and your family don't have to spend the final 10-30 years of your life compromising and living like misers.

$100K does the following for me:

- is a down payment on a house.

- pays off my student loans.

- replaces our old clunker with a new reliable hybrid

- puts me 3-4 years ahead in terms of my financial planning

Yup, worth it!

Move to Bay Area if you have not already. Get a job with a funded startup led my someone who has done it before. Should be 12-50 employees. Must offer options. Work hard.

Moving to the BA is a win for anything tech because cash flows freely, but the cost of living is murder. If possible, buy some land somewhere cheaper like Oregon and work remotely as much as possible.

Options after about 10 employees are worthless paper. The real cash is being an early founder and owning meaningful equity.

Moving to the Bay Area could potentially add $100K to OP bottom line, but it's not about what you make, it's about what you keep.

Multiple income streams is the best starting point imo if you don't know what you want to double down on. Getting $100k itself is not an easy task, let alone trying to get $100k off of a single thing. It's easier (and more pragmatic) to get to $100k by getting $5k on product A in YRR, $20k on product B etc... These things will eventually add up and need to be easily maintainable projects (as opposed to timesink projects). I wouldn't recommend writing a super complex app consisting of millions of lines of code for example that requires a lot of support towards your customers; instead, consider writing an e-book and selling it for $10-30 a pop. Or a SaaS that nets you $10 MRR per customer.

Another upside imo of this approach is that you can discern at a later stage which one of your projects is most successful and has the most chance of getting you to $100k YRR, on its own. This will allow you to decide if you want to double down on it or not.

Also, consider building things someone wants: I know, I know, easier said than done, but it's often a good place to start at what you'd like yourself. In a worst case scenario, you'll at least have 1 customer (yourself) ;-)

My best friend built a neural network based trading system in 1994. He risked his $100,000 inheritance on it. His parents were killed by terrorists in the First Intifada and left him this money.

Central banking intervention into the US bond market to lower bond yields (10-yr bond yields fell from 8% in 1994 to 4% in 1998) for the benefit of bondholders bankrupted him. His neural net didn't predict outside intervention. After he lost it all, he became despondent. He shot himself in the chest with a shotgun.

So, if you were my best friend, I'd tell you this:

We are all Noah. We are all at risk of drowning in a flood of desires. Drowning in a flood of worthless, central-bank-printed, fiat currency. Build an ark, a refuge, to protect yourself from the flood of desires and self-centeredness that are drowning us.

In the Dammapada, the Buddha said, "Desires are never satisfied, not even by a shower of gold. He who knows that the enjoyment of passion is short-lived and that it is also the womb of pain is a wise man."

So forget about making an extra $100,000. We could go into hyperinflation tomorrow, and your extra $100,000 savings would become worthless overnight.

Stop chasing paper and do something worthwhile instead.

Build an API that can convert a twitter username OR Google+ username OR Linkedin ID to an email address. It won't be 100% accurate, but if you can have 20% accuracy, there are lots of people who would pay for such a service.

If you don't want to go that route, then go buy an establish website from Flippa, use your coding skills to auto-generate unique pages to rank in Google (content farm), then flip it months later for a profit. Keep doing this. How to auto-generate unique pages? One idea is to deep crawl old forums, and get an unique sentence and do an exact match search in Google to see if it's in the index, if not - assume that content is unique. Or go ping random blogs that aren't popular in Wordpress every second, scrape their content and put it up so Google sees it first. Black-hat, totally lame, but you just want make money, and I'm your son :)

Short term cash = consulting... But it's like heroin and hard to quit. It also has no long term value.

Consulting is also feast or famine (if not hustling enough).

How does someone start software/technology consulting ? I'd like to make some extra dineros also, and I thought this could be a good way...

Go to startup and tech meetups and Let people know you're looking for clients doing x. If anyone follows up, tell them your minimum project size of $y upfront.

I'll give this a shot. Thanks.

Consulting has no long term value only if your goal is to build a 100% product based revenue stream.

Hi there, here's my humble suggestions:

1. It is not easy to add 100,000$ in a year; it is relatively easier to have a long-term strategy to reach that goal over 3-5 years. It's not a sprint, it's a marathon. I say this because if you try and fail after the first year, you should keep doing it until you succeed. To be clear: it's easier if your goals become: +20k in 2014, +50k in 2015, +100k in 2016.

2. It really depends on where you live, how much access to capital you have, and what your skills are. 2.1: where you live influences how much you can earn as a freelancer (of course, you can always freelance online, no barriers), how much you pay in taxes, how much business you can find around you. If we assume that you can work online as a software developer and similar, than this doesn't apply. Taxation does, though. 2.2: If you have access to capital, you can try to start a company, and make it profitable; then, sell it. Hard, but if you succeed, you probably can add 100k or more to your income. 2.3: if you can easily "sell" your skills, consider freelancing or consulting, even though 100k more in a year means a TON of extra work.

3. You might want to build something that you can sell; if that's successful, the sales can eventually surpass 100k. Examples? An ebook (scales better than a physical book), a software.

Problems I'd like to see solved:

1. I'd like to keep my photos and videos backed up, remotely, automatically; and have a much smaller (disk size) version of them on my computer; this way I can always consult my photo archive, but if I need the original photo, I can still get it from my online backup, from within the app/software.

2. I, too (like chegra), would pay to have someone help me buy clothes and dress better, but trust me this is a very hard problem to solve.

3. If I have a free weekend, I'd like a service that, based on my location, budget, and preferences, can suggest me 2-3 things to do with all details (fly to X and do Y, or drive to W and do Z, or drive to X, hike to Y, eat at Z, etc).

Hope it helps.

Approaching it with the attitude of "how do I add 100k" is the first mistake. You need to find a genuine problem that you can solve. The rest will work itself out.

Approaching it with the attitude of "how do I add 100k" is the first mistake.

It might be a mistake if his goal were "solving a genuine problem." It's decidedly not a mistake if his goal is to increase his income by $100,000.

Agreed, and I haven't found a need/problem that is solvable for around $100k a year. I've asked this question in several evolutions in several places and come-up flat. Other than "we need more customers" I haven't found idea extraction to be effective for me. Maybe I need to refine my listening skills.

It sounds like you and I suffer from a similar problem. I've done many "idea extraction" calls inspired by Dane Maxwell and I always somehow end up with a few vague ideas that would mostly be competition to what already is used in the industry. Not that this couldn't work of course, it just seems to me that those calls should result in knowledge about unsolved problems. Maybe we should form a support group of sorts :-)

A while ago, someone compiled a list of Web and Mobile Revenue Models: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4924647.

I put the list on GitHub and updated it with new concepts I found interesting every now and then: https://gist.github.com/ndarville/4295324.

There should be something there to pique your interest.

Eat oatmeal and live in a van. That'll cut expenses and give you more runway to keep failing fast (the character building kind).

Also, sell your apps (make shopping carts, ads, website) before you build product. That'll save you tons of blood, sweat, tears, time and cash of building shit no one wants.

Finally, what people like is funny. It can takes time for things to hit so let them simmer. Don't give up or close down an app right away.

Build an Altcoin mining rig and rinse and repeat. 1 rig(2.2 MH) = $28/day.

To make $100,000 -- you need to earn $273 per day. To earn this much you will need 10 rigs.

Cost to get started is < 2k. Buy 1 rig, use earnings to buy more. Try to get 3 rigs as soon as possible, using all available funds, then 1 per month for a year.

On top of that ALSO work a day job - your machines will earn you money in the spare time.

In theory if you found 1000 people who would pay you a little over $8/month for a service, you would have about $100k. The hard part is finding out what that service would be, and how to build it while keeping costs low. Alternatively, you could create a product and sell it, like an ebook, or WordPress theme, but these have a limited shelf life.

A service without any costs to operate, I take it? I'd say you'd need to find 1000 people willing to pay around 30/month (minimum) to end up with 100k (and that would probably be more realistic than coming up with a service 3k people would pay 10/month for, I'm guessing).

What skills do you have?

PHP, MySQL dev is my main job. I have a lot of experience coming into small businesses and refining their processes to increase efficiency and increase (double in one case) revenue.

So why not do consulting? If you can show those results and replicate them for enough clients, you'll make money.

If you're talking about increasing revenue from a CRO perspective, then becoming a CRO consultant could be a solution. patio11 publicly claimed to be making $30k a week before he quit.

How much do you make now?

I'd recommend you to learn new skills. Even though there's lots of PHP/MySQL jobs, newer tech might pay better (like Node.js and NoSQL databases, maybe AngularJS on the frontend side).

Don't build something so that you can make $100k. Build something that you want to make and that you will enjoy the process of doing. If you are involved fully in each moment of making whatever it is and not focused on the end result then you will probably be happy, fulfilled and also profitable.

Sounds like OP has already tried that approach and it's not working.

If you are not a superstar, making outlier money is not in the cards for you. Focus on becoming a superstar before focusing on the money. This might require an apprenticeship, either at a big company or a successful startup. Not even most YC companies are successful, so choose carefully.

Cheeky answer:

    100,000 = price × customers (× months)
Sell at high price or to a large customer base - or both. Base it on market analysis.

See which of the two foci suits your skills the best. Definitely don't start out with a free product.

    100 000 = profit * customers (* months)

The $100 Startup book addresses this kind of questions quite well. It's essentially a list of study cases of people that built side businesses (some of them becoming their main sources of income or even small very profitable companies) using their skills and interests. Might not give you silver bullet answer, but it's certainly inspirational and it does point out to certain patterns of how to do that... http://www.amazon.com/100-Startup-Reinvent-Living-Create/dp/...

Take everything you've learned and become a consultant in an area you're familiar with. Consulting jobs pay well, you're usually your own boss, you can deduct a lot of expenses and you can basically charge what you want regardless of your experience. Experience will come.

Shoot for large corporations with a new contract. They'll have a big budget handled by some managers who don't know how to handle such a sum of money. They'll hire consultants to do work that's been done within the company many times. It's just easier to hire a person than to spend time trying to find something or someone within the enterprise. The trick is not to charge too low but to charge as high as experienced consultants. You just need to look really professional and speak well during the interview (Duh!).

After a while, consultants repeat the same things over and over with different clients. They look like they work but they're actually laughing! I work at a major telecom company in Canada and what I've described above is not only common, it's the norm. I've seen processes on Word documents that took months to complete and when you look at the document's properties, you see it was addressed to another person/company! It was just an existing document repurposed for a new client with minor changes.

I'm not saying you should be bad like that, I'm saying that once you get your first contract, it's then easy to find other work that's not too hard and pays well. You can work full time for one client or part time for several and contracts usually go from 3 months to one year at a time.

Like others are saying below, you've got to solve problem. But that doesn't mean you've got to find a solution to problems that have no solution yet. I'm sure that's what you've been trying to do so far. You don't need to invent new things to be an innovator, you can be an innovator every day by solving someone's problem, one step at the time. Taking my example above, if a company hires a consultant, it's because they have a problem to solve. Once you're there, you can help them solve their problem and innovate on what they're already doing.

No, I'm not a consultant but I'm thinking of becoming one. I just need a little bit more guts :)

Before you dive in & do consulting full time, make sure you have a few PAYING customers. The biggest issue with consulting is the recurring revenue issue. You want to have paying customers already then get referrals from them to keep business coming in.

On average one new currency becomes wildly popular every year or so. The returns for investing in a new currency early that later succeeds are around 100,000%. The returns for investing in a new currency that fails are -100%. However, there are maybe only three or four credible new currencies launched each year. So I think the rewards for investing in, say, Dogecoin, vastly outweigh the risks, even though the risks are extremely high.

I agree with you on Dogecoin but I'm interested on where you're drawing this conclusion: "On average one new currency becomes wildly popular every year or so." I'd say BitCoin became popular last year - what new currency became wildly popular in the preceding few years? Maybe I'm just not that knowledgable about the currency space but it seems like a new thing to me.

LiteCoin and Iraqi Dinar are two notable examples.

Iraqi Dinar? Am I missing something? This looks pretty flat since the war started: http://www.xe.com/currencycharts/?from=USD&to=IQD&view=10Y

There are new cryptocurrencies coming out every day. You can make one yourself here: http://www.coingen.io/

Sample size too small.

On average, one new fad gets big each year. Find it and be big.

If you succeed, write a book explaining how.

A serial "wantrepreneur". The first Google search result for that term will solve your problem. Find a "very good problem" and solve it in the best possible way. Solution should be a simple one rather than an intelligent one, so that people shouldn't feel the weight of the problem but the easiness of the solution. We all possess the ability to solve problems in a peculiar way, just choose the right problem.

The question was "how do I add to ..." rather than "how do I earn (in total) ..."

... so in that case, are you ready to work 80 hour weeks? If you're thinking of adding a side-business on top of your day job than you really need to treat the side business as the second full-time job to hit the $100k mark, which is possible if you completely jettison all leisure and recreational activity from your schedule. Good luck.

Build a business in the bitcoin economy.

...last year.

Get into cryptocurencies

Think of an economic niche that no one else has thought of before. Capitalise upon it silently. Don't tell strangers on the internet how to make $100,000 a year with it.

Very bad advice. Pioneers get slaughtered. Also, some niches are unfilled for a reason. Let someone else figure that out (eg waste lots of time and money going nowhere) and instead copy what works (SaaS apps that have recurrent monthly charges, ad-supported mobile games).

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