I disagree with this post though, if I had to start all over again out of college... my recommendation would be to start a profitable, bootstrapped business. Build that up to 7-figures and be financially independent. You'll earn your first stripes way earlier than most, at much lower risk, and once you attain that black belt, then you'll be ready to consider swinging for the fences with a startup. And people around you will want to bet on you too with your track record.
I'm 28yrs old now and that's my gameplan for the next few years. I'm tired of being poor.
Worth reading: http://www.gabrielweinberg.com/blog/2010/06/paths-to-5m-for-...
Starting out, the best way to learn entrepreneurship IMO is to just do it and build it organically like you did.
Also, sorry don't mean to sound cocky. I'm still a failed entrepreneur, just speaking from lessons I've learned from scars of failure. I'm not giving up on the startup game, just thinking long-term about it and my development as an entrepreneur.
A ton (perhaps most) failed businesses fail because they're undercapitalized. Even if your costs are low you can only go so long without eating, and if you're worrying about how your life savings is going to run out in 4 months I guarantee that you won't be as effective at building your business.
Your chances of bootstrapping a successful business are much much higher when you have money.
The best thing you can do is not start up a different kind of company (bootstrap vs. VC) but build up your bank account. In this market there are a lot of opportunities to earn good money, particularly if you're a developer. Save, save, save and in a few years, you should have enough to start a business from a credible, realistic cash position.
Amen. Although, my approach is to be working full-time making a good salary, but spend my nights/weekends working on my business and investing my savings into it. I'm not going to do it full-time until I start making good $ with it.