The new legion of entrepreneurs are coming from careers that leave them wanting. Until their side projects become true businesses they fund early research and development with a day job. A great shift in new business development is following the decentralization of media.
The optimism and energy of this post is in part due to listening to System of a Down cranking through my iPhone headset.
The Next Breed of Startups
Many modern entrepreneurs are deeply involved in a career or day job. During this time the founders are scraping through a day which consumes the majority of their vital energy. But something is missing. Almost by chance they unlock a motivation and energy they never knew they posessed. Perhaps it is just another phenotype of the ambition of humanity?
The event of self realization is nothing short of miraculous.
It's self empowerment on an extraordinary level.
It's recognition of unlimited potential in a moment.
The naked truth is that we each determine our social worth and wealth.
With little doubt the founders of Google, Microsoft, and Apple have had a much greater influence on the quality of my life than any sum of modern politicians (the founding father's were social architects and entrepreneurs).
Entrepreneurs are folks who mold the future of society. Those that don't share this feeling can easily call it delusion or fantasy. But to the entrepreneur the belief is branded into their bones. Zealotry in marketing and implementing an idea, is as natural as breathing to them. The urge to create a real market, or to unlock latent value in an existing space is infectious and awesome.
When Side Projects Become Real
An early project begins as something interesting you explore on the side. As we probe for value in a field we have great passion for, we strike on something that is not only possible but potentially market disrupting.
We begin by experimenting with fragile and reckless code or prototype models. Then as we are building, we connect with anyone willing to listen and preach our hypothesis. Grandiose visions swirl through one's mind to be grounded in the reality of current market dominators. Honest and generous friends both share vital feedback and aid in spinning the idea.
I've met dozens of visionary friends who want to see our project take off. They are in various positions inside and outside of the startup industry. Admittedly many haven't harmonized with two way real time search at our current information portal which tells me we need to shift our interface and fine tune the semantic results.
I will always appreciate the early input and belief of Vladimir Vukicevic (we need to brainstorm again once your schedule frees up), and the technical wizardry and undeniable ambition of Tyler Gillies. One of the perks of being consumed by value vision combined with insatiable curiousity (my calling) is getting to meet creative titans before they take over the world :).
The true signal that a project has crossed over to a real business is when revenue begins flowing, and a rapid user adoption spikes the potential for future monetization. At this discrete transition there is little room in a founder's life for an outside "full time" commitment.