ailon's DevBlog: Development related stuff in my life

Don’t Quit Your 9-to-5 Job To Start A Startup

7/9/2012 7:02:51 PM

Yeah, click bait. Guilty! No, I mean do quit your day job, but only when you are ready to go all-in with your startup. Don’t think that “I’ll work on my idea and do some consulting on the side to pay the bills”. That’s what I thought in 2003 when I’ve launched SPAW Editor. The reality is that you will “do consulting to pay the bills and maybe work on your idea on the side”.

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Back in 2003 SPAW Editor was one of the first web based WYSIWYG HTML editors in the world. And I’m willing to claim it was the best. I will write a separate post about it in my startups series someday, but what I want to mention here is that I was doing contract work to support the development of SPAW Editor and I was so busy doing it “on the side” that I totally missed the timeframe when the required capabilities became available in other browsers than IE (yeah, IE was on the edge of progress less than 10 years ago). So other editors got ahead and even though I think SPAW Editor v.2 was once again the best editor out there (imho) it was too little too late.

Your 9-to-5 job is just that – a job from 9am to 5pm (with some minor variations). You then have all the time in the world to work on whatever you want to do. In a consultant/freelancer world all of the 24 hours in the day could potentially be monetized so you are constantly in a conflict between making extra money and spending time (and money) on your idea. And that’s a loosing position for your startup. At least in my perspective.

So unless you have some investment or passive income to support your startup, I would suggest doing it as a side project while working at a job (provided there are no legal barriers to that). Consulting will just eat all of your time with nothing to show for it in the long run.

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