Thank you for coming back to my blog. My sincere apologies for having deserted you for too long without any article to read. Hopefully, in the upcoming months, I can tell and show you the actual reason for my blogging absenteeism.
For months, I have been emphasizing my peers and friends that in one's lifetime, one should should become an enterpreneur. I have tried to best write my reasons on this blog but I was lacking words to best put it online. This week I, incidentally, started reading the book Start Small: A Developer's Guide to Launch a Startup by Rob Walling and the following segment from his book summarized it best for my case.
Why People Make the Switch from Developer to Entrepreneur
As a developer, your income, your ability to control what projects you work on, and your ability to control what you learn, end at a certain point.
For the first several years you’re constantly learning, working on (seemingly) fun projects and your income grows quickly if you apply yourself.
But the experiences of many veteran developers show that after a certain level of experience you can't push past that financial barrier. And keeping up with the latest and greatest technology – something that used to excite you – will begin to wear you down.
It’s hard to break out of that position and most often it requires a big risk. In my experience this risk involves joining an existing startup or starting one of your own.
I’ve tried both. I did it more for the excitement and freedom than for the income. In fact, I took a pay cut when I moved from consulting to owning my own products. But my passion for building something I own and the opportunity to experience true time and location independence far outweighed the drop in income.
Lack of Learning
Part of your “topping out” will likely be a lack of learning. While it's true there are always new technologies to learn, as you mature in your technology career it’s likely you will begin to feel like a hamster on a wheel as you learn one more way to pull data out of a database. The idea of spending the time to learn how to do it using the latest method begins to make you tired.
It starts to feel as if you are constantly moving from one technology to the next which involves little “real” learning and a lot of learning some new syntax or API…things that will change in six months anyway. You start to feel like learning new techniques for the rest of your life will basically rehash the same things you learned in your first two years as a programmer.
I like to use the analogy of renting vs. buying a home. When you rent you have less commitment, you can move often, and renting is typically less expensive than buying. But you don't own anything and you don't build equity. When you move out you're not any better off than when you moved in.
Such it is with salaried employment and consulting. When the day is done you own nothing. Not only does this translate into a lack of financial gain, it's a mental challenge as well. Many find it hard to build application after application and never feel passionate about the application they’re building.
Once you launch a product, you are instantly building equity. With every copy you sell and every improvement you make, you are building something that will not only generate income in the future, but actually has value on the open market. Instead of having nothing at the end of your lease, you wind up getting back all of your rent money and more in equity.
I have yet to finish the book, and I have to say that it's one of the very few books that I have read on my spare time. It's a fabulous read with a simple English writing style that makes it a fantastic read.
I couldn't think of other reasons other than what Rob Walling just stated. It nailed it on the dot as I believe that we, as developers, end up to the forked road plenty of times in our careers. Technology will always be there, it's time that we drive to other, less travelled road and for me, it's best building a brand. A product that will have value.
So far, I do recommend to read the book, it has valuable insights that I, admittedly, never thought of. I still believe that the points provided can apply to anyone on the technical field.
Let me know what you think, if you have read it.