Yup. Even though the name of my blog is Startup Next Door, I'm done with startups.
I knew a year ago that I wouldn't start another company, or work at another startup.
What About my Startups?
I wrote a post long ago about how to build the right kind of company that can take care of itself. I'm glad I took my own advice. It makes life much easier.
Ideas and Coding are Easy
Most people have had a great idea. Many of the largest tech companies started with an idea that could be built and launched in months nowadays with 1 or 2 capable developers, even working on it nights and weekends.
Have a great idea? Find a coder, or code it yourself, and try it out in the marketplace. That is, surprisingly, the easy part.
Business is Hard
If you just spent 2 or 3 months writing all that code but never talked to anyone who might use it, you've likely wasted your time.
Always talk to potential customers first to grind the very rough, sharp edges off your product so that someone will want to use it. Before you write code. Your idea might be terrible. Get a commitment from the potential customer to try it once it's done. If you can't get that, how good is the idea?
Yes, this is sales. You can try to deny it, but sales drive a company. Either you sell it, an affiliate or reseller sells it for you, an ad/website sells it for you, or your customer sells it for you. It will never sell itself.
Once you have a product, and you're ready to make that big money, you have to reach the market. That is always the hard, expensive part.
I could write a lot about this subject, but there is already tons of information out there about marketing: ads, trade shows, website optimization, affiliates, distribution, etc.
Making a career pivot, and the 11 months of intense study and effort that went along with it, was my last "startup". Fortunately, it ended positively, and I've been hired by Amazon.
From now on, I'll be blogging here about technology, computer science, and programming topics. Perhaps I'll take some time to reflect on things I've learned from startups, and keep that advice flowing. But I won't be starting anything new. That wouldn't be fair to my awesome wife, Amazon, or myself.
It's time to focus on my wife, my new job, and just living.