entrepreneur |ˌäntrəprəˈno͝or, -ˈnər|
noun – a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.
Over the last two decades, I’ve been both the employee, and the independent consultant for various companies and government agencies. My recent tenure at SFDC radically improved my skills in managing projects and designing and building products. It also honed my management muscle, all immediately applicable to outsourcing work to remote teams. I’ve also spent a over a decade working from a home office either as a member of or on a distributed team. And finally, I get really bored in an environment that is stable, predictable, and 9-5.
I’ve spent, what one of my friends calls (hi Joe!), ‘The Summer of Karl’ on a three-month sabbatical that ended once my kids started school for the year. I spent the time working on my health, my mind, playing with and teaching my kids, and otherwise not thinking about the corporate world. It has been delightful. The garage is actually clean(ish), I’m in much better health (ignoring a wrist injury, a sprained toe, and a shoulder injury), my home office is back in fighting shape, and most of the things I wanted to get done around the house are finished. We even squeezed a beach trip in for the family. It was a good break, but now it’s time to look ahead.
So, for my next trick, I’ve decided to move several projects from my idea notebooks into the foreground and see if I can make a go at getting them off the ground. I’ll partner for skill swaps as needed for resources I don’t have, I’ll outsource work to freelancers and designers that are trying to get started, barter heavily, learn a tonne, and otherwise I’m going to have fun.
For timing, I’ve set the clock for a year with quarterly re-evaluations of progress. I am also adding the caveat that for a sufficiently interesting proposal from another individual or company, I’d be willing to defer my own projects. Of course, now that I’ve said that, all the cool shit will come crawling out of the woodwork the moment I hit post.
Anyhow, to make this work, I am going to lean heavily on what I’ve learned over the summer from the stack of business, marketing, copywriting, design, and coding books on the shelf behind me. I plan on using the Lean Startup methodology to develop my products, ie nothing real built before customers, fail/kill things quickly, man behind the curtain prototypes and heavy heavy MVP testing before I commit to moving something from the notebook to the status board next to me, etc.
Since I’ve already stated my blog is for me to keep my thoughts in order, I’m going to continue to do so and document my experiences, failures, failures, failures, successes, and otherwise waxing poetic on the process. If you like what you’re reading, feel free to let me know, if you don’t, there are plenty of other blogs out there, but otherwise, please join me on my new life as an entrepreneur.