Software entrepreneurs are an interesting bunch. It seems that we're always chasing after the next "big idea"; the idea that will bring our nascent companies the billion-dollar valuations of Snapchat, Instagram, and their ilk. We have a surplus of 'really cool, world-changing' ideas but can't seem to catch the money that should follow such a revolutionary company. The truth is that your company is not going to ne the next Snapchat or Instagram. Facebook or Twitter aren't going to come calling with buckets of cash in the trunk and throw in a lucrative six-figure "aqui-hire" deal to buy your diamond among the rocks. But you want to know a secret?
That's totally OK!
Most of us didn't get into business because we wanted to be 'cool'. We got into business because we wanted to make money, pay the mortgage, send our kids to a good school, secure a retirement, travel and have freedom. Many of us, especially in the software world, got seduced by the cool guys, the jocks of our industry, the people who design a web app in their basement and sell to Facebook in six-months and walk away with hundreds of millions or billions of dollars. It's a tempting call, isn't it? Who wouldn't want to be invited to all the big parties, hob-knob with the stars, give talks at the major conferences, and be the envy of every small-time guy out there? But none of that matters if you spend 10 years trying to be cool and your business fails.
Entrepreneurs, not just software entrepreneurs, often overlook the non-sexy places that are begging to throw money their way. No, not the glitzy eyed million-install consumers constantly glued to their iPhones looking for an amazing app, but things like local and state governments, local stores, and small companies needing a one-off solution to solve an internal problem. None of that is Snapchat-sexy, but all of it will make you rich. You won't be cool and rich but, personally, I'd rather be boring and rich any day.
The question could be asked that, if you can be 'boring and rich', why aren't more people doing it? I believe the answer is simple: it takes real work. These are not hundred-billion-dollar markets where million dollar sales are the norm. These are small, slow, markets that require a lot of hand-holding and actual work. It's not a market where you're going to design an app in a few days, put it in an app store and ignore support requests while the money rolls in. These are markets where you'll make under $20,000 (sometimes way under) sales to individual locations and you'll get stupid questions from completely non-sexy users all day long. You'll have to work for the money you make but that money could be enormous. That kind of software isn't 'cool' by any means. But you know what it? Never having to worry about money. Being able to travel with your family to exotic destinations a few times a year. Sending your kids to good schools and focusing on the joys of life instead of constantly chasing something that you might never find.
So the next time you find yourself thinking 'man, I really need to come up with something sexy like Snapchat', swallow your pride and think smaller, less sexy. Think about how you can help your community, small businesses, and the like. The money is there. They are begging you to take it from them. Why would you want to walk away from that just for the thrill of the chase?
Thought this was a good article? Why not send me a tip with Bitcoin? Anything is appreciated!