In truth it probably needs to be more than $1 due to the fact we value our time and the possibility of cost incurred due to some error, mine our outside my control.
On the flipside some new form of entertainment, enjoyment, enhancement to self-worth or similar that I find more agreeable than stuff I spend $30/mth on now. Note how that includes charity.
I need little graphics made all the time (banners, logos, etc) and right now I have to interact with Fiverr/Elance more than I want to. Not looking for Picasso, just decent quality.
So, I want to have an account with a service who will "just bill me" for little graphics. Please, someone make this.
I simply drop the docs into the syncing software, along with a brief description or quick cam recording of what I want, and then one hour later the changes are sent back to me.
I guess you could call it a mix of Elancer, Dropbox, Virtual Assistant etc.
I wouldn't pay $30/month for it but I would buy the app, or bookmark the site.
I would pay 30/month for some kind of external lockbox or some kind of capability to order anything I wanted to that box (outside my apartment, or would glady let amazon or google inside my place). Also , all/any pick ups or returns would happen from this drop off box.
Think about this - you will be expected to switch teams every 12-18 months. You won't love that like you love your job now.
Don't take the money. It's not much anyway, really.
If I was evaluating your solution based on what they are asking for I would have passed on you as well. Your solution is unnecessarily complex and over built. They are asking if can you use JS to manipulate a select box. Not including tests you have brought in 400+ lines of code (184 lines of code + the EventEmitter library) to implement 75% of the functionality you were asked for. That is a lot of code to take an item from a select box and add it to a list. Knowing that developers leave I would not want to inherit a solution like this.
To put it in car terms you built a 911 when the customer was asking for a vw bug.
Doesn't happen. Leaves the make and returns to top make after selection.
As for employee IP agreements and contracts, it really only becomes litigious if there are large sums of money involved.
For example, Mayo Clinic v. Peter L Elkin, MD
There are cases of litigation against 'small fish' I can't find references for at the moment.
In most cases, they will go after you with non-compete (which is not really legally enforceable in California). Technically, if the company you work for is big enough - you can be 'competing' with them.
(actually I'd love to have a text-input Siri on my phone)
Maybe take a course on stochastic processes to clear your mind. (I'm joking, for the record. But hopefully the point has been made.)
It might help to ask yourself what it is that you are worried about the future? Are there any steps you could do to prevent such an outcome? Personally, I found that writing down my thoughts helps a lot. Not only does it help to focus on the particular problem, but in the long run I see patterns of my fears and anxieties.
Regarding reading on the subject: I really like the book "How to stay sane" by Philippa Perry (The School of Life). It is a small, sober self-help book and as far away from the myriads of questionable pep-talk guidebooks as it can get. It also touches self-awareness which IMHO is key to sane "living in the moment".
So when worry arises, you might try labeling it in your mind: "Worry, worry, worry." That may sound trivial, but you may also find it calming.
Can you really be defined by a decision you once made?
1. They never launch
2. They never make any money
If you can avoid these two pitfalls, you will likely achieve one or more of a) earning; b) learning; c) increasing your 'luck surface area'. So, it's a good opportunity if you can do it. There are plenty of reasons why you wouldn't have launched including:
- you kept your idea secret
- you tried to do too much
- you underestimated the areas that you're not skilled at
- you assumed that if you built it they would come
- More here: http://www.startupclarity.com/blog/launch-first-product-what...
The reasons for not making any money, or rather not making enough money that you wish to pursue it are multitudinous but include:
- you didn't choose a profitable product idea
- you underestimated the slow ramp of death: http://businessofsoftware.org/2013/02/gail-goodman-constant-...
- you charged too little
- you didn't solve a problem for people who were willing to pay you
- More here: http://www.startupclarity.com/blog/find-profitable-product-i...
I hope that helps and Good Luck!
The first two are kinda easy, but if it's "money", work from the money back to the idea rather than figuring out how to make money from a certain idea. Who's spending money, where, and on what? What sort of people do you have exposure to (on Twitter, HN, wherever)? How could you improve on something people already spend money on? Etc.
You can do this as a side project because there are lots of things that can make a great side project, bring in a few 1000 dollars a month or more, but wouldn't be interesting to someone trying to launch a business they want to scale.
Look at tools and plugins for software people use already, especially software that has a reasonable pricetag and that people us in their businesses. Anything you can sell to people for whom time is money is a really good start!
I launched a side project 5 and a half years ago which went on to become our entire business. I wrote about that, in a way that I hope will help other people do the same, in my book The Profitable Side Project: http://rachelandrew.co.uk/books/the-profitable-side-project
2 - go on elance/odesk to find some paying clients (pay is low, but easy to find). You can also use this to try different things and discover what kind of work you enjoy best. you can also call some technology consulting firms - they are always looking for talent.
3 - specialize in that area. tailor your website/blog to talk exclusively about that technology. between the inbound from your site and client base from consultant you'll easily be able to build an overwhelming referral stream.
For me, I wasn't sure if I still wanted to program, so I went back to the things that got me excited when I started (math models of perception) and I fell in love with it all over again. Now my dilemma is turning that back around and actually working on what I'm most passionate about in a full-time setting. In the meantime, hobbying it is better than not doing it at all
Since this will be a side-project (and your time is limited), try automating as many aspects of the business from the beginning. I am not implying that you should BUILD automation into the onboarding process, but use services like Zapier to make your life a bit easier.
I fall into the category of starting too many things that I don't finish. I've recently realized that the size of the things I was working in was just way too big, especially since When working on a side project you are working around your life schedule.
After limiting the size of my projects I've found I am completing all of them
If you really pay attention, something will stick out at you.
You'll likely have many ideas. Research them all, come up with some kind of a plan for each. Sit on them for a while...one of them will jump out at you.
His advice exceeds anything I could offer you.
I build small web apps for companies on the side. Little data management things the office can share... something like you might make with Access but obviously a lot nicer, more customized and networked. I host them also and charge a monthly fee. I don't think this is a way to get stinking rich. But it keeps me busy after work.
It's more hard-work than submitting CVs but it gives you a much better chance of finding a job you love.
You might browse through current London's startup needs.
<link rel="canonical" href="http://blog.mavnn.co.uk/type-providers-from-the-ground-up">
for a URL which cannot possibly return an HTTP 200. (It 301s to a URL with a / on the end.)
This combination could cause Google to conclude that you have no page which requires inclusion in their main index.
1) Summaries only in RSS feeds.2) Throttle the RSS feed back by several hours so that your latest article is not listed immediately.3) Upon publishing, immediately link to the article via all of your social media outlets.4) When internally linking within articles, use full URL paths and not relative. (If the spam sites are directly pulling your content and not cleaning up, you may be able to get a link back to your site from the scraped content.)
When publishing, timing is everything. Just my $0.02 based on my own experiences dealing with spam sites.
On a side note, even though we are in the age of HTML5, I would still suggest sticking with one H1 tag per page, if possible.
The form is still live at least: http://searchengineland.com/google-scraper-tool-185532
It appears if you search domain.com and if you search site:domain.com but if you search just "domain" it doesn't appears and the website has been more than 10 years well indexed.
I'm very worried because I can't contact google to know what happens because as I said I don't have manual penalties to reconsider and I'm losing my own users that search for the domain.
That would be a good first step for seeing if Google are having specific trouble with anything on your site
(Note that I'm guessing here, I have no particular authority in the area)
do not use the word "penalty" - you want to show up for a certain query in google, you think you should show up for it, you don't show up for it.
that is the issue, nothing else.
you formulated a hypothesis: you think your site is "penalised by Google"
ok, go to google webmaster tools and verify
- http://blog.mavnn.co.uk/ - http://mavnn.co.uk/ - http://www.mavnn.co.uk/
my guess: there won't be such a message.
ok, the second quess is the wrong canonical, you already fixed that one. but: if you point a canonical to an HTTP 301 redirect, and the redirect points back to the original URL google will basically ignore the canonical. the canonical could have been the issue, but as https://www.google.com/search?q=site%3Ablog.mavnn.co.uk%2Fty... has been indexed (without ending slash) i doubt it.
ok, let's look at anything that might be unusual about your site
i.e.: your start pagehttp://www.mavnn.co.uk/
basically it consists out of a "Hello World" and a link to a broken URL and a link to a piece of duplicated text.
"Hello World" is a typical "this server was just set up, nothing to see here" message.
your start page is not indexed (see: site:http://www.mavnn.co.uk/ )
that is strange. let's formulate a hypothesis.
your startpage communicated a basic "this server has just been set up, nothing to see here" message. google has a) no interrest into indexing such websites b) the webmasters are pretty pissed, if their newly set up servers are indexed in this way, as newly set up servers are usually not very secure, yet
additional google sees common subdomains i.e. blog.example.com as part of the main site and not as independent webproperties (yeah, they figured that one out quite some time ago).
hypothesis: you communicate via your startsite that your website is not yet - probably - set up and that is why it does not send you traffic.
my bet is, that this is the case. why? because you startpage is the one thing that is definitely not ... like other websites our there.
fix it, two possibilities: http://www.mavnn.co.uk/ -> HTTP 301 -> http://blog.mavnn.co.uk/
or you set up a proper startpage, some text what this is, some links to your other ressources.
after you have done one of this, do a fetch-as-googlebot (via google webmaster tools) and click the "submit to index" button.
wait two days.
if not, test another hypothesis or post in the google webmaster forum, actually google guys dig these kind of errors.
Without this search is not very useful to me at the moment. So I use Google to search HN since they do offer a filter
2. Points filter and comments filter would also be great (> 10 points and/or > 5 comments). I get lot of results which have no activity
I'd love to see people-search-results beside the regular results. Who were the top submitters and commenters on links/comments related to my search? so HN identities like jlemoine.
Bonus points for people mentioned as subjects or authors in the stories/comments (and the articles the links point to) without an HN identity. Recognizing human names would be huge. Searching HN for Captain America, Linus, Steve Jobs, Paul Graham, or your own name should be popular.
Some other issues:
* Stories which have no external URL (text submission only) have titles which are not clickable.
* Comment results link to the submitted URL of the story. I was expecting the link would go to the comment itself, though this is likely a personal preference. When I view an individual comment, I either want to see all the other comments on the story or see the context by navigating to the parent if the comment is a reply. Seldom would I expect to view a comment several replies deep and then want to read the story.
* Clicking on the time reference (eg: "an hour ago") takes you to the anchor for the comment within all comments in the story, whereas clicking the "comments" link takes you to the specific individual comment. This is backwards.
* The up arrow shown in results seems to have no function. While it preserves the HN feel, it breaks expectations by having a different behavior. As it's unlikely upvoting from an external site is going to ever work, this should be changed to some other visual indicator.
I'm sorry that that isn't a terribly helpful bug report, but I think you have a frustrating bug in your backend somewhere.
A more concrete issue present in both the old UI and the new one would be that there is some kind of problem with your search form such that, on iOS Safari, the multiple forms control with the little arrows to select between fields pops up, even though there is only one field. This means you cannot see the search results while you are typing, when you would otherwise be able to see at least the title of the first result. Also, hitting "Go" (or now "return") doesn't make the input control go away, you have to hit the X next to the field select arrows to view the results, which manages to trip me up every time. I'm not a web guy though, so I don't know if that last one is inevitable for this kind of form or something.
It would be great if it saved my preferences (Sort by, date range) since I usually end up flipping those values to the same thing.
A very minor annoyance is usernames are treated the same as text in stories. If I search for 'IBM' for example, I'll get all stories submitted by user 'IBM'.
EDIT - If I can filter by date ranges like others have suggested, I would much prefer that to my sort direction request!
If you could push new search results directly to my inbox it would be convenient.
Since you seem to be rooted in the web/OO world, taking a free Haskell course might be pretty interesting and mind-expanding for you. It'd also help you become a better web/OO developer.
Take a look at Elixir, Rust, Go, and Scala, and see if any of those pique your interest. If it's just for fun, it doesn't matter what you choose.
Some of the other folks there might be in the same boat you are, they are also your potential hires if you started your own company in the same area, so get to know them, figure out their strengths and weaknesses, what they are motivated by and what doesn't motivate them.
Talk to the managers and see what they are trying to get done (you mention they micro manage a lot) perhaps you can puzzle out what the group of them have been tasked to accomplish. If you like solving puzzles that can be entertaining for a while.
Look around for things that don't work well (are the printers always out of paper? Phones constantly ringing with no one answering?) see if you can engineer a way to solve one of those problems.
The bottom line is take ownership of challenging yourself to do something productive, don't wait for someone to either tell you what to do or "give you permission" to do that.
A 13-14 hour work day sounds pretty daunting. Could the pressure you're putting on yourself with the startup be making your day job even more unbearable? Your concerns about being beaten to market are understandable, but remember that there's almost definitely as much (if not more) work to be done when you actually get your product to market. It likely won't be a picnic, so making sure you balance your time between work/pleasure now is important.
And one last thing - if people can get away with sleeping or playing games on their phones all day, it sounds like a pretty 'lax' working environment. It sounds like it has the potential to be whatever you make it.
Sorry if I've stated the obvious & good luck!
#1 Diet and exercise. Healthy body, healthy mind.
#2 Take the paychecks. If you can phone it in at work, and your employer is undeserving, then make money for no mental effort.
#3 Consider full time remote work. This is more and more viable. You can work for an awesome company with driven and smart people right from your home, or local library, or beach in Tahiti.
#4 Exit strategy. Focus on maximizing money and ease to move into something else. Get planning, and be selfish and strategic.
Take time for yourself and your personal development. While working on your startup at work is extremely inadvisable (see your legal concerns above)...if you feel like the pace at work is slow, do your work as quickly as possible and use the remaining time to move forward in some way. Learn a new language. Solve programming contest problems. Start a Toastmasters chapter at work. These sorts of things increase your sense of personal control over your situation; I cannot overemphasize how important that is.
Isolation is another dangerous trap. Find local developer meetups or board game nights or friendly pickup sports events. Talk with others about your situation. (For the same reason, asking here on HN is an excellent step to take. I'd wager most of us have encountered some variant of your problem. Also, asking people who aren't close friends can be surprisingly liberating, as you don't have as much emotional investment in their response.)
Hope this helps :)
Before I used to work on my personal projects after the office hours and I used to not like it sometimes because I am mentally tired due to useless day job. But working on my stuff early first thing in the morning keeps me going
I live in Dubai and there is no ground-breaking work done here - not even close - and I totally rely on HN to learn whatever I can and stay informed at least. Working on open source projects is the only way I see to get connected to the 'real' world of development and startups.
If you are willing to work remotely you should try the below sites - there are some good jobshttps://angel.co/jobs
With regards to balancing everything, I think once you get the job you love everything else falls into right place because majority of your day and week is spent on job which is 8 hours a day and if those 8 hours a day is fruitful the other minor issues don't matter..
Perhaps this may work for you as you make prudent steps to find a better work environment.
If you think your moonlighting has merit but you feel overwhelmed, look for remote partners who can work with you, and/or go hunting for finance. Finance is critical, because it will allow you to part ways with DumbCo without putting you and your family into hardship. If you can't face the idea of asking around for money, then you'll likely never be suited for business anyway, so just give up and dedicate yourself to the family or to bettering the company you work for, or to find a better (remote) job -- that's more or less what I did, back in the day; as depressing as it sounds, it worked out OK.
Btw, if at any point in time your employer (pedestrian web-design agency, by any chance?) takes you to task for you being "distracted", taking too many personal calls etc, turn it around as their fault: they clearly cannot motivate you, and anyway everyone else is playing on their phones.
The alternative to all this is just to put your head down and revolutionise the company you work for. Do things the way you think they should be done, the way that will result in higher productivity. Believe it or not, a lot of micromanagers simply don't have the bottle to repeat a challenge more than once, and after a while they'll probably leave you alone or recognise your approach actually has merits.
Both scenarios are really a way to say that you'll have to man up. There is no easy way out; but nothing risked, nothing gained...
So my point is you should try to turn your current predicament into a launchpad for bigger and better things.
In the office, I try to help out the junior folks as much as I can, might as well make the best of a bad situation and maybe earn a bit of reputation as the go to person for software architecture. Also don't let go of your health, even if you don't like your job, no sense dragging down other aspects of your life with it. I tend to exercise every other day (alternating between cardio and free weights), and don't forget to eat healthy, it makes a huge difference in terms of your overall mood and energy level.
I think it's even worst in my place since my boss doesn't listen to other people's opinions and is more of a dictator. The result is something similar to the Fizz Buzz Enterprise Edition.
I think by posting this question here you know what you want to do. Now, I hope you can just go and do it - good luck!
I know Australia is an expensive country (and moving is out of the picture), But if you're able to cut down your spending by 50%, you'll be able to save enough money to quit your job soon. Apart from that, spend some time doing steady consulting to start building an alternate income stream. Once your consulting income can support your entire family, quiting is a no-brainer :)
Here's a list of what might help:
1) keep a good work life balance. Make sure you're doin things you enjoy outside work. This helps you stay resiliant in work.
2) save money. Buildig up savings allows you to just walk out of work if you ever need to. It also allows you to spend money on other stuff - creating your product for example.
3) realise that actually you can just walk out of that job. Things would not be nice, but you would cope. It would not end the world.
4) gently start addressing the worst parts of work. Realise that you mght not be able to change anything, but try anyway. Make constructive suggestions at 360 feedback performance reviews. Make sure that what little control you do have is used effectively.
Protect your mental health! It's important. Good luck with the children too!!
Knowing local people who love what you love can make a big difference. Whilst dev jobs are few and far between down here, they do crop up - usually in smaller consulting firms. All of the consulting firms down here generally have a presence at #wd42. And everyone that meets really cares about the sorts of things on the Joel test - so any potential employers you may meet here are on the same page.
We'll be putting out the speaker list next week but in the meantime hit up our website (http://web.dev42.co/) and maybe follow us on twitter. If you want an email reminder email me and I'll add you to the announcement list.
If you are from here, shoot me an email (in profile) and we can catch up for a #pubhack, #coffeehack or similar. I'm not a hirer - but I love to code and enjoy coding with others.
Edit: I thought you meant Hobart (as it is literally at the bottom end of Australia) but was mistaken. Either way if anyone is down here on the last Wednesday of any month come to #wd42 for a beer. We're friendly only some of us have 2 heads!
I try to make challenges at work by looking at things another way (e.g. switch a programming language or ask for another opinion). That will only increase stress though, so be careful because you might be in a good place if the work is easy and expectations are low.
What is your goal for the side project? Money, experience, or curiosity? Can you find another way to either get more money or more experience that won't involve you spending an extra 5 hours?
I can let you know that in my case I spent a small time looking around and evaulating options ultimately finding a slightly better job. Be optimistic.
Maybe its being able to help a good person save $100 they dont need to spend. Maybe its spending time with your co-workers and reminiscing old times. Maybe its being able to play with your kids. Maybe its revisiting a hobby you put down years ago, or going on a vacation with your significant other.
Once youve found those things, tell it to people! Tell it friends! Tell it to your family! Let them see what makes you happy, and when you arent happy, let them guide you to why you do what you do. Maybe theyll suggest new things youd be interested in.
Yes, there are sweeping changes you make in life. However, you will always find small things that just suck. Focus on what makes you happy and find people who are interested in your well-being. If you still feel stuck, start by doing something (anything) differently.
> My home town is literally at the bottom end of Australia. Beautiful place but there are very few development jobs and no paying startups here. I have a child with another on the way. My partners salary is insufficient for us to live on.
Solution #1: Move to a bigger metro. You can even find a job before you move. Your new employer may even pay for relocation costs.
Solution #2: Another solution is to find remote work. Once you get it, start implementing solution #1.
Every case is different, best of luck!
1. Your #1 priority really has to be your family. I'm not assuming your family isn't important to you -- clearly it is -- but, it has to be more important than building a product or starting your own company. You're spending at minimum 65 hrs/week doing "not family", and that's a bit too much. You have 1.5 young kids, and what you do now, as a parent, will shape their future for the next several decades. It will change how they relate to other people, how they raise their own kids, and so on. If you want to have an impact on the world, focus on raising your kids.
2. So your job is your job. I mean, separate your self-worth from your employer. Show up, do what they ask, collect a paycheck, go home. One of the best things I ever did was step out of the computer industry for a few years and pick up a bunch of different jobs, including retail. I will still happily put in a lot of extra effort for any employer that wants it and is willing to reward me for it, but I can also show up every day, do the job, and go home, and have lots of other things to care about other than what's going on at work.
3. That said, if you can't learn how to do that, just show up and do the work and go home and forget about it, then you have to keep looking for a new job. That really should be your spare time gig, IMO, before other projects. It becomes your responsibility as a parent to try to find a job that values you and wants to pay you more so that you can provide more financial stability for your family -- and the best way to do that is with a better job, not a startup. HN is about the worst place to get this kind of life advice, because it's heavily skewed towards the attraction of risk-taking and the success stories when those risks pay off, but the reality is that the odds are not in your favor. There are a lot of bright and talented and ambitious people here on HN -- thousands, at least -- and of those, maybe only a handful have found something resembling wealth and stability, and of those, I'd bet most of them went through some pretty bad times. Do you really want to try to juggle all of that and a family at the same time?
I'm not saying you shouldn't work on your project at all, but that your priorities should probably be family, better job, and then project, in that order.
And, the consistent advice on HN is not to worry too much about being beaten to market. If someone else gets there first, it gives you an opportunity to see if there is a market at all for your product without having to suffer through the market research yourself (which these days typically consists of, "gosh, I really hope someone buys my product/service"), and you get to see what kind of mistakes they make, and learn from them. If it's a good market, there will be room for at least two of you.
There's a thing I do whenever I'm faced with really difficult life decisions. I sit back, let things get really quiet, close my eyes, and I try to see my futures stretching out in front of me like roads going in different directions. Each road represents a decision, and stretching out past my decisions aren't my fantasies but the most realistic outcomes I can guesstimate for each.
So, I would close my eyes, and I would see a road going off to the left, and that road goes like this: work full time for job I dislike, work hard on startup/side project, try to raise family on the weekends ... I am tired, and I am stressed out, because it's impossible to do all of that without getting tired and stressed out. Stress puts a strain on my relationship with my family. Project is completed and launched, and now I try to juggle a full time job, running a business, and raising a family. My health suffers. My oldest kid is 5 years old, and the business is still going. It hasn't failed, but it hasn't been a wild success either. I still pick up consulting jobs here and there to supplement my income. My kid is 10, and the business is stable now, but our relationship is a bit distant. I am responsible for two kids and a wife and a business and I lay awake at night occasionally thinking about that. There is a small disaster or two -- car accident, economic downturn, a health issue -- because few people get to go 10 years without a serious challenge in life. I am able to handle it but it's difficult. My eldest is 15 now, a rebellious teenager, and s/he knows exactly what to say to punch me in the heart: what do you care, you're always busy working anyway. The business is successful, we spend some of the hard-earned money on trips and a few luxuries.
Off to the right is a road that goes like this: work full time for job I dislike, swallow my pride and hopes and dreams and put down my project for a while -- just a while. I practice tolerating the job while actively looking for a new job and trying to squeeze the occasional raise out of the current one. A year later, I have a new job. I don't like it much better, but it pays more. I don't stop looking for new opportunities. I come home and have dinner with the family and spend time with the wife and kids. I'm not happy or fulfilled at work, but I can come home and leave the stress at work. I still poke at my project now and again, I take shortcuts, but I make progress on it as a hobby. Another year later, another new job, another raise. I take a small risk and hire a cheap freelancer to finish out a few things on my project. Somebody else beat me to market and they're doing well but their customer support forums are full of complaints. I launch my project, still incomplete, but I don't have to be stressed out about that -- my income doesn't depend on the success or failure of this project. 5 years later, and I own my own business, but over the years I've developed a strong habit of spending time with my family. I have a little bit of savings in the bank and my health isn't too bad. The business isn't wildly successful, and we've had to give up a few luxuries, but it pays the rent and does OK.
That's how I'd figure it anyway. Maybe there are other options too. Really try to envision each scenario. Try to feel like you're living in them. Try to make them realistic. Don't fall into the trap of assuming that a good idea and a lot of hard work is enough to guarantee success.
And think of your family as your first startup.
And yes, I've hated working at some companies in the past. The best advice I have is to just to start looking for anything else you can find.. At least it's a fresh place and a new chance. If you're lucky, a slight pay bump too :)
1) bring a notebook and do planning for your startup - it will get you away from keyboard & screen all day, there's no such thing as a project that too well-planned out, and you don't need to worry about doing it on company time if everyone else is sleeping.
2) as someone mentioned, automate everything you do at work, so you can use those techniques/what you learned doing it to shorten your 5-6h at night to something reasonable.
3) no doubt people at work spend a lot of time on social media - so you do it to, only with a specific goal of networking. That could lead to anything.
Last thing - are you really building an MVP? I'll assume it's a web app of some type; I have no idea what it is, of course, but 5-6hrs a day is 3/4 full-time. You should only take a month or so to build and MVP at that rate, so maybe you haven't pared it down enough?
I like the other comments about phoning in your job with no mental effort. Save your energies for your kids and your side projects.
I have a free 30 day email course on career hacking to promote a book I'm writing. It could be worth signing up. It's focused on getting a career in penetration testing but a lot of the stuff in the emails applies to anyone looking to get a new job or change careers. The pentesty stuff might not be so relevant but a lot of the emails contain more general tips and advice that might help you find another job.
 - https://rawhex.com/
Startup income isn't going to happen over night, so I think your efforts are not worth it given you're already stretched with the 9-5. I would be spending time on looking for either another job or a remote gig so you can give the 9-5 the flick.
Have you considered moving to Sydney or Melbourne? There are a lot of development jobs in these cities that pay well for people with experience.
Don't worry about the start up, I think. It's like worrying about wining second division on the lottery. Only work on it if you find it cathartic. Find another job, move cities if you need to.
I'm confused. You think your partner would stop you from working remotely with a reliable income stream even though you're miserable in your current job?
As they say, rest and vest. The goal of this job is to bring in enough money to support you and your family while you work on your fun thing. You can do it!
1. Read the 4-hour work week. Its a book that will help you escape the rat race.
2. Start meditating. Every morning, just sit still for 10 min and imagine the things that make you happy. It seems foolish, but it works.
3. Make friends at work. That is the only way I'm currently able to survive my workplace. Im sure you're not alone, and many people in your organization feel the same way.Cheers!
And I agree your company likely has no grounds to your IP but what might give them some ground is if you're either caught working on your project at work or if your performance slips to the point they think you have somehow used your time for other means.
Also, if you're in Hobart there are people around who are doing similar things. Surely there are lectures at UTas or something. Perhaps a system admin job at UTas might be a better option as well.
CSIRO robotics have people in Hobart as well. Have a look and see if there is something there.
Plenty of people work dull jobs to support their family.
Have fun doing what you love and spending time with family when you are outside of work and you will learn to accept the mediocrity of the world.
Yeah, I just stare at my desk; but it looks like I'm working. I do that for probably another hour after lunch, too. I'd say in a given week I probably only do about fifteen minutes of real, actual, work.
1. try thinking about your life in 5 yr chunks - a steady paycheck to pay off my mortgage really fast (secure future) and manageable/flexible work hours to maximise time building a foundation for life with my little one before she turns 10 is a wise but dull way to spend a few years. knowing it's worth it, and why, may help with the grind.
2. find a minimum $$ number you can live with and then find the smallest company/association/NFP that will pay this. small companies may not need you to go deep, but they _love_ people that can go wide. make sure flexibility in time/location are agreed up front - see 1. Go wide in the weirdest way you can think of every single time ie, become their economics guru by focusing on the data visualisation first, not the SQL queries. refuse to use a spreadsheet at work. write reports in html and distribute as a package. organise an industry conference and grow it. seriously, you'd be surprised how much lattitude you can get if you actively pick to work for people that _want/need_ initiative.
3. understand stakeholders and how they influence the decisions your boss will make. see 1 and 2. try and frame every proposal as something that is both interesting to you and as something that will make your boss look good. build trust. be aware of being taken advantage of but remember 99% of people are reasonable so don't be too paranoid. creating and launching things is a habit not something you choose to do on a whim.
4. don't sweat the small stuff. it's just $$ - enjoy what you can and treat it as a process. understand where you're going, not where you are.
5. personal sanity - build or invest in something that can't be (easily) hacked by software. this is moat between your future business and the leech competitors. personal relationships are in this category as are delivery chains or quality>quantity. design and distribute a small range of programmable toys - partner with your local high school and build the reputation first etc etc...
6. look behind you occasionally. if you're not careful, you only look at the people ahead of you and how much more successful/rich/pretty/talented they are - considering how much of this is due to dumb luck, this will only make you depressed. stop occasionally and turn around - there are vast numbers of people around the world thinking exactly the same @#$@#$ thing about you.
7. again with the little ones. because it's important and you don't get a do-over. don't let their childhood memories be 'mum/dad was always busy' - when they're 12ish, they will barely want to be in the same room with you anyway ;-)
8. be with your partner - they're with you for a reason, make sure you don't just assume that will always be the case.
hope it works out for you.
You should work to go to events like Startup Grind Melbourne, or at least such events in Adelaide. Network, approach people and introduce yourself.
> I fear that someone will beat me to market (trying for bare minimum viable product).
This shouldn't be a big worry. Even if it happens, move on to the next thing.
> I also fear burn out (has happened before)
Pull back on your startup work if this happens. A job you don't like, new baby and your own startup you're working on solo and in a rush as someone might beat you to market sounds like a recipe for burnout. Your startup idea can be put on the back burner when the other things take precedence. You fear burn out, so you should spend less time on it. You're not really cutting down time from it any how, your brain is going 24/7. I often have programming breakthroughs after waking up in the morning, or coming home from a dinner. I guess I'm unconsciously working on the problem even when doing something else.
Maturity might be part of these things. As people get older, that they hear BS at work becomes less important.
A proper perspective helps as well. You say "the managers are micromanagers and the developers sit at the bottom of the org chart". This may be true, but you should look at it with equanimity. Just think logically how to further your agenda. If it's unfair or illogical that developers sit at the bottom of the org chart in a software company, getting emotional about it will not serve you. It is something you have no control of, you can only vote with your feet, and for now you've voted to stay.
Problem 1: Bias
Problem 2: "Guys" (no feminism here) should actually be "teams" (even if they're all 23, white, male)
> what are the best questions I should ask people in order to gauge their technical aptitude and general awesomeness?
Doing this won't get you anywhere. You are a business accelerator, not Amazon hiring a genius who writes assembly that can squeeze out an extra 2% on their servers.
You should be evaluating teams (most important), their execution (also important) and their idea (least important but very valid).
Personally, I don't think you should be doing the interviews on your own, or if everyone thinks like you, should probably get experienced entrepreneurs to do it instead.
Please note that I am not insulting you or any of your abilities. It just seems that you have an ingrained technical bias and you may recruit highly-talented tech people but most of their ideas are shit and your accelerator will bomb-out soon.
These days RAM is cheap and SSD storage is also widely available. For a very long time, one of my side projects with 50K users was hosted in a EC2 small instance. With that out of the way, here are a few things you will need to take care of:
* Security (especially passwords) - Rails should take care of most of this for you, but you should ensure that you patch vulnerabilities when they are discovered. Also, stuff like having only key-based login to your servers etc.
* Backups - Take regular backups of all user data. It's also VERY important that you actually try restoring the data as well, as it's quite possible that backups are not occurring properly.
* One click deployment - Use Capistrano or Fabric to automate your deployments.
* A good feedback/support system - this could even be email to begin with (depending on the volume you expect), but it should be accessible.
* Unit tests - as your app grows in complexity, you will never be able to test all the features manually. I'm not a big fan of test driven development, but really, start writing unit tests as soon as you have validated your product idea.
* Alerts, monitoring and handling downtime - Downtimes are inevitable. Your host or DNS could go down, you might run out of disk space, etc. Use something like Pingdom to alert you of such failures.
* Logging, logging, logging - I can't stress on this enough. When things break, logging is crucial in piecing together what happened. Use log rotation to archive old logs so they don't hog the disk space.
10K user records is not the issue. It's dealing with the humans who use the app on a day to day basis.
Typically getting only a small fraction of your user base to be active in the app is pretty challenging - if you can acquire them in the first place.
That said, having even a few hundred active users can tip the scales in terms of what is manageable, depending on what the app does and whether they're paying money or not. Customer support can be a full-time job or worse. In the early days your users will discover every bug and problem imaginable.
Biggest mistake I ever made was scaling up an active user base on a free product without a revenue model. Twice I managed to hit a sweet spot in acquiring active users but because I couldn't leverage the scale to achieve anything other than more work for myself, I burned out and it collapsed very quickly. If you make more money as you grow, you can afford to invest in delegating responsibilities or at least justify it. Otherwise you've got a very stressful hobby on your hands..
Quick add-on edit:
If you're launching a web app for the first time, the biggest takeaway you should get from the comments on this thread is anticipate that customer support will be a major challenge.
One of the best ways to prevent a flood of CS inquiries is aggressive logging and alerts to squash bugs or outages before they inconvenience too many users. Lots of great comments in here cover that point, so take notes.
My service has a lot of moving parts, all of which are distributed among a couple dozen different servers. Keeping the technical infrastructure running smoothly requires a lot of data visualization of server stats, database stats, web request stats, worker stats, user stats, etc. I have everything piped into a nice dashboard so we can see if there is anything odd happening at a glance. When things break (and they will) you need to know where to look first.
Having 5k users also requires time to help them with support issues. Users generate a lot of bug reports, questions, and suggestions. To keep paying users happy, I offer a 1-day response time on support issues, which requires me to spend quite a bit of time sending emails.
Then, of course, if you want to grow the app, you need to spend time marketing it. We could talk for hours about this.
The list goes on and on. Feel free to shoot me an email (email in my profile) if you want to talk specifics about anything.
How's the distribution of traffic? Do people use it spread out over the month or mainly within the last or first days of the month? Do they use it on work days or throughout the week? Are they from different time zones?
What do they do? Is there a lot of write activity or is it mainly read? Is the read stuff cacheable between users or is it highly individualised. etc. etc. etc.
With reasonably "low level" tooling such as Java/Clojure/Haskell/whatever and a properly configured Postgres instance you should be able to go quite far. You're very unlikely to be CPU-challenged in the web app (again, no idea what your web app is going to be doing, so it's just a guess), most of the memory and CPU will be consumed by your database server caching and running queries. You should be able to handle a good 500-1000 db transactions / sec without much hassle.
IMHO most of the challenge will be making something that 10k people will want to use daily, not actually being able to scale to that many users.
That server runs happily as a single servo on http://modulus.io with absolutely no need for intervention on my part.
The rest of the application has similar requirements. I have one micro-equivalent server running the front-end, one the api and one the thumbnail generation. In general, this requires no hand-holding by me.
If your site is not processing or memory-intensive it should be feasible to scale to 10k users with a single $5/month instance on DigitalOcean or an equivalent level server on Heroku or Modulus or GCE.
Good luck attracting your first 5k users!
I have http://ficwad.com/ sitting around, with Google Analytics telling me it gets daily users in the upper end of that range. It runs on the cheapest plan webfaction offers (and I'm making it even cheaper with some affiliate credit...). The only place where it's running into issues is email, which I had to write a little queue system to throttle the sending to keep it under the plan's daily limits while still making sure that the important messages go out first.
I could make it fancier and put it on pricier hosting if I bothered to monetize it in any way.
And it took me nearly 4 years to get that many users. We cant all grow like facebook!
2. Do not invest time and/or money in learning another programming language or framework until you are sure that for a specific component of your product, programming language X will perform at least 2 times better with 2 times less HW resources.
3. Stressing again on the app stack (I saw some really pushy comments on changing the programming language), it is rarely the bottleneck of a web app. You'll scale your storage stack way earlier and more often than the app stack.
4. Know your data. That's how you decide if it's better to use a RDBMS, document store, k/v store, graph database etc. Like I said before, you're going to scale your data before any other layer becomes a problem so choosing the right data storage solution is crucial. Don't be afraid to test various storage solutions. They usually have good -> great documentation and ruby tends to be a good friend to every technology. There's a gem for everything. :)
5. Scale proportionate to your business/product growth. You will have to scale at some point. But be careful to scale proportionate to your growth. For example, if the number of users will double, get the hardware that suffices that growth. Less HW resources will lead to a slower user experience thus user dissatisfaction. More HW resources than needed will increase your costs and the resources that are not needed will stay unused. Why waste money?!
These are my 2c. As your business gets bigger - I hope it does - other problems will occur. But usually these things will last up to 100k users.
Disclaimer: this is for a generic web app as you didn't give us any details. Depending on the app, some of my points might be inaccurate or invalid.
The second problem is motivation, after a certain amount of time, it becomes far less fun and much more of a burden, at which point you have to decide if you'll power through, give up, or quit totally.
The rest is just a software/hardware problem, and easily dealt with when needed.
As for the load, it's not that busy, but not that quiet for what it is, (http://stats.thisaintnews.com) and it runs on a cheap server from http://www.kimsufi.com/uk/, has a Xeon(R) CPU E3-1225 V2 @ 3.20GHz, 16Gb ram and 2x 1tb hdd, unlimited bandwidth and 1gbps link. It only costs about 25/month iirc.
- A reliable hosting environment. I currently have a Linode VPS (basic $20 package, with $5 monthly backups) that runs http://sleepyti.me, my personal web site, an IRC server, a Mumble server, and a bunch of other stuff -- it's not even close to being maxed out resource wise, even with all the constant traffic the site is getting. It's important to remember that consistent network connectivity is a really important aspect here: a 30-minute downtime during peak hours can easily lose a lot of users. I'd say Linode is great, and I'm very happy with their service, but I also host several Sinatra web applications on a Digital Ocean VPS that only costs $5 per month (although I do my own backups, rather than using their service). I've noticed zero load-related performance impacts. Clearly, though, there is a limit to how far that can scale.
- A production web server. This probably goes without saying, but a lot of webapp developers are used to just working on their own dev environment. For my apps, I use nginx (and thin, when necessary).
- Security. Make sure that you have the basics of application security covered in your app itself. OWASP produces some pretty great "cheat sheets" that can help out in this area. Furthermore, make sure that your server is updated frequently, using SSL correctly, etc. I work in information security -- please believe me when I say that getting hacked is not something you want to deal with when you're trying to grow.
Hope this helps, and good luck with launched your apps!
Firstly, the load of a web app is going to be dictated by what the app actually does.
Also 5k-10k users should be clarified as to whether you mean total users or concurrent users. Testing capacity can be actually tricky figuring out how the number of users equates to actual hits to your servers.
As an example, we have nearly 50k accounts but on average only a few hundred are using the service at the exact same time. I would guess that our app is fairly complex compared to the average app. We run 3 app servers, 1 DB master, 1 DB slave, and 2 cache servers. Our monthly hosting bill is around $1,200.
If you back out the numbers, they go something like this: eight hour work day, worst hour has 25% of the user base actively logged in (we'll assume it is a very sticky app), 10 significant actions per hour implies 25k or so HTTP requests which actually hit Rails, which is less than 8 requests a second. You can, trivially, serve that off of a VPS with ~2 GB of RAM and still have enough capacity to tolerate spikes/growth.
Let's talk about the more interesting aspects of this question, which aren't mostly about capacity planning:
Monitoring: Depending on what you're doing, at some point between 0 users and 10k users, the app failing for long periods of time starts to seriously ruin peoples' days. Principally, yours. Depending on what you're doing, "long periods" can be anything from "hours" in the general case to "tens of minutes" for reasonably mission-critical B2B SaaS used in an office to "seconds" for something which could e.g. disable a customer's website if it is down (e.g. malfunctioning analytics software).
I run a business where 15 seconds of downtime means a suite of automated and semi-automated systems go into red alert mode and my phone starts blowing up. I don't do this because I love getting woken up at 4 AM in the morning, but because I hate checking my inbox at 9:30 AM in the morning and realizing that I've severely inconvenienced several hundred people.
You're going to want to build/borrow/buy sufficient reliability for whatever problem domain it is you're addressing. I wouldn't advise doing anything which requires Google-level ops skills for your first rodeo. (There is a lot to be said for making one's first business something like a WordPress plugin or ebook or whatnot where your site being down doesn't inconvenience existing customers. That way, unexpected technical issues or a SSL certificate expiring or hosting problems or what have you only cost you a fraction of a day's sales. Early on that is likely negligible. When an outage can both cost you new sales/signups and also be an emergency for 100% of your existing customer base, you have to seriously up your game with regards to reliability.)
Again, depending on exactly what you're doing, you will fail well in advance of your server failing on the road from 0 to 10k users. Immature apps tend to have worse support burdens than mature apps, for all the obvious reasons, and us geeks often make choices which pessimize for the ease of doing customer support.
My first business produced a tolerable rate of support requests, particularly as I got better about eliminating the things which were causing them, but I eventually burned out on it. I have a pretty good idea of what my second one would look like if it had 10k customers -- that would imply on the order of 500 tickets a day, 100+ of them requiring 20 minutes or more of remediation time. This would not be sustainable as a solo founder. (Then again, if that business had 10k customers, revenues would presumably be in the tens of millions, so I'd have some options at that point. There are many businesses which would not be able to support a dedicated CS team on only 10k customers, like e.g. many apps businesses, so you'd have to spend substantial brainsweat on making sure the per-customer support burden matched your unit economics.)
The biggest issue: selling 10,000 accounts of a SaaS app is really freaking hard.
As others have mentioned, multiple of those users can be hosted on an EC2 small instance. I suggest you start there. When moving to production, a bigger challenge is security, both in terms of intrusion and data protection. Making sure you have good rollback feature built into your rollout regime, because things can be fatal with real users. If you're using something that's basic like Heroku or EC2, you can scale way beyond that user strength with a click of a button. Scaling up would be least of your worries, at least for a few weeks.
If you're unsure, go with Heroku. Once you understand your system use, you can very easily switch to AWS and reduce costs.
What do you mean by this? Doesn't this depend on the usage patterns? Do you have 5-10k concurrent users or are these users spread over a day?
The operations side is a whole other profession that dovetails into the technical aspects of getting it running on a good architecture.
1. your architecture must allow for vertical scaling. this means upgrading your hardware to beefier, stronger, faster machines with more CPU power and more memory. vertical scaling is often a very cost effective of improving performance.
2. your architecture must allow for horizontal scaling. this means being able to provision and deploy new instances of your application servers very easily, using an automated process. more servers running in parallel is a very effective way of handling increased load.
3. you must be able to monitor and protect your systems. https everywhere. highly secure passwords everywhere, and you should rotate your passwords on a regular basis. log everything and set up services to monitor your logs and notify you when weird/bad shit happens.
Good database mechanics is key. That is the most important thing in my opinion. That is really the whole point in rails when you are deciding relationships. The abstraction in Rails when deciding what should be the best model structure is the same thing as deciding what should be the best and most efficient table structure in your database.
The rave about MongoDB is that it (maybe not quote me on this) "cures" the need for the desire multi-dimensional database. However, even with MontoDB's ability to expand due to it's not needing a pre-defined structure and the ability to expand out dimensionally to a certain extent, PostgreSQL (claims anyways) is still more efficient if you correctly index your tables (think about how you will be querying) and create the correct relationships. Build out models. Allow flexibility.
Also, don't forget caching. Redis and performing jobs is key in certain situations. However, don't get caught up in too much hype. Especially those coming from closed source technologies (Not just talking about caching technologies here but everything in general). They will sell and produce an atmosphere of necessity, but do some research first. Don't follow the heard. I am not going to call anyone out on this. Just do the research and think why is that necessary. I've mentioned Redis a few times and maybe that isn't even necessary either.
Most importantly, put your stuff out there. If it crashes, so what! At least you know you have something. And then you will have people who will give you advice in a coherent direction if necessary.
I salute you in your efforts. Now the most important part is put it out there and kick ass!
You may even want to look into Redis which is a cache system.
"Scaling problems rule . . . "
Sounds like you have the skills to grow this up to 500 to 1k paying customers on your own. Early on you can increase ram/cpu to handle any initial scaling issues.
Once you even have 1k customers you'll have revenue to hire experts to help you with scaling and security.
Good luck in 2015.
Heroku: $279 - 400 / month
Getting the users and keeping your head in the game is the hardest part.
However, the biggest piece to scaling your application is the automation of everything you possibly can so that you can scale when you need to. You're going to be in a bit of pain if you need to scale everything manually.
Here's a few things I automate using Jenkins:
* Creation of web application servers(whether it be Puppet, Chef or Ansible, etc) make sure you can bring up a new node quickly and scale your app layer horizontally. Ideally automate the addition of this node to the LB.
* Data store backup/restores to all staging environments on a schedule(tests backups/restores) this is done using some custom code and the Backup gem. This way your dev team has access to an env that closely resembles prod and can resolve current prod bugs.
* External security scans using NMap (again using custom scripts). The jenkins job will fail if output is not as it expects. This way if we change a layer of our infrastructure we can know if something is exposed and shouldn't be.
* Static code analysis using Brakeman
Information you're going to need to scale your infra:
* Metrics on each one of your hosts. Use DataDog if you can afford it, integrates with all major systems and technologies. Great tool.
* Log collection via something like Logstash or Loggly and being able to visualize your application and web logs.
* Application response time measurements using something like NewRelic or building your own using StatsD and tracking the heck out of your application actions
Last but not least, have a plan for failure. While you're laying in bed at night, ask yourself these question:
* What would happen if the DB went poof? Can I restore it? How much data will I lose from the last backup? Will I know when this happens?
* What would happen if you're now being scanned by 30 ips from the netherlands, all of which are submitting garbage data into your forms. Are you protected against this? How will the added load effect your app layer? Do you have a way to automate the responses to those requests so as to deny them? This is a case of when, not if. Be ready.
* What would happen if my site gets put on Digg(lol)?
There's no magic bullet here. It's just practice, failure and learning from yours and others mistakes.
The main stress on the system is really determined by the complexity of the SQL queries on each page. I've spent a great deal of time optimizing them, and I know there are certain ones that need to be further optimized. I have the database (MySQL) on one server, the web server and documents on another, and static resources such as images on a third, which probably isn't even necessary. All three servers run Linux and the database server has 48GB of RAM. They're hardly new; you could buy all of this equipment today for under $1,000 total.
The biggest technical bottleneck is really RAM; the biggest expense for this kind of site is bandwidth.
1. Average Salary for a software developer with 5 year experience. 32,000 - 38,000 SEK/Month.
2. You can calculate your take-home money here .
3. Average 2nd hand rental apartment (30-50 sqm) 5,000 - 7000 SEK/Month. Its easy to find single-person accomodation. 
4. The quality of an average apartment is pleasant. Kitchen & Laundry is fully functional from day 1 in every apartment around Sweden.
5. If you've kids, then day-care (preshool) is highly subsidized & generally good quality. All education is free for everyone from age 7-70
6. Almost everyone speaks English. You'll not find any difficulty even if you dont know Swedish.
. http://www.ekonomifakta.se/sv/ (you can enter kommune as Stockholm & enter your salary and date of birth)
Ping me on email@example.com if you want help/info/apply for a job.
1) Check what medical health insurances are be offered by your employer. The public health care is handling any serious things very well, but there might be significant queues to get check-ups or treatment for small things, and this could be mightily annoying. 
2) Check how the employer helps you in finding an apartment. There's rent control in Stockholm, the rental market is dysfunctional, and actual rental contracts are a thing like property ownership is elsewhere (except that it's black market).  
These would be much more important than the last digits in you gross salary, out of which a significant part will be taken as taxes and mandatory social insurances.
Most other things will probably be the same regardless of what your employer specifically does, so you can study the materials published by the Swedish government to learn about social issues. 
Finally what about CTO or VP/Director of Engineering, with the same amount of industry experience? I'm trying to get a handle on these things before moving to Stockholm, as well.
I'm in my fourth year now as a ruby developer. I make 34000 SEK/month.
That range is about 50k USD/year, if any Bay Area people want to have a laugh.
If I were you, I would not settle for anything less than 35k. Maybe you can push it to 40k.
Basically a good foundation for a startup is the initial partners (ideally 2 or 3 people) get equal equity at the beginning. Any other arrangement would raise eyebrows as to whether all the parties are committed and trust each other.
It sounds like you only get your shares if you work hard and you get lucky, whereas the other people get shares by default. Also "when a working product is available" isn't watertight and is open to interpretation.
With the limited information available I would think the best option is to walk away. Look after your family.
-- Disclaimer: I have no experience in working for or starting a 'startup'.
Worked great for two months. He was waiting for a finished product but I still gave him tasks: write complete help pages, full FAQ, marketing plan, list of bloggers to contact after launch. I waited 6-8 weeks and got various excuses. At that point it was better to end the deal early.
What I'm saying is: make sure the co-founder is actually putting in time. He/she can't just wait for a (almost) finished product to sell. Basically make him/her work hard (with goals and deadlines and everything) for your engineering time. If he/she doesn't doesn't put in time then you might see the same low time commitment when it comes to fund raising, marketing or PR later.
If the company cannot move forward until a technical product exists, you are investing in the company at a much earlier and riskier stage, since in addition to bearing product risk (will it work) and market risk (will it sell), you are also holding team risk (are your cofounders productive) and legal risk (if they bail, will you be sued for salvaging your investment as necessary).
Higher risk should translate into higher pay/equity. Don't let anyone negotiate your ownership down on any basis other than that their own disproportionately large contribution to the company (i.e. cash investment).
Typically a 50/50 split is recommended between the technical and marketing/idea guy co-founder straight away.
You'll both have to do lots of work to make this a success.
It's risky for both of you to end up putting in a lot of work and end up with a cofounder not holding up their end of the bargain.
I'd recommend setting up the 50/50 split up front and then have a clause that if either of you are not actively working on building the company they surrender 50% of your share to use that equity to plug in a new marketing/dev person to pick up the slack.
It's all in the execution, hard work to make this a success. If you and your co-founder don't trust each other at this point it might be a sign he'll be hard to work with. Typically this early it's all roses and excitement. Maybe you are just getting to know each other though. The ventures I've set off on I typically go with a 50/50 or 51/49 split from the start.
As far as family goes. I expect you're keeping your good full time job and doing this on nights and weekends. Make sure you document that all development is done on your free time and that there aren't any clauses in your contract that would lead your company to believe they own any development you do on your own time. You don't have to alert them to what you are doing but it might be a good time to read anything you've signed.
Remember Ideas are the easy part and make sure this is a good idea that you want to spend a few months seeing your family less to invest your time in.
Remember keep your MVP simple, just develop the minimum amount possible so it's providing 'value' to signups. If the two of you can manually do steps/processes behind the scenes initially do that, automate processes later once you're growing and scaling.
Check out StartUpsForTheRestOfUs.com lots of great information relating to your situation and startups in general.
I just did a quick search for what you asked and this site seems to provide everything you are looking for.
Avoid the Not-Invented-Here syndrome (or don't if you'd prefer not to).
https://coveralls.io/ - code coverage history and various stats
http://www.appveyor.com/ - CI for .NET
On github: https://github.com/nikmd23/ossperks/
- Where can you open a bank account for the company?
- What are the annual and periodic filing requirements (and fees) in regards to ongoing company registration (e.g. the Company Annual Return in the UK)?
- What are the tax filing requirements and tax rates for your situation?
- Do you annual company accounts need to be filed? Do these accounts need to be audited by a professional accountancy firm? Are there any exemptions from this requirement?
- What are your own country's laws re: determining the domicile of a corporate entity, for the purposes of calculating tax?
Edit: Not sure about for foreigners though.
Previously I had it at a consulting company, using the voice mail to email transcription and directory stuff (1 to John Smith, 2 to John Doe)
They also have an auto-attendant, multiple extension support, and voice mail to email capabilities.
We left Phonebooth.com for SendHub and are fairly happy, though we're still waiting for a couple of features like which line was chosen from an initial menu.
I've let it run in some browser tab in the background and there doesn't seem to be any time limit how long it can run. Bandwidth-wise it doesn't make sense at all. Owned by CBS Interactive so it's legit.
Go back to the hiring executive that made you an offer.
Explain to them you're almost all-in and you recognize it's a great opportunity. Additionally, you believe that you can be accretive to their team. Your only issue, the minor gap in compensation. Let them know you would be inclined to move laterally. Ask if they have any flexibility to help with the difference (differed compensation, bonus program, stock options, perqs, etc...)
Be prepared to show the last 2 years of payment records. The transparency gives you leverage. This is an instance of no ask, no get.
BUT, since moving companies I've gotten my hands dirty, I've had opportunities to use tons of new technologies and I'm in sort of a lead developer role now. Im not making 100k but I'm damn sure much closer to being worth it then when it was just "offered" to me by my last CEO trying to prevent me from leaving.
My knowledge is now tenfold what it was before. I learn more and more every day and work on solving exciting problems. I know that whenever I switch companies next, or am up for a review I will be making a major salary jump because I have leverage now.
Strategic career moves that increase your value/skill/knowledge will always lead to more money in the end. Justifiable money.
The conclusion I've come to is I either need to be saving the money towards some specific purpose (startup, long term travel, etc) or I need to look for a more satisfying job.
The question I ask myself is can I do this for X more years so that I can properly retire (where X < 10)? And the reality is I can't bare the thought of doing it for that long so clearly what I'm doing is unsustainable. With that in mind, you might as well make a change now because why prolong the inevitable?
This is something I've been wrestling with extensively for the last year or so. If you'd like to have someone to talk to about it please don't hesitate to reach out to me (email in profile).
No point earning an extra $50,000 per year if you burnout in 2 years and have to live off savings for a couple of years while you pull yourself back together.
More importantly, I live by the phrase "Income follows Assets". Think about property, think about product development, and think about your own personal skills and energy as your assets. Career growth is an investment in your personal asset base - much like buying a house to rent out or coding a new product, there will be an investment (in this case, both time and lost revenue) and it sounds like there will be a return on investment (income following your new assets) in time.
Do you think you will really have oppportunities being the "head honcho"? Can you turn the 50.000 into an opportunity for yourself? (your own startup?)
It's always easy to go down salary-wise, not so much to go back up.
What would you suggest if your friend came to you in the exact situation?
- burnout is real. check if your concern is an ongoing issue or a reflection of current events.
- grass is always greener on the other side. in 6 months you might be back where you started.
- you might close a door for something you are not entirely sure you will be good at.
- decide and don't look back.
You will still be saving a considerable amount of money, so I would consider taking the risk (and less money) in exchange for less grey hair ;)
People can own many companies and it has no bearing on if they have a full time job with someone else. In your case you would setup a 'Limitada' (Ltd) company and this can be done online at https://www.portaldaempresa.pt
I'm from the UK, setting up a company is easy, cheap. Each year I need to submit a small set of accounts, and a tax return. The first time you do this might seem hard, but it's basically form filling, and after the 2nd time it's much easier and simple.
Concentrate on your product, when you take on investment or make profit, look into setting up a company.
I believe it's common for a developer to have their own company to use to sell all their products over their carears.
Also with regards to your chances of getting a full-time job. That depends. Most companies won't have a problem with that, but some might. They might not look kindly on the time commitment they think you'll have to put on your own company. A company that's operating in the same field as your company obviously would not most likely not hire you, because of your competing interest.
You can start a sole trader business easily (and cheaply).In many EU countries there is a scheme where students or full time employees can start side businesses as sole traders and not be liable for VAT and social security taxes. I am not sure if this exists in Portugal but you can check with your local bureaucrats.
Activity like this will increase your employability in most companies. It can be an issue in government regulated businesses such as insurance but they are used to telling employees to shut it down.. it's a non-issue for hiring.
In Germany I would advise on an uGmbH, in US on a LLC and in UK on a LIC. Those are easy to fund, e.g. a Tennessee LLC cost only $100 annual franchise tax. Other states charge no franchise tax.
At this point you are a registered freelancer and can run one person business, no employees, but you could have subcontractors. There is also no company, no .Inc.
You can go one step farther and register a company where you do establish legal entity with the .Inc attached to it. For simplicity you get the number/name and you can associate other branding name or names to make it marketing sexy. It's also rather simple, takes another hour and costs about $250 for starters, although I believe there are some variations where incorporation costs a bit more, but still a few hundred dollars.
Once you are incorporated the accounting becomes slightly more complicated. While being a registered freelancer you can pretty much do your own number adding for taxes, having the company means us are better of hiring part-time accountant to deal with the paperwork.
A lot of people in the technology/design/multimedia fields work as registered freelancers because there is no limit to income related to it, paperwork is simple and in Canada there is not culture of businesses suing each other all the time like in the US. So, there is no need to have separate legal entity to protect yourself. It's very convenient and many small businesses in the first year or two of existence run as a freelancer who hires other freelancers. Only once the business truly starts becoming a company and wants to provide perks and benefits to employees and also start looking 'bigger' on the market it is being registered as proper corporation.
I think it's a very valuable system for stimulating small business growth. The cost to try is very low and simple to do.
just my 2 cents, ignore if your market is something else.
Corporations are all about liability and ownership. As a student, you likely don't have any assets to protect. Once you take investment or add a partner, you'll need to do somethingn!
You should inform yourself.
In the US, Nolo is a good place to start. So is BusinessUSA. After that, you should find out the laws regarding running a business in your state, running a business in your county/parish, and running a business in your city/locality. Depending on your business structure, all four may have different requirements, forms, licenses, fees, filing dates, taxes (fed, state, county, city), etc.
It's not an insurmountable amount of work to handle on your own, especially if you choose a simple structure like a sole proprietorship or LLC, but you should do your homework before you jump in and contact a professional with any concerns you have.
Also, you should talk to a lawyer if you are worried about liability. The suggestion from some commenters that you are separated from liability if you run an LLC or other partnership is inaccurate. Liability is limited, but you can still be sued personally for fraud, negligence, and a host of other sins.
Firefox for regular sites I visit and stuff I keep open a long time (because of Tree-Style Tabs)
Chrome for my temporary / exploratory browsing (because when a website crashes it only takes out one tab instead of the whole browser).
If you shoot me your email with your resume I'd be happy to review it. My emails in the profile.
May be you are an expert in this, but eventually you will drain out rite? If this piece of information is the secret recipe than you need not answer ;-)
How ProductHunt helped me go from No-idea to Profitable in 15 hours (including 6 hours of sleep).https://medium.com/@jibly/how-producthunt-helped-me-go-from-...
How A 4-Step-Amazon-Hack Helped Me Convert Visitors Into Paying Customers Insanely Fast.
These 5 user comments boosted my conversion rate from 0,8% to 6%
Ideas are worth $0. Nevermind you'll switch the idea to something else.
And the type of person who wants to a get patent first instead of getting users is precisely the kind of person you shouldn't be starting a company with. A patent won't get you customers. How many companies can you friend name that lost to another company because of a patent rather than a thousand other reasons?
Both your fears are valid. Trust your gut. My suggestion: don't start a company with this friend.
You could set up a "joint ownership" document for the IP rights, which won't be worth much, but better than nothing.
This said, I would focus on getting customers first. Face it, if this is your first product, you'll probably fail. It's a cycle everyone goes through. :-)
You MUST seek out and talk to the Economic Buyer. That's the individual who's life will be helped by purchasing your product or service. The more you understand his world, the stronger your idea will be.
Incidentally, you CAN sell a concept on a pilot project basis. The customer becomes your first investor.