I work at one of the larger webhosting companies, so we have a point of contact with them to start with. We help them out with various things (CALEA, data preservation, child porn/financial fraud, etc) so they tend to assist for major problems.
We reach out to our point of contact. We have to prove that the criminal fit somewhere in http://www.justice.gov/criminal/cybercrime/docs/ccmanual.pdf
They then ask for data (our proof). In all the cases we've handled, our proof has been enough to hand off to a prosecutor. Sometimes the data is enough for the prosecutor to move forward and score a conviction, sometimes they have doubts as to whether a jury can be convinced so they either let them take deferred adjudication, or they try to strike a plea.
We've always known the culprit personally when they commit the crime (name, address, etc.) so I can't speak for other peoples' investigations where these things aren't known.
Then run them all through mapumental to get distances. Weighting can be done in code or a spreadsheet.
Or implement a hill climbing algorithm using mapumental and the weights to make your cost function.
A big question is what you are optimising for? If it's average time, it could be that it is far for everyone. Or are you employees living in clusters that can carry a heigher weight? You already talk about different staff carrying a different weight. etc. etc.
It's typically not even easy to properly define the problem :-)
Actually, do they already support this? They say "Mapumental handles multiple start or destination points too."
I was thinking just overlaying the maps as semi-transparent PNGs would reinforce the color gradient of the nearest places.
Go to something like a meetup relevant to your interests, meet people, see where it leads.
None of that really. At least the ones I know don't do any of that.
Here's what they do. They negotiate hard. Every job move, every annual review, they negotiate tooth and nail. Over time they become expensive. The more expensive they are, the more critical stuff gets assigned to them. The more critical stuff they handle and successfully deliver, the more chips they have on the next negotiation.
1. Find yourself a niche. Expert in X where X isn't just a programming language. Build relevant domain expertise which means people who are hiring you are hiring your experience as well as your skillset and you get to stop them running down rabbit holes. e.g. Java programmer who's built large real time streaming systems with Spark. Find a niche that's hot where lots of companies are looking for that expertise.
2. Be fairly mercenary with pay and job. Holding out for higher offers, setting expectations with recruiters early in the process about your salary expectations etc. Ask for exactly what you want.
If you're on $160k now, walk in and ask for $190k with a view to taking that for a year or two and then looking for $220 or $240k. Don't wait for the employer to give you a figure. Set that expectation with the recruiter early so they're not wasting your time. Be aware on that kinda money, employers are going to expect big things and in lots of cases will expect more than just coding.
I realise this is may be very obvious, but you will literally be optimizing for money. That could lead you in to shitty situations / companies. Personally I'd caution against that for most people. However, I understand money can sometimes be the most important hole in peoples lives with certain personal / debt situations, so I don't mean to judge.
If you are assessing your self worth against your paycheck though, this route won't satisfy you!
The contracts are often very long (some many years) and the rates are sufficiently high to get you to 250K and beyond, even after accounting for sickdays, medical insurance, pension, vacation etc.
You can get there through experience in specific technologies like SAS CRM, SAP, Salesforce etc, meaning tech's that are not so common without necessarily being completely niche. You can also get there as a generalist developer with exceptional experience in a business domain like automotive, finance, retail or whatever.
The rates can get extreme when the developer is specialized in both a specific technology and business domain.
A specialist in marketing automation + finance for example or datawarehousing + retail etc.
Classic advice from Richard Hamming on life & work. What are the most important problems in your field? Are you working on one of them? ... Why not?
Here's a video presentation from 1995> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1zDuOPkMSw
If you feel you are a better developer just prove it with code and great architectures. We don't need titles.
Are you assuming that most of us do not have CS degrees? I assume that most do.
That being said, I consider the terms to be interchangeable. I lean towards "software engineer", but certainly don't mind the "software developer" label.
In the US the title of Engineer is not reserved except in a few very specific instances and the argument about whether software creation is engineering needs to first agree on what engineering is, a very open question and one that seems largely uninteresting to me.
In my own head I think of myself much more as a logician/mathematician than I do an engineer, but I bet you couldn't guess/interpret that from the output.
My actual title is Chief Development Officer, but meh.
On the flip side of things, I think developer is a better buzzword.
TBH, while I do have a degree in Software Engineering, and do practice actual software engineering in the day job, I could give a rats ass what my actual title is.
personally: Engineers encapsulate architecture, infrastructure, development, planning, research, dev-ops, provide leadership and lead the execution. Where developers are responsible for specific execution of a project.
my boss: having "Engineer" in your title is offensive to the Engineers who went to school for it, so we'll call you a developer now that you've been a software engineer here for a while.
So there's that.
The people that really try to make a distinction may have spent quite a lot of money on a degree or may be trying to justify a higher salary.
Any programming job requires engineering. The amount of skills and sophistication of techniques varies, but if you are programming without doing software engineering then you're not doing it right.
In the context of computer programming, 'engineering' is applied broadly to pretty much any activity beyond typing in a single script.
I believe engineering is an appropriate term because most computer programs are very complex systems are require the application of a range of knowledge and skills. And most of these systems are novel in certain ways often requiring more problem solving ability than some other types of engineers may ever need to apply.
Solution: Make any sort of "lock-in" illegal. No fees paid to employment agencies, no penalties for leaving early, no posting bonds, no contractual periods of work. Anything that keeps an H1B locked to a particular employer should be illegal.
Problem: Getting brightest engineers without causing wage suppression
Solution: Leave the cap where it is for now and bid for H1B talent so market forces can work. If the lowest bid is over say, $100K, maybe consider raising the cap.
Engineers are the raw material for tech companies and naturally, they'd like to keep their costs low. This has nothing to due with "keeping America competitive" and everything to do with sharing less of the value created with the engineers who created it in the first place.
But perhaps the biggest advantage is that it would allow us to stop the hiding of profits offshore and using derivatives - literally trillions in profits are being extracted and hidden pre-tax.
I would argue that every country should consider their own citizens first - and only after everyone has gotten to some reasonable standard of living should we consider outsourcing, offshoring, and foreign workers. Ironically, we could do much more for everybody in the world if we first fix the corruption in our own economy.
Use it as a fun experiment to see how much you can grow it not how much you can monetize. Formulate some assumptions and test them. I'd personally pick one of the countries and see if I can push installs in that country hard (might be difficult due to language issues).Try to figure out how people learn about your app and install it. Figure out what phones it is installed on and write a blogpost on using your app on that phone etc.
55k active users isn't bad. If you keep on growing someone will get interested even if you didn't monetize before (possibly even because you didn't) especially since it's not a "fad app" but something sustainable as long as there's low resource phones.[worst case you can use it if you ever want to apply at Facebook]
tl;dr: use it as your private growth-lab and learn a lot :)
Here in the 3rd world countries we don't have credit card unless we get a job, and when I say "get a job" I mean 28 and up . Morocco is very different from Europe and US because we don't have unemployement and just to make a living is really hard.
Also Piracy here is something commun because our ISP ( and we have only one lol who fuck the market with their High price and low value) Doesn't block torrent, as long as you stay out of Illegal stuffs...
Also even if I have a credit card at 21 ( I worked in a call center in the last summer so I can afford it) I will never lose money on apps. First: I'm poor Second : We only have 10 000 Dirhams ( 900 Euro ) to spend in a whole YEAR. Wich means we're very careful on what we spend money on.
So the best thing I can tell you is to add a banner and one or two Interstial ads and NOBODY will bat an eye .
Hope I gave you an insight OP :)
First step was to try ads. It went from highly rated to about 3 stars because everyone hated the ads (understandable). I tried putting them at the top, bottom, middle; nothing worked at all.
There were no in-app purchases for webOS (or really any platform at the time) so I did what everyone else started doing: when they launched being able to pay for apps I provided my app for $.99 with no ads. After 2 years of running I made $9.
Essentially I destroyed the user-base my app initially had by trying a couple of ways to monetize them that provided poor user experience. I'm not sure what the best solution is here but don't make my mistake and worsen your user experience to make money; it won't work.
FYI for anyone curious my app on webOS was a take on the tip calculator. I know I know "why would you try to charge for a TIP calculator!?" but I thought the spin I had was novel, you could rate different parts of your restaurant experience to get an exact amount to tip rather than dealing with percentages at all (it only showed you the percentage after it calculated the tip). I had done a ton of tip research at the time and thought the idea might be worth something (plus I was young and dumb). It even had bill splitting! But yeah in the end I really shouldn't have charged for it I mostly wanted to experiment to see if I could monetize it and I ended up completely destroying it. http://www.webosnation.com/dumb-waiter-free
Monetization via end users is not realistic. This is my hypothesis regarding your user profile: (1) low-income or no-income aka cost sensitive, (2) possibly bad mobile data infrastructure, (3) pay-as-you-go mobile data or limited wifi access.
Your app is valuable because it is a REPLACEMENT for the company's real app, because the real deal (as you put it nicely) is too large.
I would perhaps develop clones of your app for other social networks, and have a constellation of SocialLite apps for Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr, etc...
Because the value is in how lightweight you are but still be able to satisfy end user needs. Do not add ads, or in-app purchase bullshit. Your users don't want that. And customers are gods.
Because you are collecting DATA. Usage patterns and quantifiable habits. The companies would be interested in that. Even just Facebook might be interested in what stats you have now, and having data on their frienemies adds proportionally more value.
Before you write another line of code, please reach out and get some feelers to see if the companies indeed want data and what data they are looking for. Since you are in developing markets, and companies want to expand there, you are providing a unique and rare insight into those markets. Data driven insights are better than anything else.
I would not survey the users. Bad UX (specifically bad information timing) and whatever little data you ascertain will not be actionable anyway.
Google content policy is now very clear :Do not post any applications whose primary function is to:generate traffic to a website; or provide an overview of a website that you do notown and you do not handle (unless you have permission of the owner / administrator of the website).
You priced your app at zero. It became a success. Monetizing your app now will probably make it less so.Rather monetize by building good will with your customers (brand) and applying lessons learned towards development of your app2. If it's good enough you can charge for it.
I'd consider some sort of soccer score app that integrates with FB.
Donation is probably the only option as advertising for those areas aren't as high in payout. Don't be sad by the letdown you will get from donation though, it is always way lower than expected. Ad supported apps also don't really get that much money.
The only successful app strategy is to have quality apps and as many as you can support with quality levels.
Tinfoil is a great app thats similar. Also free and open source - https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.danvelazco...
Then again, I have a great paying job that I love, and I primarily built it because I couldn't find a similar application with the features I was looking for, so other people finding it useful is just a bonus. Plus, it's a great way to show that I have passion for development outside of work, and that I'm continually trying to improve myself as a programmer/engineer. I even provided detailed Arch/Design/Req docs in the github repos, just in case anyone was interested in looking.
Of the options listed in this thread, I like the idea of adding an "in-app" purchase for the feature you mention gets requested a lot (photo uploads I believe). The knowledge that will give you is immensely valuable (being able to turn features on/off in the same application), if you don't already have that built in.
Anyway, that's just my opinion, but you should do whatever you think will make you happy.
You have cracked the first problem of getting people to download + use +care about the app.
I like the idea of doing the survey however from my experience (we did a paid for Google Customer survey) our users want more content and for price of free which wasnt hugely useful.
Personally I think you have three easy options:
1. Add some low level not too obtrusive adverts in (you will get a nice trickle of money in)
From my own experience of putting adverts into a util app (https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.teazel&hl=...) no-one minds at all. The key is to not go overboard. We have banners that don't refresh too often, disappear if they going to draw over a dice. The number of apps I see show full screen adverts at start up, every page transition etc - all very icky.
2. As others have said try and grow it and use it for Resume/CV building. My one reservation on this is make sure you actually try and capitalise on it. Im reminded of friends staying in awful jobs due to the training/experience and years later never really harvesting the rewards.
3. Use it to cross promote another app (either by yourself or sell the space). Getting an app to be downloaded is so hard now having this to kick start the next project is a great de-risker.
I would go for option 1 or 3 depending on whether you have other apps in the pipeline.
As an aside is this lightweight wrapping of a webapp model work for other providers? LinkedIn etc?
1) Bug Fix - if you can build momentum on growth your really onto something. Given the 80% inactive rate, have you looked at why people are uninstalling (I saw a bunch of no photo upload button on my quick look)? Improving scale if probably the best way to make money if you don't really need the cash now.
2) Insert reasonably unobtrusive ads and see how they go. Given the countries involved you'll be surprised that even with a large number of users you're not hitting big money. Possibly try a few different ad placements to see the user experience vs. clicks vs. payments.
2) Once you have ads and know how many clicks you are getting, look for local opportunities for the bigger country(ies). Things like sponsorship of affiliate/offer type deals. These should pay more but come with a real time cost.
3) Once you have a view how much a customer is worth, decide if you want to take the cash out or re-invest back into growing the app. Ideally if you can spend $X on recruitment and get back $X+Y you should chase growth. If not, enjoy riding the organic wave.
Regarding the poll, I'd not bother. What people say and do are often very different. I'd be more inclined to test ads and placement for real response. Monitor for feedback and possibly make a ad free version if people want.
I've heard donation buttons don't really work.
Adding additional social support sounds good but at a price? Not sure there. These markets are super cost conscious so I'd personally look to focus on growth first and secondly monetising the user at no cost to them.
1) Play dirty: serve high resolution media (pic an videos) to the users - this results in more data downloaded = costs more money to your users. Here is where you ask them to pay a fair monthly subscription that would cost them less than $x-internet-provider-money (you can make tailor made plans depending on the stats)
2) Make it faster for who pays! At the very top of the page you could add a speed indicator (something like a thin progress bar) to indicate the speed of the page.Then make one of the views (the profile page for example) super fast to tease your users! and the ask for upgrade to premium to get all teH things fast :)
No matter how you play it I would "re-brand" it and remove any reference to the FB UI - which I guess is (c) Mark Boy
This is what I would do :)
E.g. Hi, I hope you are enjoying this app and finding it useful. Could you support this app by paying a one-time fee of just $1? It will allow me to keep the app updated and best of all running ad-free! Thanks in advance.
You could offer a modified version of this; allow premium customers access to new features earlier, but roll out the updates to your free subscribers eventually as well. After a delay of 3 months perhaps?
It will gently encourage people to upgrade, but those who don't want to pay won't feel cheated as they will get the features eventually as well.
When i've been in similar situations i've tried to look forward and not back. By that I mean, if it's getting a lot of downloads then let the people who have already downloaded it have it, don't change their experience by adding adverts in or damaging parts of the experience. Charge for new people to get the app. Saying that, I've never had it with as many people already downloaded the app, but i'd like to think i'd still do the same thing.
I have an app that I originally charged for and it got very little downloads, I made it free for a while and didn't pay much attention to the downloads, went back to it at a later time and noticed it had a lot of downloads so I started charging for it just to see what would happen, I expected to make it free again within a week due to no downloads. Downloads obviously dropped a bit, but still kept a pretty consistent level and have done ever since. I make a point of always improving the app though, so maybe that helps too but I just think it comes down to timing and having those previous downloads could help, it seemed to help me.
I'm not sure if you can turn a free Android app into a paid one though, I don't think you used to be able to, so that might all be pointless and you'd have to make a new id for it, but you've proved people definitely want it.
Whatever you do, good luck. I'm sure having a high downloaded app will help you at some point even if you don't manage to do as much as you want with this one. I hope you do.
I would not add advertisements as you will risk damaging the good relationship you currently have with your users. Try adding a donation button and just see whether it brings in enough money. Adding support for other social networks also seems like a good idea, but a lot more work.
I'm actually in the process of developing my first Android app for our community at https://fpvracing.tv. Any tips / tutorials you would recommend?
80 percent of my time was spent for optimizing the game for low-end devices; low-end devices lead the market because of those are the ones that majority of high school (or even primary school) students' parents could afford.
Not surprisingly, revenue coming from low-end devices segment was almost zero because young people using these devices are usually under 18 and were not allowed to have credit cards. Even relatively older ones (such as college students) didn't spend any money because they were trying to survive as students with a limited budget.
Nexus One is a great smartphone with an acceptable large screen and you can still buy a working one from the second hand market. The weakest point of this cheap-heavy duty device is the limited memory, which is you focused on. (Actually it can be hacked to extend internal memory to micro SD card, but still hard for many people.)
Another example of low-end devices is Samsung Galaxy Ace. That is, my friend, a time and effort killer with almost no returns except always complaining free users.
You're trying to monetize too early. Get real traction first. A million dollars isn't cool. You know what's cool? A billion dollars.
I think I made about $5 before I realised after a couple of weeks, and then I took it down. The app hadn't been touched for a few years and wasn't the best quality, so I didn't feel happy for basically scamming people. I was considering doing the same for a donate version, but wanted to improve the app first - which I never got around to.
I think you could get some income by doing something similar, but it's very unlikely to replace your main income.
Still, I think it's probably not worth annoying your users for the paltry amount of cash you'll raise.
You have an App with 240k installs, that's very good in a CV or when pitching your services.
This demographic is not going to pay you, sorry.
Now, developing apps that are light and work in older phones can be a marketable skill.
But having looked through the thread, I don't believe anyone has asked you to think about Why the app is getting traction.
You can come up with your own hypothesis or you can ask your users.
Once you've understood why, you'll be better placed to take the next step. Whether that involves monetisation, creating clones, developing the app, not developing the app - that is up to you.
Tl;dr Find out why users like your app and try to strategise based on that.
Idea 1) Sell it to Opera SoftwareIdea 2) Do like Opera and sign deals with mobile network operators to include operator contentIdea 3) Sell Internet access through your app. Internet access is normally sold by hour in these countries. Sign deals with operators and similar.Idea 4) Advertising in app
2. Create extra features for a PRO version. Perhaps simply a tab that let you switch between Twitter and Facebook? From what I understand, your app is pretty much a wrapper with a mobile site inside of it. Add tabs for other social websites. Pinterest, Twitter, etc. Something simple that people are going to be willing to pay a few extra coins for.
Once again you're not putting ads, you're just exercising your right to monetize something you built ;)
OR if there are premium features you can push out that are not ad-removal related you might stand a chance at converting 1% of your users (freemium model)
There's a ton of CPA networks that pay anywhere from .5 to $3 for an app install.
This way you provide some kind of additional value and don't risk offending your user base. Granted it won't be as effective as ads but perhaps it's a good starting point to figure out what your users like and accept.
I'm afraid if you put ads in the app you will lose a lot of users and get negative feedback.
If Turkey is very popular that tells me that your users might want to conceal the fact (from their government) that they use facebook at all.
It reduces the usable screen area by only a little and is hardly intrusive to the experience.
From the countless hours that I've spent trying to figure out how to get users to give me money, I can confidently say that a surveying your users about monetization is the worst data you will ever see.
I can also say, with 200% confidence, that ads are not the right decision at this point. Here is why:1) They aren't your users. These are FB users, and if you start showing ads to them, FB will view this as stealing ad space from FB. Not a good spot to be in.2) The geo distribution seems pretty clear that the light weight solution is a compelling feature. Ad SDKs are notoriously heavy on the binary, sometimes 20MB. Ads also use a large amount of data and are often slower than everything else. Most web pages could load in a fraction of time if they dropped the ads. So, putting in ads seems to kill the biggest feature of your app.
I don't buy the argument that you can't monetize that geo distribution. It's true that those geos are overlooked by larger companies, but that also means less competition. Just know that you're fighting for low ARPU users. Whatsapp used this strategy wonderfully. When their competitors were fighting over iPhone penetration in the US, they were building for feature phones in similar geos. They also kept the price point low, keeping in mind they had lower ARPU users.
I suspect that your best solution would be to find a compelling in-app-purchase (IAP). To do this, you'll need to start knowing everything about your users. What features do they use? What features do they not use? When do they use the app? What do they want to accomplish with the app? Remember, Line started selling stickers when everyone could use emotiacons. Sometimes the winning business model is the thing that no one thought to try or everyone thought was too dumb. What is FB missing from the experience that you could add? I've always been impressed at how user's actions can be the opposite of what they say. Your users will reveal their intent by what they do, so watch them very carefully.
I suspect a very telling analysis would be to start comparing users who hit the day-7 mark and leave vs those who hit the day-7 mark and stay. My guess is that you'll start seeing some patterns about how retained users are interacting with the app, and then double down on that.
As a side note, your DAU to installs ratio seems to imply poor retention for a social app. This may be because the growth is targeting the wrong type of user. Regardless, this is a number that you'll probably want to get to know very well. If you do have lower-then-average retention, find a way to turn it into a strength with other numbers that are really impressive, such as engagement.
This is really, really awesome and you should be proud of what you have accomplished. The next stage of growth will be harder to scale, but the bragging rights are a few orders of magnitude higher up there. Keep it up!
In the open source world things have been looking better. When Oracle dropped commercial support for GlassFish so did interest in GlassFish drop. Some of them migrated to WildFly / JBoss AS/EAP. TomEE has been the only new entry in recent years and from the outside it seems they are struggling to deliver a Java EE 7 (which is two years old) compliant server. Geronimo will be closed down soon. Resin is in its on niche.
The other question is how you define Java EE. If you're using JPA in Tomcat, is that Java EE? If you're using Bean Validation in Spring Boot, is that Java EE?
But then again, has there ever been a time when Java EE had a good rep even with Java developers or was it always something they had imposed on them by "enterprise architects"?
After a bit of searching I found that the jobs typically may be found by searching for "Java Enterprise" - surprisingly nothing turned up for me with the search term "JavaEE". Of course, it depends which job board you are using in your search - I tried Monster & Seek.
For the past few weeks, recruiters have been calling me a few times a week saying that they have Java positions that they need to fill, so it's absolutely not 'dead'.
"The TIOBE Programming Community index is an indicator of the popularity of programming languages."
Java is #1.
Android apps are based on Java. It's not going anywhere any time soon.
Perhaps connecting with people in your field, e.g. through forums for the products / frameworks / languages / whatever you use might open some doors.
You might also want to edit your post, put some information in there that would attract the attention of would-be employers. As it currently stands, I think quite a few people would be put off by it.
Otherwise, I'd second the AirBNB apartment idea - I think you could probably skip the "hacker houses" and just look for something where you could get a 2 bedroom apartment.
One globally applicable rule, in all circumstances at least a 3 month cliff and 2 year vesting period, but typically a 1 year cliff and 4 year vesting. Unless you have a decade of prior experience working with the new hire, and really, even then.
Consider tax implications. E.g. You'll need a 409(a) valuation and you want it to be low. Consider if the new hire will get a Board seat.
Most importantly good luck and have fun. Remember it should be an enjoyable experience and trust your gut. In general a smaller slice of a big pie is better than a large slice of "ramen profitable". Be wary of "advisors" who say they will make big things happen for your company but aren't the ones who are going to put in the sweat, blood, and tears to make it happen.
Just a side note, your first paragraph is a bit of a red flag. If you can't find people to work with you on an idea, especially considering you've been through 2 accelerators, it's not likely that geography is the primary cause. Remember, sales is about selling ice to Eskimos and selling people on your startup is a Founder's #1 job.
Meanwhile, you can do side projects that apply what you are learning or that help you learn new technologies that your course work won't cover.
Can you find a way to leverage both opportunities, pursue your MSc abroad while working remote part-time? Your employer would likely benefit having you plugged in while learning the very latest technologies.
Ignore them; overseas recruiters are indicative of low-rent clients and bottom feeders. Having your CV associated with them damages your brand.
A few suggestions--Remove your resume from the job boards immediately. Instead, focus your search on companies and senior executives who you can help. Linkedin is good for this. (BTW, I'm assuming you've punched up your profile.) Do look for seasoned, established stateside recruiters who focus on your industry or market. Reach out to them selectively. One way to get on a serious recruiters side-- show interest in what they are working on, ask how you may be able to help them. There is power in a networking relationship.
Seriously, they're not going to be able to sell you to a prospective client if their English is clearly that terrible. It does more harm than good to have your name associated with them.
- Selling enterprise software (you can make 10%-20% of an 8 or 9 figure deal)
- Selling securities in some form or another (you make ~5% of deals worth potentially hundreds of millions of dollars)
- high leverage consulting (solving very hard tech problems for lots of people. for example: I have a friend who helps a whole bunch of computer vision companies and makes a ton. Another friend is an SEO expert.)
- Patenting core technologies and selling those patents (A buddy of mine sold his patent for $10M)
- "platform based land grabs". Think of the people who bought tons of domains early in the Web's history. Or the first guy to make an emoji app on iOS. These are different than "starting a company" as you really only need a product and can pull it all off on your own. I suspect there will be more of these in the future.
All of these require creatively navigating business as well as being an awesome dev.
The monetary wealth typically comes from stock options. Stock options are a promise that you can buy stocks at a certain price at some point in the future (when they become available, e.g. during an investment or IPO). Options are how you become an overnight millionaire. Startups aren't the only place where you can earn options.
You'll typically find that companies that aren't publicly traded have stock options (ask about them in your interview). It's not something that's exclusive to startups - I have options in a 10 year old company and have cashed in some of those options.
3. Accrue wealth like anyone would. Developers earn relatively high salaries (whether they work for a startup or not) and hence have an easier time getting into the situation where money works for them.
However, even one of those developers who earns $1 000 000 can have no wealth if they waste it all. Someone who earns $75 000 can amass a fortune. It all comes down to how well you manage your money. If you do something to get rich quick chances are you are going to end up penniless. It takes time, discipline and a brain.
There is no quick road to material wealth.
Money does not make you happy, it merely multiplies what is already there. It's a catalyst. If you're already happy, money makes you happier. If you're already sad, money will make you miserable.
Personally I am a big corp dev and making >600k/year on track to retire at 40.
But you do not get there by trying for the salary. Try to be good, no exceptional, at what you do. Become valuable and you will be paid. But your motivation should be your craft and not money.
I believe the same applies for startup founders too. As a dev in startup land you are at a disadvantage though - the fail or rise of the company is much more about sales and biz than tech.
I think as a dev big corps are the way better bet. Not much to loose, but possibly high payout. Startups very rarely pay out for devs.
3. Respect the people you want to help you. For instance, let's say you want a bunch of people to take the time to read and answer difficult, open-ended questions for free in a way that could lead to vast personal wealth for you. You could demonstrate your respect for them by showing them the courtesy of proof-reading your post. As the questions are so broad, you also could show respect by sharing what you've learned in the research you've done so far to help educate them and to narrow down what you're looking for. You could demonstrate even more respect by thanking the authors of particularly good contributions.
Someone making 6 figures asking how to get more wealth probably doesn't care they are in the top 10%. They are looking up, not down. Saving half their salary isn't realistic for a single income family, and would even be tough for a dual income family.
They probably don't care to listen to the "money isn't everything" advice from the rich. Yes, everyone knows that money isn't everything, and everyone knows that money isn't everything when you've already got it. I have relatives making choices between feeding themselves or their pet for the day, money means a great deal up to a point, and then there is a big gap where it doesn't make much difference. Then after that gap is breached is starts to make a huge difference again.
Unfortunately, for the number of times this question is asked, the number of times I've asked it of myself, there are no silver bullets or proven paths. I have to stop ranting now it is late, I am tired. (^_^)b
Money can buy you happiness, but it's an inefficient exchange mechanism - unless you roll two sixes, the amount of work and bullshit that goes hand in hand with growing your "worth" usually exceeds the reward - and that reward for most is tantalisingly close but always "a year or two" away.
Monetary wealth is a means - it is "gas in the tank" - but it isn't the end. The end is your own happiness and wellbeing, and there are much easier ways to secure this than through wealth.
If I'd known what I know now, I would have moved to a hut up a mountain a decade ago rather than going into business. Now I am responsible for the livelihood of dozens directly, thousands indirectly, and while I may have made myself a very comfortable gilded cage, it is a cage, and the cost of my wealth has been my freedom.
Product could be SaaS, software, consulting, contracting.
2. Yes, I have heard about a small number of exceptionally highly paid developers too. However, I suspect this is incredibly rare, perhaps with a similar or even lower probability than making your fortune at a startup. Unless you have some extraordinarily talent and are aware of this and in a position to able to exploit this (but I doubt you would be asking the question if this was the case).
3. I would have thought your best chance of making enough money to reach financial independence is the usual unexciting advice: (i) work hard to get an above average salary, (ii) live frugally and save as much as you can, (iii) invest what you save carefully, (iv) continue this process for many years. If there was a sure-fire quick and easy way of getting rich, I'm sure more people would be doing it, or you wouldn't be reading about it here.
Understand that by making $100k+ you're basically in the top 10-15% of earners in the U.S. . Make $180k/yr and you're in the top 4%.
And realize that plenty of people who make >$150k spend like crazy trying to keep up with the Jones. Plenty of people who make $80k/yr spend wisely end up having more "wealth" in the end.
 - http://www.financialsamurai.com/how-much-money-do-the-top-in...
Robert Kiyosaki and other wealthy people state that wealth is measured in time. Can you not work for x weeks, months, years and still make money or at least maintain status quo? If you can, you're probably already wealthy and doing better than the vast majority of people out there.
We all love to read success stories of startup founders where it escalated quickly and they got out with a huge amount of money. These people however are not a good representation of what's out there. Most wealthy people I've met over the course of my life do things that not a lot of people think about and take for granted. They're sometimes rather boring, not glamorous, not innovative things like selling sausages, web hosting, web development services, selling plain white shirts, toilet paper, pipe fittings, cleaning businesses, restaurants and so on. These people then invest their proceeds in other "boring" assets like real estate, other businesses, fonds etc. with a long term view.
A lot of these people moved from being a specialist (consultants, chefs, programmers, contractors) to business owners. Not working in but on the business. Hiring other specialists, people who do the grunt work, the sales, the programming and so on. They then invest their proceeds into assets that will continue to generate money at different percentages even after they completely stop working.
In your particular case that could mean that you could start with very specialized consulting work. Then slowly transition into providing tooling for a monthly fee. Then slowly removing yourself from the business as much as you can. The beauty of it is that monthly recurring revenue is compounding. Also have a look into SWaS (Software With a Service) http://www.tropicalmba.com/swas/.
Investing/saving $5K a month for 15 years with an expected rate of return of 7% and an expected inflation rate of 3% will bring you to a place where you end up with a balance of ~$1.5MM (or $1MM after inflation) to your name. Would that make you wealthy in your books?
Form a software developer union.
AppAmaGooBookSoft are probably not what you're thinking of when you say "startups" and 5-10 years in any of them will make you quite wealthy indeed, by the standards of e.g. the American middle class.
Do some devs make north of $1 million a year? Yes, for a value of "some." (If you put a gun to my head, I'd say "Maybe 5% of the engineering workforce at AppAmaGooBookSoft. Possibly modestly higher than that in finance.") The shortest path to it is "significant contributions to a major revenue driver for a large company combined with aggressive negotiation."
Depending on where you draw the bar for "wealthy", there are a lot of dev-related businesses which can get you there. Consultancies with employees throw off a lot of money on a yearly basis and also build value which can be sold. Profits for a well-managed e.g. Rails consultancy are on the order of $2.5k~$10k per employee per month (math here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=7155387), so if you run a 10-person consultancy, you do pretty well for yourself via distributions while also drawing the market salary you're paying all the employees.
There exist many product businesses which are primarily or largely software in character. There exist hundreds of software companies which toil in relative obscurity whose founders are (generally very quietly) millionaires even when one doesn't count the value of the company itself. I built a consulting career off of working for SaaS companies with, in the main, $10 to $50 million a year in revenue. There exist lots of them. The rough economics are often 10% COGS 10% marketing 10% G&A 50% salaries 20% "whatever the owner feels like."
Many of these paths will not involve you being primarily working on compilers and dev tools. (Compilers are a tough sell -- dev tools perhaps less so. There exist plenty of great small dev tools companies.) Even if that is what your business actually makes money on, you will probably have to a) get into business and b) spend the majority of your cycles on building the business rather than building the thing the business makes, unless you take the well-compensated employee route.
There are your answers. Here is my question: what do you want out of life? What does "wealthy" mean to you? What motivates your desire to retire early?
I once wanted to retire early, but that was a symptom of the underlying affliction "I hated what I was doing for a living." If you see wealth as an opportunity to choose to spend most of your cycles on something other than what you presently do for a living, you probably can achieve that without being sold-a-startup-now-I'm-loaded wealthy. Some of the happiest people I know run quiet little cottage industry software businesses on the Internet in preference to the day job. Most don't have seven figures in the bank, but their day-to-day lifestyle might resemble that of a "gentleman of means."
If you want to have sufficient free cycles to study something, consider as an option "Create some enduring source of value which solves the sustenance-for-myself-and-family problem with the minimum number of hours required per week; spend my freed-up-time studying rather than filing TPS reports."
What if you started a company as an LLP with some smart colleagues and you shared in the growth of each other's talents? What if you created a co-operative?
Come to think of it, what's your goal? To be rich, or to be able to go back to school without worrying about money? The two are not the same. I doubt that most of the open source developers you've heard of can rock around in a Ferrari but they are doing what they love and are happy: haven't they effectively got to the point you wanted to, but without the need to slog out to the point of having piles of money?
I'd also as an addendum suggest diving into the [/r/financialindependence](http://www.reddit.com/r/financialindependence) community - lots of ideas there.
I also see processor startups popping up all the time that need compiler/tools engineers badly.
Overall, I'd repeat what others have said: "save a lot and invest your savings wisely."
I've also seen wealth generated with mailing lists. This is another affiliate marketing play that can be done without feeling too spammy and can still add value to the user.
Similar to a mailing list, a forum can be easy to set up and maintain. Also like a mailing list, if you create a large enough user base, advertising can pay off.
One of the better earners is a subscription model for just about anything. Software provided for free with a "premium" set of features for $x per month is a good way to generate a user base more easily.
A couple things to keep in mind:1. You will almost always have more success when you're passionate about the subject matter.2. It will take time. Most overnight successes are preceded by years of ramp-up.
Now, how much would you need in your nest egg to feel comfortable about being picky about where you work and what you work on, trading in some of your income for mission/learning/location/people etc.?
Once you have these numbers (which depends on your life stage and costs of living), then you can start backtracking and figure out what kind of money you'd need to make and whether it makes sense for you. That will leave you with the universe of options available, which may be wider than what you're considering right now.
Ideally find clients who are willing to work with remote contractors. Emigrate to a "poorer" country and save money. For example, people in Thailand earn on average around 500 EUR a month (from what I've read). If you can manage to work for western clients who perhaps pay you 10.000 EUR a month (40 hour work weeks), you will be able to retire extremely quickly.
I get paid (well) to do stuff I love so it is possible and possibly easier than becoming wealthy. I think loving your "work" will put a lot more happiness "under the curve" than waiting until you retire to be happy - even if you retire early.
1 - Why do i want money (or why do i want a lot if it :)) :I am not interested in a luxurious or grandiose life style. For me money is to buy freedom and safety booth for me and the peole i care about. I want myself and them to be able to afford the best of the health care systems, to be able to focus on exactly what we do, etc...etc...
2 - How much is "significant wealth" 10M+
3 - Money shouldn't be the focus, the craft is:I think they both should be. I don't think getting wealthy should be though as a direct consequences of great work.Great work might be correlated or even necessary to building wealth but i don't the former always implies the latter. To get wealth i believe i will have to learn how, much in the same wayi had to learn to be a software dev.
4 - There is no quick fix. stop looking for it.
I am not looking for a quick fix. I am willing to put the hours (hell i am looking forward to it). But i also want to capture and leverage some of the value i will be creating (in a way that's is both legal and ecological)
So again a lot of great idea i didn't though of and i am already reading on all those venues. The idea i am particular interested is consulting : Is there a demand out there for consulting to startup say 30/week for 6 month for some equity in the company ?
Any body in the fanancial market want to share his experience ?
Again thanks for all the great answers
"Besides a startup, what are some other reliable (close to risk-free) ways to retire at any age with $20 million net worth and $1 million a year in passive income--that a motivated and skilled software developer can achieve starting in his twenties?"
Practical step-by-step advice only, no general platitudes like "just love what you do!" and "don't be in it for the money!" My guess is it's impossible without rolling the dice on business ownership, but I'd love to be proven wrong.
I think a better question is how do non-computer people create wealth? Devs as a group are already predisposed to having higher income. For my family it has been to work really, really hard, live frugally and invest all disposable income. I'd venture to guess that most wealth creation happens this way - call it the long tail of wealth.
The trick is, you need to figure out what "wisely" is. IMO, if your strategy involves holding on to your stocks, it is probably speculation (=gambling) rather than investing wisely.
Just make sure to negotiate your benefits to include the ability to take classes (both the time during your days to attend, and reducing the costs -- preferably to zero -- of attending)
If you're really good at maths you could become a "quant". Most of the really high paying developer jobs are unsurprisingly in the financial services industry.
Alternatively make friends with rich people and make them richer. You get a cut.
I'm sorry to be the grumpy old man in this thread, but asking how to turn your developer job into $1MM/year is like a high school kid planning to play pro basketball.
Is this yahoo answers?
Or steal bitcoin.
Your probability of success is way higher.
Those teams do exist, and are perennially looking for good programmers. Move to a tech-hub if you aren't already there, hang out with more tech people, ask probing questions whenever you interview and thus find your corner. I bet that a right team will rekindle your interest (if it's actually lost).
I worked at some good places and some not so good ones. At one point I worked at a place, and I thought I had it bad, so I left for something supposedly much better. Turns out, it was bad. Worse than my previous endeavors. I felt like I couldn't motivate myself to do anything. No one cared about the quality of the code, why should I? Never the less, I wrote good code, because that's what I believed in, but it still felt empty inside.
I literally thought to myself "Maybe I'm getting tired of being a software engineer and I need to find something else to do"
Then, I pulled up the source code for an old project I worked on. The best project I worked on. The code was beautiful! The project was complex, very involved, and fun. We had a great team that worked hard and solved difficult problems.
And so it dawned on me that I was simply tired of working with people who didn't care and had the wrong motives for getting things done.
This is a process that a lot of engineers / developers go through. Some realize it sooner than others. Some people just don't know better, because they've only had 1 or 2 jobs so they have no point of reference.
And yes, working on anything with Java after experiencing Ruby on Rails is going to make you hate the damn language. But don't do it. Don't hate the language or the framework. Don't be a fanboy. Experience multiple languages and multiple frameworks, as you will see that each has a good use case. Some are better than others for web development. Some integrate better with certain tools.
Don't be the smartest person in the room. Find a place where you can learn from people. Challenge yourself. Learn new frameworks and tools. Network and form long lasting relationships with colleagues. Build cool and fun things. Explore your creativity outside of work. Sooner than later, someone you know will reach out to you, because they value who you are.
1) You can find a new, more interesting job. It sounds like you've searched around, but you may have to search a little longer to find the right fit. I've heard that many young people go through 5 to 10 shitty jobs before finding one they like.
2) You can talk to the higher-ups about your concerns, if you have a good enough relationship with them. Let them know you feel like your work isn't very engaging and, if they have any more interesting tasks, that you'd like to do some of that.
3) If you're paid well enough, you could just accept that you're not doing what you enjoy, but at least you have a job. I feel like this is what most of corporate society does anyways. You can always do the stuff you like to do in your free time.
When I first started my current job, I was kind of in the same boat. I loved coding and building new things, but found out quickly that what the position required wasn't very engaging or taxing. It was mostly one-off SQL queries and working with SSIS (simple, UI-driven stuff -- it uses programming concepts, but it's very basic). I wasn't building new things, I wasn't working on solving especially complex problems, and it felt like the stuff I was doing could be done by someone who knew far less about software than I do; I was just cranking out simple stuff whenever we needed it. I was probably just overqualified for the position.
I've expressed my concerns and since then, we've started working on cooler, more interesting things, including web development. It's still not the ideal, but it's much better. In addition, I've done consulting work on the side, built a web app (which I hope to ultimately be able to work on full-time), and I've ventured into some non-programming things like real estate.
I probably would've quit and found a different job, but they pay me very well, and I get a lot of leeway, which allows me to work on the other stuff on the side.
I think that a lot of developers probably find themselves in your situation. I don't think it's necessarily the "code-writing" part that's so enjoyable -- it's the problem-solving and building cool things that we love. And when we're stuck in a position where we're not only not doing any of those fun things, but we're wasting our talents on simple things, that's when it gets frustrating.
It's less important what you start out charging, and more important that you develop the discipline of continuously walking your prices up.
Hardware security is a high-status subset of software security. There aren't that many consultants who can reverse firmware, understand embedded C, or write assembly for a debugger. You should be able to charge a premium to what bread-and-butter software security projects (like web app testing) get. Consider $2k/d your floor (that's what a high-end consultant gets for a bread-and-butter project) and $2.5k/d a rate that probably captures some of the premium for doing hardware work.
Factors on a hardware security project that would tend to "up" the bill rate:
+ Non-X86 non-ARM
+ No source code provided (but this can also be reflected in the project's scope)
+ You have special tooling for the project (for instance, it's MSP430 and you have a really good MSP430 hit tracer)
+ Involves "actual" hardware, like: you'll need to tap a bus, or defeat a JTAG countermeasure
+ Serious RF work
"Down" the bill rate:
+ Startup customer, not in a financial vertical
+ Startup customer, has raised less than 5MM
+ Client buys more than 4 pentests per year
+ Competitive bid
+ Minimal software
Source: in 2012 my partners and I sold Matasano Security to NCC Group, which is now the largest software security firm in the US.
Like many people, I would tell you to frame yourself as someone solving a business problem rather than someone performing a pen test for a client. One is a valuable investment, the other is a commoditized item on a compliance checklist.
I structure statements of work using clauses for 1. scope and definition of the project, 2. approximate dates, 3. rates, including terms of payment/invoicing, 4. limited liability, 5. various other boilerplate and project-specific minutia, such as how and when reports on findings are delivered, etc.
I charge $2000 a day, or $10,000 per week. This is implicit - if you do the math you'll figure it out, but I really just give a final project-based price. A 50% deposit is taken at the beginning of the project and paid towards the final invoice (so 50% at outset, 50% on completion). I know there are many opinions on this; it works, so it's what I do.
I have about five years of experience in information security specifically. Feel free to reply here, or reach out to me via email if you have more questions or want more guidance.
1. Reverse a String
2. Find min/max in an array
3. Find/remove duplicates
5. Fibonacci (iterative especially)
6. Primes (IsPrime, print first few etc)
7. Calculate Factorial
8. Find one missing number from 1 to N.
9. Basic Run length encoding (values and their counts)
It's trivial to come up with such questions, but it's not trivial to deliver them and judge a person on it. Before asking any of such questions, I'd urge you to exactly know what you want that person to do and have a sense of where they are coming from.
(I do this stuff for a living. About me: http://InterviewKickstart.com)
1.) Given a name, print out the appropriate lyrics to the "name game."
2.) Given a word (and the morse code table), output its Morse code translation.
Without making an express commitment (either in general or to 20 hours weekly), I too would be interested in donating at least some hours of work in exchange for equity, however tiny.
Interesting concept. How might such an equity employment pool be set up? I'm imagining that a part-time equity worker could either be devoted to a single startup, or could select tasks from some sort of cross-company todo list. (E.g., one person might be especially good at Task X, and does that for a bunch of companies.)
If I were a pure business person, I'd let you work for equity with the intent of structuring any exit, and as business person that would be my job, in such a way that the value of your equity would be as small as possible and mine would be as large as possible for what else could "pure business" be all about?
And if it makes me sound like some kind of sonofabitch, well that's how the Venture Capital funds would probably be treating me without a guardian angel on Sandhill Road. Which to my point is what's the normative case for any naive approach? It's that the naive person walks away with nothing because "being naive" means the person is vulnerable to the wolves, and wolves being wolves and not lapdogs aren't really interested in letting you step in their pudding.
What annoys me the most is that it is a huge waste of resources to target ads at me in the wrong language, especially when my browser is passing my preferred language preferences.
Now multiply that by the millions of people who are being mistargetted by ad delivery companies (Google I'm looking at you). What awful losses.
PayPal itself got caught in one of these types of decisions. The dotcom bubble peaked around Nov 1999; PayPal was founded (merged) around Dec 1998; they IPO'd in Feb 2002 with the Nasdaq having lost about 50-60% of its value at that point. July 2002 eBay bought PayPal, with the Nasdaq on the floor that Summer, having lost ~75% of its value. This was a massive mistake of timing, the Nasdaq doubled within about 16 months after that Summer of extreme lows. PayPal undervalued itself dramatically by selling when it did, timing the sale exactly wrong.
Venture capitalists have poured $190 million into Stripe. They're going to require an exit, it's a question of whether Stripe catches this stock market boom period, are forced to wait until the next one (potentially 5-10 years or more), or they miss this window and sell themselves to a big acquirer in a few years instead.
The business they're in doesn't quite print money, but it does have solid margins at scale. Visa prints money - $12.7b sales, $5.4b profit (incredible margins). Instead of Visa's 42% hyper net income margin, Stripe might reach 15-20% at scale (more like PayPal's).
I expect you have a list of emails of previous signups(in a backup of your db), send out a personal email to each one thanking them for giving you guys a try, what did you like/not like about the app. What feature could we add or change that would get you to sign up again. Get some feedback and see if there is a killer feature you're missing that would gain/keep customers.
Try sending emails to pet sitters inviting them to join.
Is there a feature you could add that would benefit the pet owner, maybe a live chat, photo uploads, live updates on a status page that the pet sitter could add to and the owner could check periodically. Maybe drop brochures at vet offices and try to get pet owners to require their sitter uses your app.
You're probably charging too little . . . although Petsitters might have a lower comfort zone that most b2b apps but your sister was paying $99 so maybe $49 is a better price point.
I would second going with digital ocean. $5 to $10/mo plan would probably work easily for 8 total users.
Definitely think about it as a learning experience. Learn more about marketing, A/B testing, user engagement.
Track how often users are logging in, track users that visit the cancellation page and don't cancel (follow up with users who aren't engaged or thinking about canceling send them a personal email and offer a tutorial/on-boarding session so they are getting value out of your app.
Email each user that cancels and try to get some feedback on why they left, ways you can improve.
Listen to Startupsfortherestofus, lots of good info there.
Patio11 also has lots of great gems in his articles, HN posts and podcasts.
Also, consider marketing your product at > $10/month. If a previous (inferior?) product was $99/month, then match that price and market the features your product has, otherwise you marginalise what you've created.Being cheaper is a play that works at scale, but shouldn't necessarily be the reason people choose you.
Does your sister think your offering is awesome, or could you do something to delight her and market this feature/capability as widely as possible?
I could have sworn that you posted a while back here on HN, talking about your start-up.. there can't be that many people who start pet-sitting CRMs... do let us know how you go :)
First, focus on explaining the value add of your CRM on your site. The video on the site doesn't really talk about what you do but that people should be using you because you don't offer lots of bells and whistles.
It seems like there are three big value adds:simple schedulingrapid invoice*smart pricing
But, these aren't listed on your landing page. They are listed on your Tour page, but only once you click past the Responsive Design tab (how many pet sitters know or even care about responsive design?). Make it absolutely clear what you offer. (I like your "Get Organized and Efficient" line, as that is really what you're helping the sitter do.)
Second, have your brother-in-law get out and sell. I'm not sure where pet sitters congregate, but maybe just standing in front of a pet store asking people about their pet sitters might net you a couple of leads. If it does, figure out what it takes to close those sales. Then, use those people as testimonials, run a case study and sell off of those numbers.
You might also have some of the pet sitting tutorial-type people on youtube review your software.
Just some thoughts.
You have learned a lot! You made a product, you launched it, you made a little money. That is a fantastic education. But remember not every "business" actually takes off and becomes a business. I have started and given up on a number of great ideas. It's ok to move on to the next idea.
In fact, sometimes it's best to move to the next idea right now. You are in a lull on this idea. It's not working out. It's not sustainable. It will take a significant amount of time to make it sustainable and honestly, will it make you happy? Do you love it? Are you passionate about it? If you are waffling on these at all, then move on and make something great.
I am reminded of a rather well known Angel investor that often tells a story of when she was young having an idea for a particular business. She worked on it night and day for 2 years and didn't make a dime. She was so disappointed as she had to take a part time job selling apartments in New York to make ends meet. Then she realized that this was her real business and passion. She killed off the first business, and made a killing in the second one.
David Rose: http://www.rose.vc/
Heidi Roizen: http://www.heidiroizen.com/
But also have a read of "The Valley is a Harsh Mistress": http://www.warplife.com/tips/business/stock/venture/capital/...
I personally would not touch Venture Capital with a ten-foot pole.
ray tonsing of caffeinated capital, too