Topic: Making the Leap

I also posted this on the "Ruby on Rails meets the business world" forum, but am curious about what people on this forum think...

Not sure if I'm looking for advice or encouragement.

A little about me first, I'm currently a Java programmer at a small
tech company in the northwest.  I primarily work on distributed
applications and have had just a small amount of web development
experience, nothing professional, mostly as side projects.  But I've
got an idea for a web application which I believe will do fairly well
and generate enough revenue for a company of one or two people, maybe
half a dozen if I'm really optimistic.

It's my first foray into Rails, and I've got most of the features
working, but still needs quite a bit of polishing and most likely a
good once over by a real look-n-feel person.  I'm also worried about
security since I'll be handling credit cards and other sensitive
personal data.

All this, added to having to create a company, perform customer
support, continue to grow the features, marketing, and the loads of
other things I haven't thought of yet...is there any hope that one
person can pull this off while still working at my current job ( with
hopes of going it alone when I'm sure it can fly ), and giving time to
my family, with very little up front costs.  I've been reading quite a
bit about bootstrapping lately, but to really make the time has been
very difficult.

Any advice?  Or do I just need to dig in and make it happen?!?

Re: Making the Leap

You've got some options. This all comes from reading what others have done, browsing business mags on the toilet, and paying attention to how my bosses have made these decisions. So bring your salt lick.

1. Build the software and sell it to someone else who can deal with all the businessey stuff. You get a big lump sum, but after the sale its not your baby anymore.
2. Build it then learn how to do the business stuff. A slow option and being new to running a business you could fall flat just from that even with a really good idea.
3. Partner with someone. I'm sure you know or can find someone who is good at that and not good at the tech stuff. You end up sharing the profits, but you also share the risk and get the help you need.

IMHO you seem to have a good attitude about the project. So keep working on the code and make the application better. Do what you like doing and what interests you and the other things will kind of fall into place.

Re: Making the Leap

I'm kind of doing the same thing! I have received a ton of help here so this is a good place to post, the one problem I have with rails is that when you need help there isn't much in the way of clear cut answers to problems as there is in the other mainstream languages I've worked in. Other than that, what you can do as one person in the little amount of time it takes is amazing!

I need help as well on some of the business end stuff and marketing as I move forward, maybe we can make an online support group or a forum here just for the business end of rails?

One thing that I can tell you is that if you think it's a good idea go for it! Some people will agree and some won't but that usually means that it's good! Most good ideas will strike people initially as a great idea or a bad idea, they either get it, or they don't, so don't get discouraged by some negative people!

I will be happy to join the group, and maybe it'll be just the 2 of us when we start, but I'm sure it will grow!

Don

edited to add:

I just created a thread suggesting a business forum if anyone is interested you can put your support there.

Last edited by bahamallama (2007-09-12 18:41:31)