Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Welcome to "Step Three: Profit!"

I just wanted to take a moment to tell you about this new blog and what it's all about.

In October of 2006 I left my hometown of Austin, Texas to pursue a career opportunity in San Francisco as the Director of Product Management at BitTorrent, the startup-up company responsible for the popular file-sharing software of the same name.

After a year, I returned to Austin to start my own company, working alone and with the help of some friends, I'm attempting to make that next step into entrepreneurship. This is a little crazy for me, because I am not fundamentally a business person. I'm a geek. I was senior engineer before I made the move in product management. I have spent most of my life eschewing what I considered the "businessy" side of work in pursuit of the artistic and ideological purity of coding. All of my free time has gone into open source projects.

Why then am I suddenly keen to leave my profitable job at a hip San Francisco startup company to pursue something that I do not fully comprehend? There are a lot of reasons to move from the corporate world to a life of small business entrepreneurship. The biggest one for me is control over my own life. I want to live and work in Austin so that I can be with my girlfriend and my family. I missed the Austin culture terribly when I was away and being an entrepreneur allows you to work where you want, at what hours you want, and as hard as you want. Because you own your creations. I feel full of exciting ideas and I want the chance to explore them. When you work for a company you are very restricted in what you can do. Any innovations are generally owned by the company and working on a potentially competing product (defined very broadly) is particularly forbidden.

Also, as a geek, I love learning new things: new programming languages, new technologies, and new skills. Having read every book in the Computer section of my local book store, it's refreshing to walk into the Business section and see a vast array of titles which I know nothing about. Whether my business venture succeeds or ultimately fails, I'll learn a lot in the process and probably have some fun.

So that's what this blog is about, starting a business when you don't really know anything about business, a small business guide for geeks.

Step One: Quit your job and start a blog about your new business venture
Step Two: ???
Step Three: Profit!