Day 2 and counting

March 5, 2009

This is day two of theentreprenoob. I’ve accomplished jack squat today outside of reading about entrepreneurship. I’m currently reading Guy Kawasaki’s The Art of the Start. The book is direct and precise. However, it has a lot more about positioning your business and marketing it than coming up with or executing your business. While worrying about VC funding and presentations are not my first concerns, the questions raised about the meaning you seek in your business and what your goals are, above and beyond monetary gains. This has me thinking about whether I even have a meaningful mission in mind.

Sadly, I have put in a 10-12 hour day at work today, so I am exhausted and have little energy to devote to my entrepreneurial goals. Part of me wants to kick back and take a break after a long day, but that excuse is so easy to repeat and so very tempting to believe. Days like this give me huge respect for entrepreneurs that are also dedicated parents and spouses. But even if I have no time to devote to a business, my problem remains the same: how am I going to change the world?

My requirements for a venture have previously been:

  1. a lucrative industry, such as legal, medicine, or IT
  2. a product that will both help people and save them time and money
  3. a product that can scale easily; software had always been the appeal, but maybe it looks that way because it’s in my comfort zone

What do you notice about these requirements? They are difficult requirements to obtain. They are unrealistic, and pretty boring. And they are stifling. Entrepreneurship clearly requires action, so I guess I will have to take it. I seem to have fallen into the stereotype of having a great solution where there isn’t a problem. Once I can define the problem, the solution will be much more apparent.

Lately my creativity has been sapped and I feel drained. My passion is for technology and finding clever solutions to hard problems, but I feel as if all I will produce is a lame project management application or a tired out content management system that’s been done a thousand time already. I think it’s time to break out of my comfort zone.

So let’s see, where do I have domain knowledge:

High domain expertise

  • computers
  • software
  • internet technology
  • politics

Medium domain expertise

  • healthcare
  • marketing
  • writing and publishing
  • art and design

Low/average domain expertise

  • consumerism
  • cooking
  • identification with 20-something year olds

Since software is likely going to be the platform to implement my business, my industry and domain probably should not be software itself. Let’s set some goals up, and then lay down some concrete tasks to accomplish those goals:

Goals

  • Become familiar with industries outside my core knowledge.
  • Find creative solutions to those industies’ problems.
  • Become better at researching viability of solutions with respects to marketability, cost/revenue, and competition.

Tasks

  • Find 3 industries that I am unfamiliar with and read up on them.
  • For each industry identify 3 areas that weakness or inefficiency.
  • Propose solutions for each area of inefficiency and rate the solution based on cost and ease of implementation.
  • Identify at least 1 company that is already addressing those problem areas for each industry.

Once I’ve gotten some sleep, perhaps these tasks will be only half as daunting.

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Slow and Steady

March 3, 2009

I am starting theentreprenoob to track my attempts at entrepreneurship, noobish as they are. I am also hoping that by documenting what I am doing it will force me to actually try to accomplish what I want, rather than just talking about it.

Some background

I am a programmer in a support department for a Boston-based software company. I have a degree in Political Science without much of a formal background in Computer Science. I love to learn and love to be creative, but I think there is more that I can give to the world.

I’m a jack of all trades, which apparently some people still think is a good thing.

My goal here is to start slow and try to do at least one entrepreneurial thing a day and comment on the results.

My most recent project is a screen capture application: http://www.timecapper.com. While I went into this project with the purpose of testing my skills in bringing a project from concept to implementation, which I am happy to say was successful, I will say that I am disappointed that I didn’t do any market research ahead of time. The market for this is obviously flooded, so this product may be dead in the water. In addition, my motivation for marketing this product is low and my ability to charge is potentially stifled by my contract with my employer.

Without further ado, I bring you theentreprenoob