Q & A

Joseph Barisonzi from Minneapolis asks “What are the non-business reasons to not “start-up”?”

I am very interested in having a better understanding of the reasons that someone should keep their project as a hobby rather than trying to make it a “start-up”

What would be the non-business reasons to keep the project in the garage in the garage?

Not because it “couldn’t” but perhaps because it could but it shouldn’t, or the personal costs would be too high.


My Answer

Well it needs to be your obsession … not something you tinker with.

There are a fair few reasons not to start, sometimes I advise people not to

  1. You have clients hassling, suddenly you have 100s of bosses … many can seem more like screaming children.
  2. Family members are a hard balancing act. Ensure your better half (if you have one) is going to back you in your venture.
  3. Not everything works really well or dies, they just sit in the middle being almost … you can get stuck with obligations.
  4. Other hobbys will take a back seat. If you like doing a range of other things, travelling, sports etc … they are likely going to fade out for a few years at least.
  5. You work your own hours … all of them. You start feeling like if your relaxing on the couch then your wasting time.
  6. Money will be tight for a while. You don’t get to do all the normal things your used to.
  7. You don’t get to keep doing the thing you love (in my case programming) all the time. Suddenly you also get to do HR, Marketing, Sales, support, training of staff, writing plans, dealing with legal issues … and a whole bunch of other stuff that you were only vaguely aware existed previously.

But the key ones are:

  1. Your family
  2. Your free time
  3. Your real passion (building a business OR tinkering with your toy)

But like having kids, most days it is worth it 🙂

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